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  Every grant proposal requires some type of budget. Unfortunately, some of us tend to put off this component for as long as we can. However, it should really be the starting point. When we write a proposal, it should be for the purpose of filling a gap in our budget, not just to get money for money’s sake. In a previous blog, Julie Alsup introduced the idea of braided funding. Here, let's walk you through the nuts and bolt of implementing this useful concept.

Institute of Museum and Library Services – Museums for America Attention museum folks! If your program is seeking funding to strengthen your museum’s capacity to serve the public, you might be interested in this opportunity. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently opened applications for the Museums for America program grants to support lifelong learning, increase public access, and improve capacity.

Braided funding, supplanting, and leveraged funds are important concepts to understand for the purposes of effective grant planning (pre-award) and for successful grant management (post-award). Put simply, braided funding refers to the concept of using multiple funding streams to support the expenses of an organization, program, or project. Having more than one funding stream helps to minimize risk should one funding stream dry up. In addition, having one or more confirmed revenue source helps build confidence among other potential funders.

Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children and Families – Early Head Start Expansions and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership Grant Attention folks already operating Head Start services (or capable of doing so)! If your program is seeking funding to expand services or create a childcare partnership that addresses your community’s needs, then you might be interested in this opportunity. The U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently opened applications for Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care (CC) Partnership grants. The Head Start and EHS programs provide funding to public and private nonprofit and for-profit entities that offer comprehensive child development services. The emphasis for this grant funding is on supporting economically disadvantaged children and families.

Kansas Department of Commerce – Back to Business Grants Attention Kansas organizations! The Kansas Department of Commerce recently announced multiple funding opportunities related to COVID-19 relief. The Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Task Force has approved over $130 million for economic development and connectivity projects, which will be awarded as grants to qualifying businesses. The application portal will be live Wednesday, August 19 at 12:00pm CST and remain open until funds are expended.

National Endowment for the Humanities – Public Humanities Projects Attention humanities folks! If your program is seeking funding for a project that engages general audiences through in-person humanities programming, you might be interested in this opportunity. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently opened applications for the Public Humanities Program grants to support exhibitions, historic places, and humanities discussions. The NEH seeks projects that explore diverse topics in American history and examine foundational documents, historical objects, places, traditions, events, and individuals who have shaped the United States.

United States Department of Education – Office of Elementary and Secondary Education: Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program: Early-Phase Grants Attention folks in higher education! Is your program seeking funding for researching and developing an innovative educational practice? The United States Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) recently opened applications for Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program for Early-phase grants. The EIR program is a phased structure that links the potential funding amount to the quality of supporting evidence for the proposed project’s efficacy. The expectation here is that projects will build upon their evidence and move through the EIR program phases: Early-phase, Mid-phase, and Expansion. For the purposes of this solicitation discussion, we’ll take a closer look at Early-phase grants.

With summer in full swing, vacation planning is or has been on everyone’s mind, including mine! As I booked reservations for a family road trip with my husband and three kids along with five other families, it got me thinking – this vacation planning is a lot like grants management planning. There are some key strategies used in vacation planning that can and should be used in grants management to answer the dreadful question, “Are we there yet?” with a confident “yes.”   Whether you are a grants professional working with a university managing lots of complex federal grants or a small nonprofit agency managing several foundation grants, there are some simple strategies we all can employ to alleviate bumps in the road.

Grant writers often have to fit lots of content into character, word, or page limits. We always have to worry about keeping a reader’s attention. One way we condense content is by using a series, a list of three or more items separated by commas. One way to confuse readers and lose their attention is to write a series that doesn’t make sense. This blog post will help you avoid that so you can write as clearly and concisely as possible.

When you say you are going to “partner,” what exactly does that mean?  In today’s grant-seeking world, it’s not necessarily enough simply to say you will “partner” with XYZ organization to achieve your objectives. HOW exactly will you partner? Agreeing to put another organization’s flyers on your front desk is not the same as allocating time and effort for full-time staff to participate in a stakeholder coalition, in order to develop a charter for collaboration that conducts joint fundraising and has a mission extending beyond that of any of the individual agency partners.