Chapter 21 Special Topics
The provision of quality services for crime victims requires a strong funding base. During the past decade, strong fund-raising skills have become essential job requirements for many victim advocates. This chapter examines sources of potential funding from the public and private sectors and offers guidelines for a variety of fund-raising strategies.
Upon completion of this section, students will understand the following concepts:
Since the emergence of the first crime victim service programs in the early 1970s, adequate, stable funding has been a persistent challenge. The allocation of LEAA funding for prosecutor-based victim/witness programs in 1974 provided an initial foundation for broad-based governmental support. In the last two decades, support for victim services has grown to include a wide range of public (community, state, and federal governmental levels) and private sector sources.
This pattern of multiple funding sources for crime victim services continues today. It reflects the growing demand for victim services and the fact that no single source can meet the demand for the vast array of services that millions of crime victims need today.
There are a variety of designated and discretionary grant programs for federal, state, and local initiatives offered through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the U.S. Department of Justice. While the key funding streams relevant to victim assistance are described below, some victim service agencies receive grant dollars from other OJP appropriations, often in partnership with allied justice agencies.
Each year, OJP publishes a comprehensive summary of its appropriations relevant to public safety, criminal and juvenile justice, crime prevention, and victim assistance. The OJP FISCAL YEAR AT-A-GLANCE publication is available through the Department of Justice Response Center (8004216770). Information is also available from OJP's homepage at <www.ojp.usdoj.gov>.
VICTIMS OF CRIME ACT FUNDING
The creation of the Crime Victims Fund, authorized by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) in 1984, has greatly increased the amount of federal funding available for crime victim programs. Since FY 1985, VOCA funding has increased from $68 million to $324 million collected in FY 1998 for FY 1999 programs. Growth in the fund has enabled OVC to award more than a billion dollars in grants to benefit crime victims through assistance, compensation, and training. VOCA funds have been used to support a growing number of victim assistance programs. It is estimated that approximately 2,000 community-based programs served crime victims in 1986, and more that 9,000 programs serve victims of crime in 1999. VOCA provides funding for approximately 3,000 victim assistance programs serving more than two million crime victims each year; state victim compensation programs serving an additional 200,000 victims; and training and technical assistance on crime victim issues to thousands of professionals nationwide, including federal criminal justice personnel and tribal organizations.
Information that VOCA-funded programs provide to the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) suggests that the vast majority of federally supported crime victim assistance programs obtain funding from a variety of sources and utilize volunteers to augment the efforts of staff. The average amount of a program's VOCA grant award is less than $20,000, representing only a small portion of the average program budget.
In addition to VOCA funding, several other programs have been created by federal legislation to address a variety of victim issues. In 1986, the Family Violence Prevention and Treatment Act created funding for shelters for battered women and law enforcement training on the issue of domestic violence. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act has provided funding for child abuse programs and the Children's Justice Act of 1986 has supported systemic changes in the handling of child abuse cases in the criminal justice system. The Department of Health and Human Services administers these acts, with a portion of the CJA funds transferred to OVC to assist Native American child victims.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT
The Violence Against Women Act, enacted as Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (VAWA), provides for improved prevention and prosecution of violent crimes against women and children. In addition, the Act creates new legal remedies for certain victims of violent crimes motivated by gender, and significantly increases the amount of federal funding available to support service programs. The following highlights an overview of funding opportunities available from the Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO), as described by the VAWA Web page:
The Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO) in the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is dedicated to enhancing victim safety and ensuring offender accountability by supporting policies, protocols, and projects that call for zero tolerance of all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. VAWGO administers one formula and four discretionary grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
VAWGO is committed to working in partnership with state, local, and tribal government officials, as well as non-profit organizations, to encourage the development and support of innovative, effective programs for preventing, identifying, and stopping violence against women and ensuring their safety. VAWA envisions comprehensive community efforts to create and adopt locally responsive approaches that encourage collaboration among all segments, including victim service providers, victims' advocates, criminal justice authorities, health care providers, and community organizations representing educators, businesses, members of the clergy, and others involved in the fight to end violence against women. Communities are encouraged to leverage the coercive power of the criminal justice system to enhance women's safety and manage offenders' behavior. VAWGO is dedicated to ensuring that this vision is carried out as quickly and effectively as possible.
Grant programs administered by VAWGO include:
EDWARD BYRNE MEMORIAL STATE AND LOCAL
LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Bureau of Justice Assistance Discretionary Grant Program was authorized by the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. The Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program makes direct discretionary grant awards to states, units of local government, and private non-profit groups for the support of state and local criminal justice system initiatives. The FY 1999 Byrne appropriation is $47 million.
At the national level, Byrne monies support a number of initiatives that incorporate victims' rights and needs, including the National Crime Prevention Council, National Judicial College, and Chicago's Family Violence Intervention Program. While states have discretion about how Byrne dollars are spent, a number of states have utilized this federal funding source to support programs and services such as victim/offender mediation and automated victim notification.
FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SERVICES ACT (FVPSA)
The purpose of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act is to (1) help states increase public awareness about and prevent family violence and to provide immediate shelter and related assistance for victims of family violence and their dependents; and (2) provide for technical assistance and training relating to family violence programs to states, local public agencies (including law enforcement agencies, courts, legal, social service, and health care professionals), nonprofit/private organizations, and persons seeking such assistance.
For more information on the FVPSA program, please contact Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families at 2024015529 (OVC 1999, 3).
THE PREVENTIVE HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES BLOCK GRANT (PHHSBG)
In federal fiscal year 1997, Congress appropriated $35,000,000 for rape prevention and services. Congress mandated that at least 25 percent of the PHHSBG grant funds be devoted to education programs for middle school, junior high school, and high school students. The remainder of the funds must be used by States to support direct services such as rape crisis centers that offer hotline support and victim counseling. In addition, these grants can be used to increase public awareness through training programs for professionals, including police officers and investigators; the preparation of informational materials; and other public education efforts organized by state sexual assault coalitions and other victim advocates.
For more information about the PHHSBG program, contact The Family and Intimate Violence Prevention Team, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injuries Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 770488-4410 (Ibid., 4).
CHILDREN'S JUSTICE ACT
The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) authorized grants to States for the purpose of developing, establishing, and operating programs, referred to as Children's Justice Act Grants, designed to improve (1) the handling of child abuse cases, particularly cases of child sexual abuse, in a manner which limits additional trauma to the child victim; and (2) the investigation and prosecution of cases of child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse.
For more information on the Children's Justice Act Grant Program, please contact the Office for Victims of Crime at 202307-5983 (Ibid., 6).
CHILDREN'S JUSTICE ACT TRIBAL GRANT PROGRAM
Since 1989, the Federal Crime Victims Division of OVC has provided funding through the Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities (CJA). These funds are used to assist American Indian tribes in developing, establishing, and operating programs to improve the investigation, prosecution, and handling of child abuse cases, particularly cases of child sexual abuse, in a manner that limits additional trauma to the child victim.
For more information on the CJA Tribal Grant Program, please contact the Office for Victims of Crime at 202307-5983 (Ibid.).
The Fundamental Concepts of Fund-Raising
As victim service providers seek to broaden their funding bases, it is important to understand some general theories about fund-raising. Essentially, there are ten fundamental concepts of fund-raising for victim assistance organizations:
1. "Fund-raising is not an island." Every program within a victim assistance organization has a direct relationship to fund-raising. Victim services, marketing and public relations, community outreach, education, and administration should all have a key role in fund-raising initiatives. Funding sources are more prone to support agencies that can prove their activities are integrated while, at the same time, diverse.
2. All staff should be involved in fund-raising activities. A "team approach" to fund-raising can strengthen both the scope and success of fund-raising initiatives, from special events to grant writing. It is crucial to determine what special skills each staff member brings to the fund-raising table. For example, an administrative assistant can help format proposals and make calls soliciting letters of support. Victim advocates are in the best position to accurately describe the programs and services that need support. Public relations personnel can help with theme development and writing. Administrators ensure that fund-raising deadlines are met and that funded projects remain on track.
3. If you don't ask, you won't receive. For many victim advocates, fund-raising is the least desirable duty in their job descriptions. In the competitive world of giving, it is crucial that victim service providers develop basic skills in soliciting funds and in-kind support. The greater one's comfort and confidence level is with an agency's programs and services, the easier it becomes to solicit support for such activities.
4. Solicitation for financial support should be viewed as a "partnership." Funding sources essentially make investments in the organizations to which they give financial support. They should not be viewed as simply "a financial resource," but rather as a partner in a process that builds upon positive programs for the future. In essence, funding sources "hire" victim assistance organizations to get a specific job done with their financial support. By positioning a proposal as a partnership, victim service agencies can improve their success rate in soliciting funds.
5. Personal relationships play a key role in fund-raising efforts. The adage "it's who you know" is often applicable to fund-raising activities. Successful fund-raising initiatives often result from strong personal and/or professional relationships between individuals at the funding source and at the victim service organization. While the success of fund-raising activities is highly dependent upon the organization's ability to comply with funding requirements and provide expected deliverables in a timely manner, such activities often begin with a personal relationship of mutual respect and trust.
6. The visibility of an organization is one of its best assets. Funding sources are more likely to support programs and services with which they are familiar. Victim assistance programs with a reputation for performing valuable services that are highly visible in a community increase their likelihood of receiving financial support within that jurisdiction. The linkages between fund-raising, public relations, and community outreach are critical to success. Equally important is an organization's ability to clearly articulate its mission, vision, goals, and programs.
7. It takes time and persistence to succeed in fund-raising. If fund-raising efforts operate on a project-to-project basis, they are likely to fail. They must be institutionalized into an organization's ongoing operations, with a recognition that success does not occur overnight.
