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Presenter Spotlight: Rena Beyer

Rena Beyer, President of Grant Specialist U.S.A., Inc., returns to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus this fall to present two workshops on Writing Successful Grants.

Beyer has over 20 years of first-hand experience in the grant field, covering every stage and excelling in every role of the grant writing process at both the foundation and government levels. Keep on reading to find out why she is excited for the upcoming workshops!

What are the main learning objectives for the Grant Writing Workshops?

“Participants will develop an understanding of how to write a competitive grant proposal, including how to address the primary components of the Request for Proposal (RFP) as well as the writing style best suited for each type of RFP (foundation, state and federal).

“Participants will also gain an understanding of what the process is once a grant proposal is submitted. 

“Receiving grants is about writing, but it’s also about the process once a grant is submitted. Participants will learn how grant proposals are reviewed and what to keep in mind when writing a proposal. You’re writing for the reviewers initially, which is rarely the actual funder. You have to understand different learning styles and ask yourself what would interest you as a reader.

“Each participant will come away with an understanding of the submission and review process, including how to structure and develop a competitive proposal at either a basic or advanced level. This will elevate the likelihood of receiving funding.” 

The ‘Writing Successful Grant Proposals: Beginner’ session will be held on Sept. 18, 2019. Take us through the top two outcomes the workshop will entail:

Writing For Foundation Grants

“The beginner workshop will focus more on writing for foundations because these are easier to understand and to write compared to government grants. If someone has zero to very little experience in grant writing, they will be able to competently write a foundation proposal. Foundation grants generally range from $500 to $10,000.”

Identifying Potential Funders

“Participants will gain an understanding of determining whether a potential funder would be a good match for their needs.” 

What are five key areas that will be covered in the ‘Writing Successful Grant Proposals: Advanced’ session on Oct. 16, 2019?

Writing for Government Grants

“At the advanced workshop, we will focus more on government grants, which are more comprehensive in nature compared to foundation grants. They will understand the differences in writing style and content.”

Developing A Needs Section

“We will discuss how to write a compelling needs section. The needs section is the foundation for the entire grant proposal. It’s usually not worth the most points, however once a reviewer reads the needs section, they are either poised to fund the proposal or they’re doubtful. Setting up a really strong and compelling needs section with strong supporting data is essential.”

Related to the Needs Section is Finding and Using Data

“It is important not just to state the need, but to provide evidence to establish it. It is also important to provide some perspective to the need data. An effective way to do this is to use comparative data. For example, how do your agency or school’s needs compare to other agencies or schools in the county, the overall state, etc. In addition, a federal grant proposal will require a national level of comparison. We will discuss this as well as some places to find this data.” 

Developing Performance Objectives

“All government grants (and most other grants) require measurable performance measures as part of the grant proposal. We will spend some time developing realistic measurable performance measures. It is important to remember that funded grant proposals are a contract with the funder, therefore it is important when developing performance measures to consider that if the grant is funded, the performance measures will be the way the funder assesses the success of your project and future funding may depend on whether these are successfully met.”

Evaluation Section

“We will also discuss the components of a good evaluation section. The evaluation of the proposal relates to the performance measures. How will these be evaluated to ensure they are being measured and assessed with fidelity. We will also discuss the pros and cons of hiring an independent evaluator.” 

Who can benefit from the Writing Success Grant Proposal Workshops?

“The beginning workshop will benefit all individuals who may be interested in learning to write a grant proposal. Past participants have included employees and volunteers of nonprofits as well as individuals interested in becoming a grant writer. Grant writing is more than answering questions on a form. It is understanding the many components of grant applications and how to best structure the narrative for each component, understanding the review process once the grant is submitted, the factors that are considered by funders in awarding grants, and understanding the accountability involved once the grant is awarded, which is also important to keep in mind before making the decision to apply for a grant.” 

“In summary, being a successful grant writer is more than understanding how to write well. It is understanding how to write well for the occasion because not all grants are alike. It is also understanding learning styles, psychology of the grant reviewers. Furthermore, federal grants are seldom developed by one person. In the advanced workshop we will discuss how to put together and lead effective grant development teams.”

Learn more about the Writing Successful Grant Proposal Workshops at uwosh.edu/go/grant-workshop.

Questions? Please contact UW Oshkosh Continuing Education Program Manager Jason Hubbard at (920) 424-1129 or hubbardj@uwosh.edu.