Grants can be an excellent source of funding for those special projects you have not been able to implement due to budget constraints. If you have a project “in the wings,” consider joining us for a grant writing webinar and applying for one of the two grants we announced last month in Tree Link.

You may be familiar with grant writing, or you may be brand new to the task, but the keys to effective grant proposals include:

Read the Request for Applications, then read it again. This is where you will learn if your project is eligible for funding (or not), the scoring criteria used to assess proposals, proposal due dates and other important information. Know the information you need before starting.

Follow directions. If a text box requests specific information, include the information requested. If asked to provide a bulleted list of deliverables, use a bulleted list, not a narrative.

Stay concise and focused. Convince the reviewers that you know what you’re doing by describing the project in a logical sequence of events, then describe the important outcomes of the project. Make sure that you stay focused on the project, don’t include details unless they help to clarify the point you are trying to make. Short sentences and bullet lists are often more descriptive and easier to read than a long drawn-out narrative.

Tell the same story in the budget and the proposal narrative. Make sure that the requested funding aligns with the work you are doing and is listed in the correct category. Check the Request for Applications packet to make sure what you request is “allowable” for funding. Make sure all the numbers add up!

Get feedback. If you have an opportunity to have someone outside of your program read your application, and it makes sense to them, it will likely make sense to reviewers.

Learn some great tips from DNR grant writers and reviewers. Join us for a grant writing webinar on November 20 at 11:00 – via Skype. You can also join by phone. Call 360-407-3866, conference ID # 9334139.

By Linden J. Lampman, program manager, DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program