8. Constant evaluation of fund-raising activities is critical to success. An organization's past fund-raising experience is an important foundation to help plan for the future. Each fund-raising initiative must be examined as to what contributed to its success or failure. Feedback from funding sources that either supported or declined to support funding requests can help determine strengths and gaps in fund-raising initiatives. Agencies that build upon their fund-raising successes are more likely to continue such successes in the future.
9. Fund-raising is a program and a process. Just as the delivery of victim services is viewed and operated in a programmatic manner, so should fund-raising be considered a program and a process that is integral to an organization's success. Databases can be developed to incorporate standardized pieces of grants and to maintain records of past and potential donors. Job descriptions can clarify the duties of professionals and volunteers specific to fund-raising. Training for new staff about how to raise money, as well as continuing education within an agency's training programs, should be provided.
10. Fund-raising can be fun. When fund-raising activities are viewed as an organizational asset, rather than a frustrating challenge, the end result can be efforts that are rewarding and even fun. The capabilities an organization gains by raising funds and in-kind support (including improved services, higher public visibility, more volunteers, and greater employee satisfaction) contribute to the institutionalization of fund-raising initiatives as a core component of victim services.
Challenges to Successful Resource Development
In the victim services discipline, there are ten significant challenges to fund-raising that require consideration from victim advocates whose job responsibilities include resource development:
1. Lack of a development plan integrated within a strategic plan. Victim service organizations benefit from long-range, strategic thinking about their resource needs and how to meet them. A development plan establishes funding goals to meet an agency's most important needs, activities to meet these goals, and personnel and volunteer needs to assist with fund-raising activities.
2. Lack of knowledge of potential funding sources. While there are myriad government and public sector funding sources that support victim-related initiatives, they seldom provide funding without being asked, or without a designated solicitation process. The Internet holds tremendous promise for identifying sources of potential grant dollars; funding sources that are not typically "mainstream" for victim services can also be explored. For example, grant making agencies that provide funding for minority outreach, alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and intervention, and crime prevention have relevant application to the field of victim assistance. Victim service providers must be aware of these and other opportunities to identify and proactively solicit funding support.
3. Fear of seeking financial support for victim assistance programs. Asking for money is the most important, yet most difficult, aspect of fund-raising. Whether one conducts face-to-face appeals for funding, writes grants, or sponsors special events, it is often a challenge to request financial support. Yet the art of asking for money is perhaps the most important skill of a victim advocate whose job responsibilities include fund-raising.
4. Chasing after grant dollars. Just because grant money is available does not necessarily mean it is a match for an organization's skills or capacity. Many victim assistance organizations make the common error of "chasing grant dollars" in an effort to maintain their very existence. This can lead to internal struggles while attempting to provide services or develop new programs or training initiatives for which an agency is ill-suited. Instead, victim service organizations should attempt to match their capabilities with grant requests-for-proposals (RFPs), and pass on RFPs that are not a good match.
5. Seeking project-specific grant funding without financial support to continue the project once funding ceases. A long-range vision for program development, as it relates to financial support, is critical to success. New initiatives that end abruptly when the funding runs out can be detrimental to an organization, and even harmful to victims who come to rely on the program for support.
6. Lack of clarity in funding initiatives and goals. Victim assistance organizations should have a very clear vision of what their fund-raising initiatives hope to achieve. Annual budgets, for example, can include priorities for programs and services based upon available funding, with an understanding that without financial support, certain activities cannot and will not occur. Fund-raising goals can be established that include a baseline (the minimum amount of money that needs to be raised for an organization's basic subsistence) and graduated goals that match priority needs to the amount of money that can be raised to meet them.
7. Lack of proposal writing skills. Proposal writing is becoming more precise, particularly with funding agencies' strict expectations and basic formulas that contribute to continued success. Victim service organizations can maintain databases with basic information, such as annual budget, organizational capabilities, and staffing, that can be easily inserted into proposals. However, good writing skills and a strong presentation style are crucial to grant writing success.
8. Lack of diversity among proposed project staff and volunteers. Victim service providers should "mirror" the populations they serve. Project staff and volunteers should be diverse by gender, culture, and geography. Such diversity can often be augmented through project advisory boards. Similarly, project proposals should incorporate the needs of traditionally underserved victim populations.
9. Failure to meet the requirements of existing programs that are funded by grantors. A strong track record in successful and timely completion of all goals for projects that receive outside funding is one of the greatest assets of a victim service organization's development program. Project deliverables that are late, sloppy, or incomplete can result in a damaged reputation, particularly if an organization receives a significant portion of funding from one source.
10. Lack of follow-on to ensure that a program or project is indeed successful. One of the most consistent gaps in victim-related development initiatives is program evaluation. As more states move toward performance-based evaluation measures, and as the federal government seeks program evaluation as a core component of most of its RFPs, victim service organizations must learn how to measure success, and be capable of doing so in a consistent fashion. Many agencies are beginning to team with academia and graduate students to develop evaluation measures and processes that meet program evaluation requirements.
