Grant Writing

Every federal grant application package is different. Be sure to read through the application you are completing for the instructions you must follow. Although each grant application is different, there are basic parts of a written grant which are similar in each application. Below you will see examples of these most common parts.

There are nine typical parts in a well-written grant proposal. The grant writing example we use below is of a Pollution Prevention/Source Reduction project.



Pollution Prevention/Source Reduction Project


1. Proposal Summary
The proposal summary is at the beginning of the proposal and gives a general outline of the project. It should be brief and concise, usually no longer than two or three paragraphs. It is better not to write the proposal summary first. Write it after you have written the proposal so ou can summarize the important parts of your written application. Your proposal summary is critical to the grant reviewer and may be the difference between your application being read and not being read. If your proposal summary does not impress the reviewer with your objectives and how you will meet them, he may not read the rest of your proposal, no matter how good it is. So be sure your proposal will entice the reviewer to continue reading!

Summary Sheet

A. Environmental Justice Issues Addressed by the Project
Through a cooperative effort involving local businesses and community organizations, the Environmental Justice Project will address the following issues in the Metropolitan Area: Solid waste minimization; potential environmental threats to the affected communities due to historic and current heavy manufacturing; community education involving Pollution Prevention strategies in affected communities; community involvement in the promotion and implementation of Pollution Prevention initiatives by local small businesses in affected communities; providing advanced technical assistance for the implementation of Pollution Prevention practices for small businesses through CERTT; and assisting small businesses, located in the affected communities, with applications to the State Department of Development/State EPA Pollution Prevention

Revolving Loan Fund that is administered by the Economic Development Corporation. Several businesses and organizations, including CERTT, appear as partners in this proposal.

B. How the Pollution Prevention Approach will be utilized to address the Environmental Justice Issues
The selected pollution prevention approach for this project will be to provide Integrated Manufacturing Assessments, coupled with the use of Pollution Prevention Implementation Assistance (through advanced technical assistance) and Educational Outreach, to at least four companies located within Environmental Justice Areas: The assessments will be used as a tool to evaluate each company's processes and identify target areas for Pollution Prevention Opportunities and their subsequent implementation. CERTT staff members, using the approach they developed for solid waste minimization, will conduct integrated Manufacturing Assessments.


2. Introduction of the Organization
Most proposals will require you to describe your organization currently, it's successes in the past and its projected future. It may be a good idea to write about the organization's mission and philosophy, its record of other grants (especially other federal grants, if any) and any success stories of the difference you have made in your community or in your industry. Whatever you write about should be relevant to the goals of the funding agency, so think through your record of grants and success stories for how they relate to the funder. You want the grant reviewer to be impressed with your organization's credibility after reading your introduction.

Introduction of the Organization

The Environmental Justice areas of our Community have many organizations committed to being partners in the Environmental Justice Program. One of the major goals of this project is to increase community involvement and education regarding Pollution Prevention strategies. These organizations include area citizens coalitions, representatives from local area Rotary Clubs, as well as the Hispanic-American Civic and Cultural Organization. These local community groups are committed to actively recruit members from the effected communities, which they are apart of, and to sponsor community forums/ discussion groups dealing specifically with pollution prevention. These community forums/discussion groups will focus on education and involvement in the EVEJP. The local community groups will be provided with curriculum regarding pollution prevention, developed and presented by Environmental Studies staff.

Through the Environmental Justice Program, our Community will be incorporated into the program processes of education, company identification/selection for the Integrated Manufacturing Assessments, and the implementation of Pollution Prevention strategies developed by the Assessments. The local community groups will take an active role in learning about and participating in the Integrated Manufacturing Assessments and subsequent activities required to implement these strategies. The recommendations of the community groups will form an integral part in the decision making process. They will learn and understand the processes and principles of Integrated Manufacturing Assessments that include:

  1. Waste generation, handling and disposal practices;
  2. Process inefficiencies;
  3. Primary waste streams/associated generation points targeted for reduction opportunities;
  4. Review case studies of pollution prevention opportunities in document form developed by CERTT; and
  5. Aid in the process of securing capital improvement funding to implement pollution prevention strategies.

These local groups will be empowered with the education, support and advocacy to ensure that there is fair treatment for all people with regard to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, programs and policies. In doing so, our Community can better serve itself as well as the environment.

