Uncertainty remains about when the seventh round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) will be announced. It seems likely that it may come this summer or fall given that the 6th round of DRS has concluded and some programs have learned they will be required to compete for continued funding in the next round.

We’ve received questions recently about what exactly Foundations for Families grant services entail. This is a timely question. Below, we provide examples of the ways we support programs preparing a grant proposal.

Foundations for Families grant services approach is rooted in determining the unique needs of your program and tailoring grant services to meet those needs. In general, our grant services fall into three buckets:

Grant Writing. Our most comprehensive offering for grant services is grant writing. Foundations for Families’ grant writing service provides start to finish support to applicants to plan for, draft, and submit a high-quality, competitive proposal.

Here’s how it works: Upon establishing a relationship, our team and key staff from the applicant agency hold a kick off call to establish a path forward, discuss the agency’s program design, and share tools and resources that will support the process. Upon release of the FOA, we put together a day-by-day work plan that includes weekly meetings, section drafts, reviews, approvals, and all other factors impacting the proposal development process. Early in the process we focus on one or two areas of the FOA at a time. We use tools we’ve developed – aligned with the FOA – to learn about the applicant’s program and help them work through programmatic and fiscal challenges. With guidance from the applicant, we gather all of the information necessary for drafting. Our team drafts each section of the proposal and we share those drafts with the applicant for review and input. Input is provided on the drafts, and, week-by-week, our team continues to build the full proposal. Throughout the process there is attention to the many moving pieces of proposal development – letters of support, agreements, and data gathering to name a few. After each section of the proposal has been discussed, drafted, and reviewed, we prepare a full final draft, with appendix, for the applicant’s review. We advise applicants throughout the process to help ensure the end result is a timely, highly competitive proposal. When possible, we strive to upload proposals for submission at least a few days in advance of the deadline.

Grant Coaching. With grant coaching services, Foundations for Families provides tools and advises throughout the proposal development process to support the applicant. The applicant drafts the proposal.

Here’s how it works: We engage regularly with the applicant – typically with 3-4 phone calls throughout the process – to provide input, answer questions, and help to guide the proposal development process. We equip the grantee with a day-by-day timeline and tools for them to manage the process. As the grantee drafts the proposal, we provide an in-depth review of each narrative section, leveraging tools we’ve developed to provide detailed feedback. Our feedback focuses on content, format, and alignment with FOA evaluation criteria. When applicants have a full draft of the proposal prepared, we review and edit, if desired, the complete draft with an eye toward competitiveness and clarity and ensure that all requirements of the FOA are met.

Quality Assurance Review. Foundations for Families team members provide a detailed review of an applicant’s proposal, providing feedback to strengthen the applicant’s submission.

Here’s how it works: When applicants seek a quality assurance review from Foundations for Families they draft their entire proposal. Our team reviews the proposal – usually twice – to ensure alignment with FOA evaluation criteria and that all FOA requirements are met. We use tools we’ve developed to review and provide feedback to the applicant so that they may further revise their proposal. We also provide a top to bottom formatting and editing review as part of this process.

We hope this helps to answer questions you may have about Foundations for Families grant services! If you have questions, please let us know.

Last month, we talked about the importance of having current, reliable data to inform your DRS proposal. In many cases, the source of this data will be your program’s Community Assessment. We provide standalone community assessment and grant services. We also offer an integrated approach in which a grantee’s Community Assessment is conducted or updated in advance of or simultaneous to the DRS process. Whether community assessment, grant services, or an integrated approach, our team tailors services to meet the need of each program. Contact Amy Augenblick (augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com), Executive Director, to learn more.

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