Some of the greatest strengths of successful fund-raising are also fundamental strengths of basic organizational development. If victim assistance organizations are able to articulate their strengths, they are more likely to receive financial support. These critical elements can be standardized and developed for ready availability in electronic format for quick insertion and editing into fund-raising and grant proposals.
Every victim assistance organization should have a mission statement that offers an overall vision for why any agency exists. The following are key elements of a mission statement:
Development of an agency mission statement should involve key staff, volunteers, and board members (if applicable) in a focused process that attempts to determine these key elements in three to five sentences.
A description of organizational capabilities is helpful to provide a "snapshot" of an agency's strengths, and is often a standard element of grant applications. This overview should address how long the agency has been in existence, its core programs and services, staffing (including use of volunteers), past successful fund-raising endeavors and community support, and the organizational structure (flow chart of staffing and services).
Program descriptions, whether relevant to a specific fund-raising initiative or not, are necessary to provide an overall view of an agency and the scope of its services. An organization should link a proposed project for which it is seeking funding to an existing program in order to show a foundation of ongoing programmatic support.
Data on victim services (including the number, types, and personal demographics of victims served and types of services provided and by whom) help frame an organization as a vital resource for victims in need of support and assistance.
Relationships with allied agencies (including criminal and juvenile justice agencies, community-based programs and services, funding sources, civic organizations, and public policy agencies and elected officials) help establish an organization as a "team player" with an impressive network of allied professionals.
Program evaluation data are often the most neglected component of victim service organizations. Funding sources are eager for "proof" that a program is effective and that it accomplishes what it says it can or will do. Evaluative data can include numbers of clientele served; results of victim satisfaction surveys; findings from focus group research about an agency's programs and services; and summaries of services provided that directly link to the enforcement of core victims' rights such as notification, protection, and input/participation in the criminal justice process.
Testimony from satisfied clients is key to showing "the human side" of victim services. While a description of crisis intervention services is adequate, when augmented by a testimonial from a domestic violence victim whose life was dramatically altered in positive ways through victim assistance interventions, the services become essential.
The responsibility of grant writing incorporates much more that simply writing: it requires systematic planning that contributes to a vision that is clear and concise. Many grant writers find it helpful to develop an outline for their grant proposal prior to actually beginning the grant writing process. It is imperative that grant writers be flexible here, though, as funders often impose their own outline.
The following guidelines provide an overview of the grant process.
UNDERSTANDING GRANT REQUIREMENTS
When a request for proposals (RFP) is issued, it is important to receive it in a timely manner. Victim service organizations should make sure that they are on relevant mailing lists--the U.S. Department of Justice, state-level public funding sources, and private foundations and charitable trusts--in order to receive RFPs at the time they are released.
As a preliminary motto, agencies should always check the "eligible applicant" section to see if they can apply for the funds or if there are special requirements (e.g., partnership grants). Also, watch for mandatory "letters of intent" or "bidders conference" requirements. Often government and private grants provide guidelines about award specifications (dollar amounts and time frames) and other restrictions. These requirements should be reviewed prior to beginning the grant process. Similarly, if a "grant category checklist" is provided by the grant making agency, it can be a helpful tool to assess the viability of applying for a particular grant.
While grant requirements are usually fairly clear, it is helpful to have several people carefully review and discuss them prior to beginning the actual writing process. It is also helpful to call the contact person listed from the grant making agency to clarify any questions or concerns. The agency's deadline for receiving the grant application, the maximum length (in pages) of the grant proposal, how many copies are required, and the specific format requirements of the grant (length, spacing, point size, and style of the words, etc.) need to be noted before the writing process begins.
"Selection criteria" are also very important. Often, specific sections of grant proposals count for a certain number of points (usually up to 100). In addition, it is helpful to know how the grant decisions will be made. Is there a peer review process; do agency staff have any input; is it a combination of the two?
DEVELOPING A TEAM APPROACH TO GRANT WRITING
Often different personnel and volunteers within an agency can bring specific skills to the grant writing process. These include technical writing (strong writing skills, good grammar and correct spelling); budget development; program descriptions; knowledge of victim advocacy and victim services; knowledge of program evaluation; and grant administration. Since one person seldom has experience in all of these areas, a team approach to grant writing can be crucial to success.
POSITIONING AN AGENCY
In addition to a clearly articulated mission statement, several other elements lend success to grant writing. An agency's credibility is an important asset--how it is perceived in the community and the value that the community places on the services that are provided. An agency's experience with past grant management and implementation is also important. Many grantors request references from entities that have funded prior projects or initiatives sponsored by a victim service organization.
Funding sources view cost effectiveness as one of the most important criteria for supporting projects. While it is important to promise only what an agency can deliver, it is also helpful to provide background information that assures the funding source that it is getting "the most bang for its buck." Therefore, determine what needs can be met for the amount of funds that are sought. Indicate in-kind support and use of volunteers as two factors that contribute to cost-effectiveness.