The following is a list of the community partners in the Environmental Justice Project:

Local Citizen's Coalitions
Hispanic-American Civic and Cutlural Organization (HACCO)
Area Urban Leagues
United Methodist Center
Various Groups
Economic Development Corporation

Through the community involvement of these partners, this project will provide the Citizens of the Mahoning Valley with an increased understanding of the benefits of Pollution Prevention and ultimately help our Community's problem-solving and decision-making skills with regard to Environmental Justice Issues.


3. Problem Statement (or Needs Assessment)
This is a key element of any proposal. It should be a clear and concise statement of the problem you want to solve with grant funds. Your statement should be well-supported with facts which help to illustrate the problem. The information you provide should be directly related to the problem addressed by the proposal.

Problem Statement
Description of Affected Communities

The Valley is a region that not only is rich in ethnic and racial diversity, but also has a stronghistory of heavy manufacturing. The Valley is located in the northeast corner of the State. The major population centers are in 2 cities, which are located in their respective counties. The Valley was once the home of three (3) major steel manufacturing companies. Since the late 19XX's, these steel manufacturing companies have closed. These closings have meant the end of many subsidiary-manufacturing facilities that were dependent on the steel industry.

The Valley is comprised of 604,120 people. The populations of the first City (91,750) and the second City (50,343) combine to represent 24% of the Valley's total population. Each of these communities are culturally diverse with minority populations of 38% for the first and 21% for the second. Unfortunately, unemployment rates in these cities are high: 15.6% and 9.9%; and those living below the poverty level are 29% and 20%, respectively. Other smaller, affected communities in the Valley include the 4 more cities and 2 villages.

Due to the large-scale loss of jobs in our Community, resulting in part from the departure of the steel industry, the revitalization of the economy and industry in our Valley is a priority. Through the efforts of the Regional Chamber of Commerce, local bodies of government, and cooperative partnerships within the community, this revitalization is becoming a reality.

The Environmental Justice Project hopes not only to continue to revitalize our Community; but to utilize Pollution Prevention/Source Reduction practices to educate the community, implement environmental community initiatives, and provide small businesses with the advanced technical assistance and training necessary to empower them to use such practices. This will be accomplished through a cooperative partnership of the public and private sectors.

The proposed project will couple education and community

initiatives, there by facilitating the fair treatment of environmental issues for all community residents. This could potentially create wage-competitive jobs in close proximity to directly benefit the disadvantaged population. A community initiative is already underway, sponsored by the Brownfields, Inc., in the redevelopment of brownfield sites near low-income housing, which are located around many brownfield sites. The Environmental Justice Project desires not only to educate members of the affected communities about Environmental Justice, but it also strives to involve these communities in the critical decision making process. Small businesses in these affected communities will be provided with technical assistance from the State University's (SU) Center for Engineering Research and Technology Transfer (CERTT) through Integrated Manufacturing Assessments (IMA) to implement strategies of Pollution Prevention. These businesses will also be given information and assistance on capital available in the State Pollution Prevention Loan Program available through the Enchanted-Valley Economic Development Corporation (EVEDC) to implement these strategies.

By providing a complete program of community education and involvement, unique technical assistance, and small business implementation funding, we believe that this will be a result-oriented project that will benefit our entire Community and have national applicability. This demonstration project could be implemented throughout the United States by "transferring" CERTT's experience and expertise to other communities and universities.


4. Project Objectives
The project objectives should clearly describe the goals of the project. Applicants should explain the expected results and benefits of each objective. They should also list the specific criteria of the grant program and how the proposal meets each criterion.

Project Objectives

A. Purpose of the Proposal
The Environmental Justice Project will strive to revitalize our Community; the utilization of Pollution Prevention/Source Reduction practices will help to educate the community, implement environmental community initiatives, and provide small businesses with the advanced technical assistance and training necessary to empower them to use such practices. This will be accomplished through a cooperative partnership of the public and private sectors.

B. Identification of Environmental Issues to be Addressed by the Project
The following issues will be addressed through a cooperative effort involving many businesses and organizations in the Metropolitan area:

  1. Solid Waste minimization;
  2. Potential environmental threats to the affected communities due to historic and current heavy manufacturing;
  3. Community education involving Pollution Prevention strategies in affected communities;
  4. Community involvement in the promotion and implementation of Pollution Prevention initiatives by local small businesses in affected communities;
  5. Providing advanced technical assistance for the implementation of Pollution Prevention practices for small businesses through CERTT; and,
  6. Assisting small businesses, located in the affected communities, with applications to the State Pollution Prevention Loan Program that is administered by the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Included in these partnerships are several businesses and organizations, including the State University (SU) and their Center for Engineering Research and Technology Transfer (CERTT), the County Solid Waste Management Districts, Economic Development Corporation, various civic organizations, and all affected community government offices.


