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Thread: Grants and planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Grants and planning

    I'm a planner that's recently taken on a job administering and writing grants for a growing suburban county of a large metro. I've worked on plenty of grants before, but until now it's always been only a part of my larger planning responsibilities. Now that grants are my full time gig, I'm looking for some resources to bring fresh ideas and resources into the county. My predecessors in this position have been rooted in the accounting/bookeeping side of grants - just making sure the money comes in and is accounted for, but not really being proactive about finding new grants or using them in innovative ways. I am confident that with a planning background I can come up with some more creative and effective ways to use grants to achieve the county's goals. So does anyone know of any good planning-community-based resources for grant writers and administrators? Whether it be through an APA division or some other group, I'm sure there must be many resources availalbe to planners regarding grants that have not been tapped into by my predecessors. Thanks for any help you can give me!

    P.S. I'm responsible for grants for ALL parts of county government, e.g. law enforcement, transportation, environment...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    My membership in IEDC provides a weekly update on opportunities from Grantstation. http://www.grantstation.com/ I have seen some interesting programs listed.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    For identifying grants that you could apply to, you could track down your local Community Foundation - they have them all over the country. They maintain databases on grants given within each state and then also within identified areas of giving (arts, housing, community development, etc.) that are updated annually. Some states or regions also have alliances of grant funders that put out information on upcoming grants. Also many funding areas have organized to create clearinghouses of grants with info on what they fund and when the deadlines are. So do some searches by subject area (community garden grants or low income housing grants) and you will find at least some such sites that cull this info. Very useful.

    Writing and administering grants is a separate arena (and is work sometimes done by someone different than the grant writer). There are various private entities that provide training on preparing strong applications and you'll have to just search online to identify opportunities in your area. Additionally, many state and federal grants require that you attend a training that prepares you for submitting their application. So, you'll need to keep an eye out for that as well. This training can be critical for some of these applications. I deal with the state Mortgage Finance Authority, for example, that funds through grants and low income housing tax credit programs. The last application we submitted to them for a low income multi-family project consisted of two binders, each about 6 inches thick. It was a beast!

    Good luck
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Anyone ever been to one of the grant writing workshops put on by Zocklein & Associates? I'm always getting their faxes announcing their workshops, but $350 for a 2-day workshop on grant writing seems steep.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Grant Resources

    Do you know about the Foundation Center?

    They have bricks and mortar locations around the country, as well as extensive online resources. Fantastic databases, grant-writing workshops, all kinds of resources worth exploring.

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