Perhaps most important is determining what makes an agency that is seeking funding unique. The competitive nature of fund-raising requires organizations to show that they are distinct and special. For example, the provision of services to traditionally underserved victim populations (including victims with disabilities, non-English speaking victims, and victims in either rural-remote or highly urban areas) fills a "niche" that makes a proposal stand out. Use of technology to streamline agency processes or service delivery adds to an organization's uniqueness.
For competitive grants, it is helpful to identify "who the competition might be," in order to position an organization's strengths and unique aspects that might differ from other organizations applying for the same funding.
GATHERING BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Regardless of the type of grant that is being sought, there are three areas of background information that are likely to be relevant:
CORE COMPONENTS OF A GRANT PROPOSAL
While RFPs differ in their specific requirements, there are generally sixteen core components of a grant proposal:
1. Cover page.
2. Cover letter.
3. Any paperwork required by the RFP.
4. Table of contents.
5. Executive summary.
6. Background and/or statement of need.
7. Project description (goals and objectives).
8. Time-task-deliverable-responsibility plan.
10. Project management and staffing.
11. Organization chart.
12. Organizational capabilities.
15. Budget narrative.
The following descriptions of the core components do not supplant specific grant requirements issues in RFPs; rather, they are intended as general guidelines for consideration in grant writing.
Cover page. The cover page should include the title of the project; agency to which the proposal is being submitted; the agency that is submitting the proposal; and the date of the proposal (usually the "due date" specified in the RFP). Current software capabilities augment an agency's ability to format the cover page in an attractive manner, i.e., in a box or with double lines at the top and bottom of the cover page.
Cover letter. The cover letter should be addressed to the director of the grant making agency, unless otherwise specified in the RFP, and signed by the Executive Director, President of the Board of Directors, or top administrator (such as prosecutor or judge) of the agency seeking funds. Sample language for a cover letter can include the following:
I am pleased to submit the enclosed proposal for (project title) to the (grant making agency). Our agency believes we have the vision, capability, and commitment to complete the requirements of this project in full accordance with your request-for-proposal. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to (grant making agency) with this proposal.
If you have any questions or require any clarification of this proposal, you can reach me at (include telephone number, fax number, and e-mail).
Thank you very much for your consideration of this proposal.
Paperwork required by the Request-for-Proposal. The traditional paperwork required by RFPs includes the application form; assurances of compliance with government statutes; and certifications (for example, lobbying and drug-free workplaces). Often, budget detail worksheets and a "memorandum of understanding" between the grant making agency and potential grant recipient are also required.
Table of contents. If required, the table of contents should include all major titles and sub-titles related to the complete components of a proposal, and should be completed last. Most software programs make it quite simple to automatically generate a table of contents. However, it is important to double-check and make sure the page numbers in the table of contents match the page numbers of the text.
Executive summary. Many grant reviewers consider the executive summary to be the most important part of a proposal because it offers a concise overview of what the proposed project is all about. Grant writers should ask: "Would I want to fund this proposal based solely on the executive summary?" If the answer is "no," the executive summary requires more work.
The executive summary should clarify the problem(s) and need(s) that the proposal addresses; describe the proposed solution; summarize the funding requirements (how much money is being solicited); and provide a brief overview of the grant seeking organization and its expertise. A common error grant writers often make is writing the executive summary first, when it should be written last (once the full proposal has been carefully crafted).
Most RFPs place a word or page limit on the executive summary (such as one page or 300 words). It is essential that this, and any other technical requirement, be complied with or the proposal may be rejected.
Background and/or statement of need. This section should justify the very reason(s) a project is needed and should offer hope that positive change can occur through the implementation of the proposed project. Often, an RFP includes a summary of need; in such cases, it is a good idea to "mirror"the language included in the RFP, and expand upon the RFP's stated need with information that shows knowledge of the subject, as well as the uniqueness of the grant writing agency's qualifications in meeting the need.
The background and statement of need section can include a historical overview, statistics, case studies, research outcomes, quotations from notable professionals in the field, and summaries of relevant public policy initiatives. In the field of victim services, it can be helpful to utilize "the power of the personal story" by highlighting a single victim, relating the proposed project to how it would make (or could have made) a positive difference in the victim's life.
Other considerations for this important section include whether the project is being offered as a model or demonstration; whether the needs that the project will address are chronic or acute (or both); how or if traditionally underserved victim populations will benefit from the project; and any multi-disciplinary collaboration that can augment the proposed solution. Perhaps most important, the background and statement of need should demonstrate that the potential grantee's proposed program and solution address the need differently and/or better than other projects that preceded it.
Project description. The project description includes goals and objectives that define how the project will be implemented. Often, project goals are included in the RFP and should be incorporated verbatim in the grant proposal. List a project's goals, and then draft the proposed objectives in outline form prior to filling in the substantive text.
In general, a project goal identifies the following:
Project goals should be precise and concise (limited to one or two sentences each). It is important to ensure that each goal can be accomplished by the objectives of the project.