5. Project Methods or Design
The project method outlines the tasks you will accomplish with the available resources. It is helpful to structure the project method as a timeline. Early in the planning process, applicants should list the tasks which will have to be completed in order to meet the goals of the project. These can then be broken into smaller tasks and laid out in a schedule over the grant time period. This will provide a chance to consider what personnel, materials, and other resources will be needed to carry out the tasks.

Project Methods or Design
Identification of Pollution Prevention Approach that will be Utilized in the Project

The selected pollution prevention approach for this project will be to provide Integrated Manufacturing Assessments, coupled with Pollution Prevention Implementation Assistance and Educational Outreach, to at least four companies located within Environmental Justice Areas. The assessments will be used as a tool to evaluate each company's processes and identify target areas for Pollution Prevention Opportunities and their subsequent implementation. Integrated Manufacturing Assessments will be conducted by CERTT staff members using the approach developed by them for solid waste minimization. This approach involves the following activities:

Selection of Companies
Performance of Integrated Manufacturing Assessments
Providing Pollution Prevention Implementation
Conducting Education and Outreach Activities

Selection of Companies
Participating companies will be selected according to the following criteria:

  1. The company is located within an Environmental Justice Area as defined on pages 9 and 10 of the Grant Guidance Document;
  2. The company has been selected through a public input process;
  3. The company must meet the qualifications of a Small Business as defined by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Small Business Size Regulation in 13 CFR, Part 121; and,
  4. The company is a regulated generator of solid waste, hazardous waste, air emissions, and/or wastewater discharges.

Performance of Integrated Manufacturing Assessments

  1. Send Pre-Assessment Questionnaire;
  2. Conduct plant tour;
  3. Document waste generation, handling, and disposal practices;
  4. Identify process inefficiencies; may include production bottlenecks, increased product internal reject locations, excessive material handling, excessive energy costs, outdated equipment and environmental controls
  5. Research of process inefficiencies; reengineering of processes, research Engineering Conservation Measures, research material substitutions
  6. Identify primary waste streams and associated generation points targeted for reduction opportunities; may include solid, hazardous, sir and wastewater discharges
  7. Research reduction, reuse, and recycling opportunities for the primary waste streams; and,
    Present pollution prevention opportunities in the document form developed by CERTT

Providing Pollution Prevention Implementation
The next step will be the selection of opportunities for implementation. Pollution Prevention strategies will be grouped and prioritized by:

  1. Provide opposite technical assistance for opportunities found to require minimal capital investment. Opportunities in this category will be prioritized according to the following criteria: reduction in overall waste generation, ease of implementation, employee involvement requirements, and cost savings possibilities.
  2. Provide assistance in obtaining low interest loans for capital improvement projects from the MVEDC's existing loan program. Projects will be chosen according to: overall reduction in pollution; cost benefit analysis criteria; effect on the surrounding community (specifically, the ability to address community-defined environmental justice concerns); and, effect on employment

Capital improvement projects can make application to the State of Ohio Pollution Prevention Loan Program and to local financial institutions.

Conducting Education and Outreach Activities
Community education and outreach activities will be ongoing during the project. Educational programs for both the public and the manufacturing community will be designed to aggressively promote the awareness and implementation of Pollution Prevention strategies and Environmental Justice issues. An initial educational focus will be the community groups involved in the affected environmental justice areas.

  1. Environmental Justice curriculum and awareness materials will be provided by YSU Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and presented by both the Mahoning and the Trumbull/Geauga County Solid Waste Management Districts, Keep the Mahoning Valley Beautiful Inc. (KMVB), and staff members of the YSU Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies to the following groups: Community groups representing racial, ethnic, and social economic residents; Business and industrial groups; Educators; Students; and Political leaders
  2. Staff Educators presently employed by the Solid Waste Districts, the KMVB Program, and the University will provide outreach programs for Community, Business and Industry groups, and political leaders. Our goal is to inform the people in the target area of opportunities for fair treatment through the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
  3. All teachers in the target area will be given the opportunity to attend Environmental Justice curriculum workshops. The educators will work with the Department of Environmental Ethics at Youngstown State University to select and deliver effective Environmental Justice curriculum to teachers during a series of workshops, thus providing them with the knowledge and curriculum that will enable them to include Environmental Justice issues in their classroom studies (see appendix for letters of support).
  4. Manufacturing Educational Outreach - A series of seminars with a Pollution Prevention focus will be offered free of charge to companies in Environmental Justice designated areas
    Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
    * Cost-Benefit Analysis of Pollution Prevention Options
    * Facility Redesign to Reduce Waste Production
    * Closed Loop Water Reuse Systems
    * Solvent Substitutions and Cleaning Process Upgrades
    * Coating Technology Upgrades for Reduction of Air Emissions
  5. Addition of a Pollution Prevention/Environmental Justice section in the Mahoning Valley Materials Exchange Newsletter (distributed to 2000 companies in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, see appendix)


