February 11, 2010

Grant writing for libraries

I attended the first WebJunction online conference yesterday and the day before, watching presentations on using Tech Atlas, Marketing for libraries, and Library Grants 101. I really enjoyed the Library Grants presentation by Stephanie Gerding, and thought I would share some of my notes. My notes are an overview of the most important points I took away (as I suppose notes are meant to be), so to see the grant writing process cycle, success stories, and more tips, see the archived presentation, as well as the blog on grant writing created by Stephanie Gerding.

Important point: Always focus grant writing on the *people* because funding groups are most interested in helping people. Study what *they* are trying to accomplish and write your grant towards that goal.

What makes a good project?
-matches funder's interests and priorities
-demonstrates strong need
-offers something new, innovative, or creative
-offers a model that can be replicated
-has tangible outcomes or products
-has a reasonable budget and timeline
-includes community partners
-has an evaluation plan that measures progress (and statistics)
-causes a change in behavior, attitude, skill, life condition, or knowledge in the ppl. it serves

Sometimes funders like to give $$ to fads (new, innovative, creative)

Good to have an elevator speech / tell everyone you know, because you never know who will whip out a checkbook

Sources & Resources
Categories -- government (federal, state, local) and private (foundations, corporations/businesses, clubs/organizations, professional/trade associations)

Creating & Submitting Proposal
Show how people will be affected (positively) through getting this funding

Other tips
Always follow directions!
Tell a story in proposal, appeal to emotions
Focus on *positives* and solutions

To see more about what other people had to say about this conference, check the Twitter hashtag #wjconf