Project objectives define the methods that will be utilized to accomplish the goals of the proposed project. It is helpful to view objectives as measurable outputs. As such, outputs must be tangible, specific, concrete, capable of assessment, and achievable within a specific time period.
The format of goals and objectives can make a significant difference in their clarity. An example of standard format for grant writers is as follows:
Objective 1. Conduct a literature review of resources relevant to substance abuse among victims resulting from the trauma of victimization.
1.1 Submit a literature review request to the National Institute of Justice Editors' Advisory Group for inclusion in its monthly resource package (which is mailed to over 160 national criminal and juvenile justice and victim assistance organizations).
1.2 Post the literature review request on the (agency's) Web site.
1.3 Conduct a literature review on the Internet, utilizing key phrases such as "victims and substance abuse," "alcohol and other drugs," etc.
1.4 Conduct an internal literature review of (agency's) extensive library (which includes over (#) documents related to victimology and other topics).
1.5 Conduct an external literature review of all federal agencies that deal with crime victims, substance abuse, criminal justice, and juvenile justice, utilizing both their Web sites and in-house libraries for research.
This example offers the basic framework for grant goals and objectives. In reality, each objective would describe in detail how it will be accomplished and ensure that its completion/success can be measured.
Time-task-deliverable-responsibility plan. This plan should be incorporated into a chart, and ultimately offers an "at-a-glance" summary of project staffing, deadlines, and deliverables (directly related to each objective). Utilizing the example cited above for goals and objectives, the time-task-deliverable-responsibility plan would look something like this:
|Obj. #||Deliverable||Due Date||Staff Responsible|
|1.1||Literature review request to NIJ.||Month One||Smith|
|1.2||Literature review posted on agency web site.||Month One||Alvarez|
|1.3||Literature review through the Internet.||Months One - Three||Alvarez|
|1.4||Internal literature review of agency library||Months One - Three||Project Team|
|1.5||External literature review of relevant federal agencies||Months One - Three||Smith|
Once the grant is awarded, this one-page chart also serves as a schedule or "master plan" for major grant activities.
Products/deliverables. Products and deliverables are derived primarily from the grant objectives. Once the objectives are developed, it is easy to review them and cull deliverables. Each product or deliverable can be "bulleted" in a simple format.
Project management and staffing. This section describes exactly who on the project team is responsible for specific project activities, i.e., objectives and sub-objectives, products and deliverables. Project staffing should include all professionals and volunteers, and any professionals utilized in an advisory capacity.
For example, many proposals include the use of a "Project Advisory Board." These are volunteer positions that bring expertise to the grant proposal. Advisory Board members are chosen for their specific knowledge or skills (such as research, writing, or program evaluation), and should be diverse by gender, culture, and geography. Advisory Board members are also utilized to review (and revise, as needed) project deliverables prior to submission to the grant making agency.
All project team members should be identified by their names, titles within the agency, and role within the grant (such as Project Manager or Curriculum Developer). The project management description should do the following:
Complete vita for all project team members should be included in an appendix to the proposal.
Organizational chart. The organizational chart offers a visual depiction of project team members and titles that indicate their responsibilities and who reports to whom.
Organizational capabilities. Every victim assistance organization that regularly seeks grant money should maintain and update a summary of its organizational capabilities. It is a good idea to review and revise this document at least four times a year.
This section offers a brief history of the organization, its accomplishments, and capabilities such as the components that follow:
This section can also highlight past accomplishments that resulted from prior grant funding and show a "track record" in successful grant management and completion.
Evaluation. A key to a successful grant proposal is often the proposed evaluation methodology. Evaluation measures the product and analyzes the process that is proposed in the grant application. It describes exactly how the applicant intends to measure outcomes that directly relate to the proposed goals and objectives, including instruments, criteria, and data collection. This section should stipulate which personnel are involved with evaluation and the expected outcomes that will result from the project. In addition, evaluation methodology should provide a description of how the project's activities can be modified if the evaluation process determines that the original proposed process is not adequate.
The following are four examples of evaluation methodology:
1. Data collection and analysis with a summary report of findings.
2. Victim or user satisfaction surveys, with a cumulative survey report.
3. Findings resulting from focus groups.
4. The number of--
Budget. Most RFPs provide detailed descriptions of major budget categories. Generally, these categories include such administrative and program costs as follows:
It is also helpful to indicate any in-kind support to the project in the budget. This can be accomplished by having separate columns for "costs/expenses" and "in-kind contributions."
Budget narrative. Once a proposal's budget is complete, each separate item must be described in terms that precisely follow the budget figures and briefly describes each expenditure for the budget, for example:
There will be three round-trip airfares from Washington, D.C. to regional training sites for two Project team members to conduct a site assessment and provide training, technical assistance, and follow-on with a site evaluation 180 days after the training takes place. Each round-trip air fare is estimated to be $600.00 (with cost estimates provided by Action Travel on April 5, 1999).
