Last month, I talked to you about the first of two potential collaboration options for local government: fiscal sponsorship.This month, we’re going to look at the project planning and implementation collaboration process. If you’re a local government, these two articles will provide you with some additional options for finding and qualifying for grant funding opportunities that are limited to IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
Project Planning and Implementation Collaboration Process
Local government project planning should involve holding a planning meeting with all key project internal stakeholders (staff) and external stakeholders (community partners that you want to include in your implementation process). Together you will come up with a statement of work that answers the following questions:
- Flesh out the purpose. What is the project in need of funding?
- Brainstorm potential funders. Who are the most likely potential funders for this type of project?
- Discuss eligible grant applicant options. In the event that a local unit of government cannot apply for upcoming funding that may fit this project’s needs, who among the external stakeholders can commit to applying for any potential funding and partnering with us to implement this project, when funded? Is the most eligible grant applicant/stakeholder in the initial project planning meeting? If not, what is the plan to contact the relevant agency or organization and start discussions on a collaborative grant application process?
- Discuss formal alternate fiscal agent agreements. What paperwork do we need in place to formalize any alternate grant applicant arrangements?
- Identify the unmet need or problem in need of solving. What need will the project fulfill, when funded?
- Identify the end beneficiaries of the implemented project. Who are the direct recipients of the proposed project?
- Plot the project’s outcomes. What are the goals (outcomes) of the project?
- Engage stakeholder in discussing the potential impact of a funded and implemented project. What, in measurable terms, will be the impact on the target audience?
- Get all internal and external stakeholders engaged in key activities plotting. What are the project implementation steps from start to finish?
- Start crunching the numbers. What is the cost for each implementation step?
- Map out your timeline. When can this project be started, if funded, based on the priorities in your long-range strategic plan or other relevant project-related plans? How long will it take to complete this project?
- Discuss how the project will be implemented and what stakeholders will be responsible. What internal staff and external stakeholders will be needed to implement this project?
- Determine the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the implemented project. What is the qualitative and quantitative data for this project, once implemented, and how will we collect it?
High Level Action Steps
- Explain the project plan to key stakeholders and discuss its key components.
- Define roles and responsibilities to create stakeholder buy-ins.
- Develop your statement of work also referred to as a scope statement.
- Make sure everyone has a final proofread copy of the approved statement of work.
- Start looking for potential funding opportunities to bring this project from a static (on paper-only) status to an active (funded) project with all parties on board for the implementation process.
Here are some examples of the project planning development process:
- American Society for Quality
- CIO (note that this is an international article from Australia with grant action steps for project planning)