View Full Version : I know what I need to do next, I'm just not sure if I can

01-16-16, 09:40 AM
Where do I start?

Two days ago, I walked out of an office from a discussion I didn't think i'd ever have that involved me offering to partner with the organization I work with to found a new organization by applying for a grant at the goal of starting a mental health community CO-OPERATIVE. Which was accepted.

I have not heard of anything like it yet, I came up with it, but maybe it exists, with that name exactly? If it does, send me the link? I need to write a grant by next week.

The reason I was even able to be in that room was because I created a website with a similar based idea which I won't post due to guidelines. (The grants okay because it isn't an advertisement and it is a government based resource)

Whether or not I get it, who knows. Right now I'm heading all of this and so that makes me a one man army. I didn't ask to be in this position and I didn't want to be here, I hardly know how I got here.

Seven months ago I was a segregated intern for this place. Now I feel like I need cuban cigars and aviators.

Realistically though,

I have till the 20th.

If there are any grant writers out there...

Help Me...

01-16-16, 11:41 AM
Can you explain to me exactly what is a mental health community co-op?

01-16-16, 01:40 PM
A co-operative in the ordinary sense would be a situation where members pay a membership fee to join, and thus share the cost among them for something that is too expensive for each of them to pay for individually. And they might hope, for example, for the co-op to also be able to hire someone at a more reasonable rate, in exchange for giving them increased hours of work compared to what they might get by taking only individual clients.

But some communities may have quite different interpretations of how a cooperative is going to work best for them.

01-20-16, 08:24 AM
Oh, goodness! I just found this post today. If you are checking here and would like another set of eyes before you submit today, PM me and I can take a look.

This is exciting and terrifying and if you make the deadline you deserve a ticker tape parade and a medal. I still have grant-related nightmares 4 years out.

If you for some reason don't get it in this round, keep working on it and tweaking it for next cycle. Don't be afraid to contact the contact person and ask questions about format and content. Those people tend to be very nice and willing to answer program-related questions.

Good luck!

01-20-16, 11:59 AM
Good luck!

Since it's last minute, all I'll suggest is to find someone locally who is experienced at writing these grant applications, and nail them to the chair until they help you polish it.

Getting grants is often about 20% based on the thing you're wanting to accomplish, and about 80% how you ask for it. Getting an experienced hand to assist would make a big difference.

Some general tips:

1) All funding is based on outcomes. How will your co-op impact people's lives, and more importantly to the funders, why is money better invested in your project than someone else's (for example, if you can demonstrate a gap of service preventing people from recovering and returning to meaningful work or independence, and you can show that your service meets those needs and lightens the "disease burden" (<- aweful term) then they're more likely to invest in you)

2) Shorter is better. You can include references to additional material, or include the material in appendices, but keep the application itself as short as possible. People need to read a lot of these, and a thick stack of paper can intimidate the reader and cause them to skim and have them miss important points.

3) Maybe give a call to the organization offering the grant and ask what the most important factors are in their decision making. It's often reflected in the nature of the questions, but often it ties back to the organizational values and guidelines.

4) Proofread. Then proofread again. Then have someone else proofread. Then proofread it yourself again. Spelling and grammar unfortunately still matter in this type of thing.

5) Before sending off the application, go to the person who gave you the lead on it and ask for their feedback.

6) This sounds like it's outside your realm of experience, so treat this application as a learning experience, with bonus points if you get the money! Follow up with the organization regardless of the outcome and find out what helped or hurt your application, so you can do better next time!

Good luck, I'll be rooting for you!