With the ninth round of DRS grant competitions expected this fall, many programs are beginning to think about how they will complete their grant proposal. Some programs have a team or staff member who develops proposals; other programs might contract with a grant writer.

What if your program falls somewhere in between – without an internal grant writer, and unable to procure services of a consultant grant writer? You might consider ways to build your program’s organizational capacity to respond to grant applications. One strategy to achieve this is through grant coaching.

Grant coaching is an investment in growing a program’s ability to manage the grant writing and application process from start to finish. It is part of Foundations for Families’ Grant Writing Solutions. Grant coaching leverages a program’s internal expertise and interest in learning how to effectively and efficiently write grant applications.

Here’s how it works: unlike grant writing, where a consultant writes the grant proposal, the program drafts its own proposal as part of grant coaching. Foundations for Families provides the tools and materials that will be needed, and our experienced team members coach program staff through the process (e.g., managing the timeline, where to focus, who to involve).

Grant coaching also involves a critical feedback loop. As a program completes each narrative section of its proposal, Foundations for Families team members provide an in-depth review. We provide feedback on content, format, competitiveness, and alignment with grant requirements and evaluation criteria. The goal is to help a program refine its narrative to ensure it is compliant and compelling.

One of the measures of our success is that, by the end of the grant coaching process, programs are confident in their ability and equipped with the skills to respond to future grant opportunities. Building organizational capacity through grant coaching is a short-term investment that has long-term benefits extending far beyond the immediacy of DRS.

If your program has the capacity to write its own grant application but needs resources (e.g., timeline, template, process), then Foundations for Families’ grant writing Toolkit might be the right fit. We offer a variety of Grant Writing Solutions for programs in DRS, designed to meet the varied needs of Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Please Contact us to learn more.

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