The budget narrative should offer specific breakdowns of the numbers proposed for the major budget categories, such as the number of salaried hours at the project team members' hourly rate or the number of training manuals at the estimated cost of producing one manual. In addition, the budget narrative should cite sources from which budget estimates are derived and the date each estimate was received, when possible. Be certain to closely follow any agency imposed ceilings on specific costs (e.g., mileage or per diems).
Appendices. It is important to first determine if appendices or supporting documentation are even allowed in a grant application. If so, appendices might include the following:
PACKAGING THE PROPOSAL
Victim assistance organizations should request information about how a proposal should be presented to the grant making agency. The number of copies required is an important consideration. In addition, it is helpful to send proposals in thin three-ring binders or report folders, depending upon the requirements set forth by the grant making agency.
(This section is abridged from an article by Andrew J. Grant, and Suzy D. Sonenburg, found on the Internet.)
Grant seekers in nonprofit organizations of all sizes, and interests can use the Internet to learn about available grant opportunities. The Web certainly is a robust resource, and we shall concentrate on pointing out some helpful sites in the balance of the article. But grant seekers should not overlook other important features available on the Internet. E-mail listserv lists, and newsgroups are vital sources for networking. Listservs are discussion groups of people with similar interests-corporate and foundation relations, for example. By sending a subscription request to a listserv, a user will be able to write to all members of that list with a single e-mail posting. Each subscriber receives in e-mail all the messages sent to the list. Newsgroups are similar, but instead of receiving the list postings in e-mail, the user needs to access the newsgroup through software for that purpose and browse through the messages.
The first question, of course, is where does one find out how to locate mailing lists (these use e-mail to link large numbers of people who are interested in a topic), newsgroups and URLs? There are several comprehensive lists of resources on the Internet. An excellent place to start is a homepage called "Internet Resources for Nonprofits." This excellent page lists hundreds of other homepages, newsgroups, and listservs directly or indirectly related to grant seeking. Another is "URLs for Grant Seekers." University development and grants offices often provide valuable information with links to foundation, corporate and other information links. A great example is found at Amherst College's development office. Another good source is The Foundation Center homepage.
By consulting just these four homepages, a grant seeker will find references to many more sites. Many of the sites appear in various places. Seeing the sites repeating as one moves among the homepages is a good indication that the search has been comprehensive. That is, the grant seeker will have located most of the useful sites. The beauty of the Web is that a handful of sites often lead to as much information as is available.
By far the greatest volume of information on the Web about grant opportunities will be found on government homepages. Recently, the U.S. Government Printing Office made several of its publications available on-line for free. Full text searches and downloading articles from the Federal Register and Congressional Record can be conducted on the Web. Considering the subscription rate for the paper Federal Register is $575, this service alone could pay for a year's worth of Internet access.
The federal government's bible of funding opportunities, The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), is at gopher://portfolio.stanford.edu:1970/1100334 (even though this is a gopher address, it can be accessed with a Web browser; there's no longer a need to run a separate gopher program). Many federal agencies have their own homepages with information about their programs.
The URLs in this section will enable a grant seeker to find much of the information available as well as information related to specific interests, such as health, education, the arts, social services and almost any other topic of interest. All these sites are free. There are others through which their owners offer grants search services for a subscription fee.
Despite this enormous amount of information, there are still notable absences on the Internet, particularly the foundation world.
WHERE ARE THE FOUNDATIONS?
Despite the fact that they have the resources to make a significant impact on the Internet, private grant makers have been reluctant to get on-line. The results of an informal poll conducted in the summer of 1995 by a publication of the National Council on Foundations appear to support our observations that members of the foundation community have been slower to embrace the opportunities offered by the new technology than have been those who seek their support.
As this is written, fewer than three dozen foundations nationwide have sites on the World Wide Web, although this number is growing from month to month. Those foundations that are there in the forefront tend to be the larger and nationally focused foundations such as MacArthur, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or those with a particular interest in communications technology such as the Benton Foundation and several corporate foundations.
Their Web sites tend to be purely informational and non-interactive. That is, one can gather information that the foundation has placed there about its mission, program, structure, and grantmaking. In some cases there is a response box for limited feedback, but in most instances there is not even an e-mail address to which one might direct further inquiries. In addition, on a cursory review of the existing foundation Web sites, no foundations that indicate a willingness to receive proposals via e-mail were found.
Nevertheless, as slow as the foundation community is to move in new directions, this particular tide is gaining momentum, and new sites are to be found on the Web on a regular basis. What does this mean to grant seekers? Well, for one thing it means being able to research foundations from their offices as opposed to going to a library.
It also, through the use of hypertext links, broadens the context for the grant seeker. For example, a quick check of The Foundation Center's grant maker information page offers the reader not only information about The Foundation Center's services and a glossary of grantmakers, but also hypertext connections (one-click transfers) to information about how to research foundations, a short course in proposal writing, an explanation and copy of a widely accepted common application form, giving trends, and alternative funding resources.
