A few years ago, Sharon Vardatira, our fund development specialist, wrote a regular feature in our newsletter called ‘What’s Wrong with This Grant?’ In it, she examined actual grant excerpts to find common errors. Readers loved this column, probably because it gave them a peek behind the grant-writing curtain, letting them see where others had gone awry. We’re rerunning a few of our favorite ‘What’s Wrong with This Grant?’ columns here, hoping that you’ll find them helpful as you await that next big RFP.
“We start with an excerpt from a grant that was submitted to SAMHSA by a New England youth services program; identifying characteristics have been changed to protect the innocent (well-intentioned) grant writer! This portion was written in response to the section of the RFP entitled ‘Project Plan.’ See if you can find the three biggest problems with how this is written.”
Our project will coordinate a wide range of prevention interventions intended to build resiliency, increase protective factors, and provide our community’s youth with alternatives to the ubiquitous risks with which they are regularly confronted… Designed by a collaborative of experienced providers of youth prevention programs, the project will create a literal and figurative space in Everytown where minority youth can access a broad range of effective substance abuse and HIV prevention programming. These services will include activities that foster positive youth development, youth leadership training, prevention-focused peer education, curriculum-based programs, and expanded access to health care services. . . . Our youth development model provides the framework for and infuses all programmatic elements of the project. The design of this multi-faceted, multiform, well-integrated program requires that our agencies develop a collective infrastructure. Our intention is to create and maintain a continuous flow of information, referrals, and individuals among our organizations and these program components.
~ Excerpt from a proposal to SAMHSA
Think you’ve identified the problems?