Library Grant Writing Online
March 18, 2008 – May 12, 2008
Successful grant writing is neither one of the magical arts nor an "insider" job. Grant writing is a set of skills that can be learned, and then improved upon with practice. In these difficult economic times, winning grant awards may be the only way your library can introduce new services and programs. At the same time, competition for grant funding is fiercer than ever. This Infopeople online learning course is designed to help you gain a competitive edge in the grant application process—and has a track record of getting results for those who complete the course. This intensive eight-week course will guide you through the process of writing an actual grant proposal. Students should have in mind a specific project or idea that can be developed into a proposal document.
- Week 1: Overview of Grant Writing, Grant Formats, the Grant Proposal Model, and California LSTA Specifics
- Introduction to funding sources
- General guidelines
- Grant formats
- Grant Proposal Model (from the Grantsmanship Center)
- California LSTA specifics
- Week 2: Building a Solid Foundation
- Identifying the need
- Documenting the need
- Client group involvement
- Importance of partnerships
- Week 3: Building on the Foundation
- Relationship of project to library mission and goals
- Project goals and objectives
- Writing measurable objectives
- How much change is realistic?
- What happens if you don't meet your objectives?
- Week 4: Describing Your Program
- Accomplishing your goals and objectives: your plan of action
- Developing your project timeline
- Personnel requirements
- Week 5: Will Your Program Make a Difference?
- Evaluation models
- Using third-party evaluators
- Outcome measures
- Week 6: Getting to the Bottom Line
- Budget basics
- How to estimate costs
- In-kind and matching fund requirements
- Indirect costs
- Negotiating with the funder
- Week 7: Putting It All Together
- Writing the project summary
- Formatting the final packet
- Writing the cover letter
- Post-submission strategies
- Week 8: Finding a Funder
- Funding sources beyond LSTA - government, foundations, corporations
- Researching funding sources
- Finding a match
- Staying current
Notes from the Instructor:
- You can take this course at several levels of intensity and effort. The original idea for the course was that each student, over the course of the 8 weeks, would write an actual, fully developed grant proposal. As I taught this course in previous years, however, I found that not all students can expend this level of effort, nor is it necessary for everyone. Accordingly, I have identified three levels of effort and you can select whichever level works for you:
- Some students have told me that they get what they need from the course by simply reading the course material and participating in the online discussions and chat sessions. If you don't have a current project and just want to learn about the grant writing process for the future, this may suit you.
- The second level of effort involves doing the assignments that prepare you to write a grant application for your project, but not actually writing the application. I have created new exercises for this session of the course specifically to accommodate this level of effort.
- The most intense level of effort involves actually writing sections of a grant application to correspond with the course material in each week. Thus, in the second week you would write a statement of need, in the third you would develop the goals and objectives for your project, in the fourth you would write a narrative description of your program, etc. You will send the sections to me as you write them, and I will provide you with written feedback. If you already have a clear idea of what you want to do and have identified a possible funding source, you may want to work at this level as it is a good way to structure your work and to get one-on-one coaching. Since the timing of this course overlaps with the California LSTA application process, this level is especially appropriate for those working on LSTA applications.
- Since, as mentioned above, the timing of this course overlaps with the LSTA application process for 2008/09, I will be working on the Infopeople application as I am teaching the course. To give students a first-hand look at what is involved in writing a very complex LSTA grant application, I will blog about the grant development process as I work on the Infopeople grant.
Online Learning Details:
This eight-week course will be taught online using the web. When you register, you will receive a registration confirmation which will include the URL to get to the course, as well as a username and password.
The workshop consists of eight learning modules. You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, you will be expected to log in to the course each week to do that week's assignment. We ask that you log in sometime during the first week of the course to begin the course work.
The materials will remain available to work on for two additional weeks following the official end date, but you will be expected to accomplish the majority of the course in synchronization with your peers during the first eight weeks.
Who Should Take This Course: Anyone interested in learning about what is involved in writing grant proposals for libraries.
This course is taught over the web. You must:
- Have an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.
- Be able to save Microsoft Word .doc or Adobe .pdf files to your computer and print them out. (For .doc files, a free Word Viewer is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.aspx?displaylang=en. Search for "Word Viewer." For .pdf files, a free Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html).
- Be comfortable navigating on the web and navigating back and forward on a website that uses frames.
System Requirements: The online learning product that Infopeople uses is called Angel. The following are minimum system requirements for using Angel. You will need access to a computer that has at least these specifications to participate in an online course:
- Internet Explorer 6.0 and above, Netscape 7.1 and above, or Firefox 1.5 and above
- Mozilla 1.4 and above (which is the same engine as Netscape 7.1), Safari 2.0 and above, or Firefox 1.5 and above
- OS X and above (OS 9 will NOT work with our online learning product)
If you are not comfortable with any of the above, please consider taking this course with a colleague who does meet these requirements.
If space is available you may register for this online class up to seven days after the official start date. Please contact Linda Rodenspiel at email@example.com if you are trying to register after the official start date.
Fee: $100 for those in the California library community and $175 for those out-of-state.
Course Start: This 8-week-long online learning course starts on March 18, 2008.