Dr. Beverly Browning ("Dr. Bev") serves as Vice President of eCivis’ Grants Professional Services (GPS) division—the grant writing, peer reviewing, and training wing of eCivis that includes over 100 grant professionals. (For new visitors to our site, our grant research and management wing is Grants Network.) In this article, Dr. Bev provides us with commonly asked questions that GPS has received from clients and potential customers. Here's what they asked and what we answered:
Our TIGER grant was not funded; it’s from a previous cycle. Is there another way to get our transportation needs funded?
Both the U.S. Department of Transportation and your state DOT often have discretionary funds (unencumbered money). Check with your state’s legislators as well as with your state’s congressional team members to see if these funds are available or will be available in the near future. There is more than one way to find dollars for transportation infrastructure.
While we have a fairly decent grant award rate (5 out of 10 requests are funded), how can [eCivis'] Peer Review improve our scores and winning opportunities?
GPS Peer Review looks at multiple variables as to why your grant applications are not scoring high enough when submitted for funding consideration. With the peer review process, another set of eyes reviews the grant application guidelines along with your response. Finding the weaknesses before you hit submit is critical to increasing your grant wins!
Why is it so hard to win a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant award? Our department has applied 5 years in a row and we’ve been denied.
Articulating your narrative response is critical to winning approval from the AFG grant readers. Your fire services colleagues from around the country volunteer their time to review these massive levels of electronic grant submissions. You can’t just answer the questions like a term paper; your responses must also incorporate the character of your community/region and detail its needs.
I’ve written a lot of grant applications and I don’t remember seeing any requirement to write goals and objectives in my responses. Am I missing something?
Yes, other terms that grantmakers use for "goals" are "aims" or "purpose." There are several terms for objectives, including "measurable outcomes" and "benchmarks." Sometimes the wording is a bit misleading; be ready to respond with the right information!
We are trying to fund capital infrastructure. Will foundations give us a grant to repair a bridge or rebuild a sidewalk or build a fire station?
Well, some foundations will fund units of municipal government for small needs. For example, if you start a building fund for the new fire station, you may be able to secure some foundation or corporate grant awards. However, repairing a bridge or sidewalk is not as readily appealing for private-sector funding. You’ll need to look for public funds for most capital infrastructure projects.
To learn more about Grants Professional Services
See how GPS can help your grants team. Whether you're looking for a peer review to check for red flags in your application, or you seek training or more robust writing assistance, eCivis can assist at any point. Have a question you'd like to ask Dr. Bev and her team? Ask away! And while you're at it, see how eCivis can help you increase your grant funding.