There is also now a unique opportunity to interact with funders in a venue that hasn't yet been layered with protective screens. The survey described earlier in this article yields the interesting information that an equal proportion of grantmakers and grant seekers are currently using e-mail (52% of those surveyed). Consequently, whether or not foundations have set up Web pages, many are already on-line and directly accessible in a way that they are not via telephone or through other connections.
USING SEARCH ENGINES FOR RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
There are a number of commercial Internet search engines that victim advocates can utilize to identify both potential resources for financial support, as well as valuable tips and guidelines for grant writing and fund-raising. Many excellent and relevant Web sites are inter-connected by hyperlinks that make "travel" around the topic of resource development quite simple. Two key phrases that were utilized to research this chapter are "grant writing" and "fund raising."
A popular trend that links volunteer agencies with the private sector of America is cause-related marketing. This approach to fund-raising involves a partnership with (usually) a corporation that lends its personnel and professional services to a non-profit organization or professional field, resulting in increased public awareness of an issue and increased funding support for important services.
With cause-related marketing initiatives, a corporation or other entity (such as a Chamber of Commerce, national civic organization, etc.) works with a non-profit organization to develop a plan-of-action with specific goals. Such goals might include the following:
BENEFITS OF CAUSE-RELATED MARKETING
For the private sector, benefits of cause-related marketing:
For victim service providers, benefits of cause-related marketing:
EXAMPLES OF CAUSE-RELATED MARKETING
The concept of cause-related marketing has already had a powerful impact on America's victims' rights movement:
Private sector fund-raising has become increasingly important as a source of support for victim service programs. The following tips will help service providers to become more effective fund-raisers for their organizations.
Victim service providers can do the following:
In addition to researching fund-raising topics and sources on the Internet (as described earlier in this section), victim service providers or victim assistance program administrators with responsibilities for seeking and obtaining program funding sources may also wish to visit their local library, contact professional organizations, or review publications specifically designed to highlight funding opportunities. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, self-named "the newspaper of the non-profit world," provides a thorough and comprehensive listing of funding opportunities, funding awards, public events, and current trends in nonprofit issues and charitable giving.
Many local libraries house reference materials for fund-raising or identifying funding sources that may be helpful. For example, directories used by grant writers, business and corporate directories, and The Foundation Center's listing of private philanthropic funding agencies may provide useful information.
Some professional organizations provide their members with information on funding opportunities. The National Society of Fundraising Executives, with chapters located nationwide, offers its members the use of its fund-raising resource center monthly and quarterly publications (800666FUND).
Professional fund-raising publications often provide the fund-raiser with information about available foundation and grant funds, with an emphasis on the funding source's primary funding interests and geographical requirements. A subscription to these publications is normally required. A sampling of professional publications includes The Chronicle of Philanthropy (8003476969), Foundation & Corporate Funding Advantage (8002208600), and The Public Assistance Funding Report (8006666380).
The history of the Center is unique. The development of the Center followed the analysis of a study commissioned in 1982 by the City Council and the Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office to identify victim service needs and develop a plan for a Victim Service Center. With the study complete, the City of Jacksonville established a position dedicated to providing crime victim services and allocated $25,000 in 1983. By 1985, the City's funding for victim services had increased to $190,000, and a Victim Service Division within the Department of Human Services was created. Throughout the late 1980s services continued to expand, and the appropriations increased to more than $500,000 in 1990. Capitalizing on broad community support, the construction of a new facility designed for the purpose of meeting the needs of Jacksonville's victims of crime was completed in 1993. The support for the Center has steadily grown, and the services provided have expanded tremendously. Local funding for the Center is currently near $900,000. Staff of the Center screen 2,300 police reports monthly for appropriate outreach and work with 1,400 victims each month. As a result of their assistance to victims, the City's crime victims were awarded approximately $526,000 in crime victim compensation in 1991.
The Center has established a wide range of services for victims. The philosophy of the City's approach is to establish crime victim services in such a way that crime victim services become an essential part of the "infrastructure of the community," not an afterthought funded through sporadic or discretionary funding mechanisms. The Center has identified eight critical elements of success:
1. A community-wide assessment of the needs of crime victims was conducted.
2. A comprehensive services approach was recommended and adopted.
3. Key community leaders supported the Center such as elected officials, law enforcement, victims advocates, etc.
4. Interagency cooperation was ensured by formal agreements and city ordinances.
5. Financial support from the City of Jacksonville has been stable and steadily increasing.
6. Center staff have constantly sought feedback from victims and service providers, and have been open to change and to new ideas to expand services.
7. The Jacksonville Victim Services Center has gained the support of the press and other media in the community.
8. The Jacksonville community has begun to think of victim services as a necessary part of services in the community. Victim services have become part of the "infrastructure" of community services upon which all citizens of Jacksonville can depend.
Funding for Victim Services Self-Examination
2. Name four of the critical elements of fund-raising for victim services.
3. Pick one of the sixteen components of a grant, and briefly describe it.
4. Describe three fund-raising events that could be initiated in your community to increase funding for victim assistance programs and services.
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