6. Project Evaluation
Applicants should develop evaluation criteria to evaluate progress towards project goals. It is important to define carefully and exactly how success will be determined. Applicants should ask themselves what they expect to be different once the project is complete.

Project Evaluation
Outline of methods/tools to be used to evaluate project success
Project success will be evaluated by employing several techniques. These will include a measurement of pollution reduction, cost savings analysis, and public perception surveys.

  1. Documentation of Pollution Prevention Activities

    * Summary of Programs Implemented

    Site visits will take place in the first year following the assessment to examine progress. Each project will be rated according to the extent of implementation throughout the plant. Ratings will be based on the type of project as well as how effectively it is being applied. For example, a process upgrade will be rated according to the decreased emissions while a recycling program will be rated according to plant wide use.
     
  2. The following parameters will be monitored to measure the materials and costs saved through this program: Labor and energy costs, Raw material costs, Pollution generation data, Pollution disposal costs.

    These will be calculated using company provided figures for the chosen projects prior to implementation. This will provide a background level from which future comparisons will be made. Estimated potential reductions will be made as a decision making tool for potential projects. Actual values for these parameters will be documented after implementation using company records.

    * Cost Benefit of implemented projects will be performed using the data collected during the assessment and after implementation. Employees of CERTT will perform the evaluation.
     
  3. Public Perception Surveys

    Public perception surveys will be used to measure the community's knowledge of surrounding pollution problems. The surveys will be aimed at discovering what primary concerns are prevalent about personal health and well being as affected by pollution. The results will help to tailor the pollution prevention strategies addressed during the assessments. Surveys will be performed by phone and include the following topics:

    * Is there a problem with pollution in your community?
    * Please rate the importance of the following pollution sources to your personal and family health:
    - Industrial waste
    - Municipal waste
    - Commercial waste
    * Please rate the importance of the following pollution types to your personal and family health:
    - Litter
    - Dirty air
    - Contaminated water
    - Solid waste
    - Hazardous waste
    * Is your personal or family health adversely affected by industrial pollution?
    * What effect do you feel your consumer needs have on producing industrial pollution (none, little, moderate, or great)?
    * How do you feel investment of government money would best address industrial pollution?
    - Enforcement
    - Technical assistance
    - Equipment upgrades
    - None


7. Future Funding
Applicants may be asked to list expected sources of continuing funding after the conclusion of the grant. The applicant may also be required to list other sources and amounts of funding obtained for the project.


8. Project Budget
Expenses should be outlined in detail in the project budget. You should also divide the budget into categories, such as personnel salaries and benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contract costs, etc. Many grant applications request a line item budget. The budget should show how funds will be spent and by whom. The budget should also demonstrate consistency with project activities. Many grant application packages include a budget form the funder will require you to use.

Project Budget
DETAILED BUDGET INFORMATION

I. Contractual

A. SU Center of EngineeringResearch & Technology Transfer $82,000

Integrated Manufacturing Assessments and Advanced Technical assistance for the implementation of Pollution Prevention initiatives to small businesses in affected communities. Also, participation in community outreach activities.

The Enchanted County Solid Waste Management District currently supplies approximately $120,000 per year to CERTT for Solid Waste Assessments and will utilize a portion of this funding as local match to this project. The matching amount is approximately $30,000 as it relates to cost per assessment ($4,500 each) and newsletter production.

B. Area Urban League $3,000
Area Urban League $3,000
Hispanic-American Civic and Cultural Organization $3,000
United Methodist Center $3,000
The Club $3,000
North Side Citizens Coalition $3,000

Total $18,000

Coordination, preparation and hosting of community neighborhood forums in affected areas.

9. Appendix
Key Personnel
.
Attach the resumes of key personnel involved in the project.


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