With library funds diminishing, librarians are coming up with creative ways to supplement budgets. One such way is through procuring grants. Since I have not personally written a grant of this nature, I wanted to do a bit of research as to how go about writing one.
One of the best items I found that serves as an introduction to grant writing was a PowerPoint presentation given at the 2006 ALA annual convention. The presentation by Norlin, Phelps, and Keyser (2006) does an excellent job of providing strategies for writing successful proposals, links to how-to resources such as guides and videos, and lists of available sources. The end of the presentation summarizes a librarian’s grant writing experience. The PowerPoint can be found at http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/sections/ebss/ebsswebsite/
As board member of ARSL (the Association for Rural & Small Libraries), Womack (2012) provides a personal account of grant writing. Her key piece of advice is “write our proposal with the target reader in mind” (para. 9). Womack’s article can be found at http://arsl.info/2012/05/grant-writing-tips-for-beginners/
“Keeping the reader in mind” leads to my final article. McCune (2007) approaches her article from the perspective of the funder. She articulates what reviewers of funding agencies consider when reading grant proposals. McCune posits, “I’ve found that you can raise the chances of getting support for your proposal when you know the internal processes and negotiations that the applications go through” (p. 11). She continues – through the use of marine metaphors – to provide tips that she deems helpful in writing a successful proposal. For example, she warns to be succinct (p. 14) and to tailor the proposal to the funding agency’s mission and priorities (p. 12). She also suggests devising, and then describing, some type of evaluation strategy to determine if the funding made a positive impact (p. 13). I, as a novice grant writer, found it very informative to see the process through the point of view of the funder.
If or when I ever need to prepare a grant proposal for my library, I feel confident in knowing that there are many resources available for me to consult.
In my reading, I found these other sources for grant writing assistance:
The Chronicle of Philanthropy http://www.philanthropy.com
Council on Foundations http://www.cof.org
Foundation Center http://foundationcenter.org
McCune, B. (2007, July/August). 10 tips for getting grants to keep your library afloat. Computers in Libraries, 27(7), 10-14.
Norlin, E., Phelps, T., & Keyser, M. (2006, June 24). Shaking the money tree: Grant writing for librarians [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/sections/ebss/ebsswebsite/
Womack, L. (2012, May 23). Grant writing for beginners [Web log]. Retrieved from http://arsl.info/2012/05/grant-writing-tips-for-beginners/