EMS Grant Proposal Writing Tips
In this article the folks from emsresource.net offer seven simple steps for better ems grant proposal writing.
- Read grant directions carefully.
As elementary as this may sound it is critical to read the directions and follow them. Consider making a checklist from the directions that you can use as an outline. As you complete each task, check it off the list. People have written grant proposals and forgotten entire sections! If the program guidance (the document from the funder that tells you what they want to see in the proposal) states the order of the grant sections, write the grant accordingly. Do not vary from this because it makes things more difficult for the reviewer. They expect to see certain subjects in a specific order.
- Grant proposals should read as if one person wrote the entire document.
Sometimes more than one person participates in the writing of the document; however, the proposal will read better for the reviewer if someone in the group acts as the editor. This is to assure some continuity in writing styles.
- One person should be responsible for coordinating the proposal planning and development.
This does not have to be the actual proposal writer. Having someone coordinate all the activities ensures that all the steps are accomplished.
- Help the funding agency understand that funding your proposal will benefit many people.
For funders, your request is an investment in accomplishing some social good. They expect their funds to be used in a manner that makes life better for others. As a proposal writer, you need to clearly show that there is social benefit to many, if the proposal is funded. If you are asking for financial support to purchase a piece of equipment, you need to help the funder in understanding how this helps people in your town and the surrounding area. In other words, it is not the ambulance unit that benefits, it is the people who live in the area.
- Try to expand on the number and type of organizations represented in the proposal.
Funders will fund a single organization but you strengthen the proposal by having more than just your single group involved. This shows the grant reviewer that your proposal has the potential of greater community impact because you are reaching out to other civic and/or health organizations. The same argument is used in multiple communities working together on a proposal. If your proposal has two or three organizations from two towns, working together, it will probably score higher than a similar proposal (equally well written) from a single source in a single community.
- Remember yourself.
Know your strengths and weaknesses – you might know the problem and solution best, but if you are uncomfortable with budgeting find someone else in the unit or the community to help with this section. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t place all the burden on one person.
Know your environment – what is the problem and how will you solve it? Remember, EMS is a very complicated subject for lay people to understand. It is likely that the reviewer will not understand EMS issues so take the time to explain even the most elementary EMS fact.
Know your own programs
Remember your audience: The Reviewer
- You must be able to explain who you are, what you do, and your organizational mission. Try to tie this to the funding source’s mission.
- Who does your unit benefit? Show the breadth of benefit.
- What is your unit’s history? How long has your unit been in existence, what are its accomplishments?
- How does your unit fit in the local/area health care system?
- How do you communicate with other groups? How do you get the word out in the community about EMS?
The grant reviewer typically doesn’t know anything about your situation, your community, or even your state. Be prepared to explain basic facts. For example, explain what an automatic defibrillator is and does, explain the impact of weather on access to care (what it is like to respond to a call 15 miles in the country, in January, when it is twenty degrees below zero), explain road conditions, explain an all volunteer unit. It is likely the reviewer will have little or no knowledge of these issues. Use this as an opportunity to explain your situation to them. Help them understand your unique circumstances. You may feel you are like any other ambulance unit operating in North Dakota and everyone should understand these basic facts but don’t take it for granted that the reviewer does understand. Chances are they don’t.
The central goal, in any grant, is to convince the reviewer of the legitimacy of your problem, that you have a viable solution, and that you can execute the solution.
Really what a proposal does is sell your problem and solution to the funder. You need to persuade them.
- Use statistics and facts.
- Show how other groups and/or communities are involved.
- Show that a number of people benefit from your solution.
- Establish that your solution is practical, legitimate, and applicable to others like you.
- Your proposal has specific goals and objectives that can be measured.
- You have the ability to carry it out and meet the goals/objectives.
Article Source: EMSresource.com