So you’ve been thinking about an important need for your department or students and different ways to overcome the challenge. Perhaps you’ve come up with a full project concept or have simply identified the cost of something that needs funding. What do you do now?
The first thing you need to think about is the big picture.
For example: You have a need for specialized equipment for your Engineering Technology program. What is the bigger picture for that need? Answer: Without that equipment, students would not have the best hands-on training experiences required to get a job in the field.
In this example, you open up your opportunities for accessing funding by seeing the big picture. In your mind, you need funding for equipment. In the funder’s mind, the need is to have a better trained workforce in the engineering field.
Another example: You have an idea for a summer college preparation program for at-risk youth to address the need for the vast number of low-income youth who are unprepared for college. In this case, you have the big picture in mind. What else do you need to be thinking about?
Ask yourself the who, what, why, when, where and how much?
The most important part of grant development is having partners, both internal and external. Funders expect to see you working with others to combine resources that supplement what is being paid for out of the grant. Internally, an interdisciplinary approach to grant projects is essential. It is also imperative that you think of external community partners that can play a role in your project, such as businesses, the local workforce board, other educational partners, government agencies, as well as community organizations.
Beyond combining resources, partnerships are important for several other reasons:
Complete our Idea Summary form if you have an idea so our Grants Department staff can better assist you. You will also need to work with Grants Accounting to help develop your budget. You may also need to involve Institutional Research and Effectiveness (IRE) for data requests and evaluation services.
Understand more about these departmental roles through the Contact Us page.
Keep the Grants Department in mind when working on special projects or if you have a specified need for funding. The Grants Department can help you connect the dots to other programs, partners and resources you may not know about.
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