With special thanks to Beverly Page at the Kansas State University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
- If you are fortunate enough to be either an advisor or a student at a college or university with a grants research department, utilize their services. Most grants department personnel are happy to help you find and secure grants as it makes them look productive too. If your college or university does not have a research or grants department, there are simple strategies that can help you locate grants.
- Remember that most foundations focus on positive outcomes, i.e. the benefits that will be gained through the grant monies. When searching think in terms of student outcomes.
- Most foundations will NOT fund daily operating costs. Instead they focus on an innovative project that can serve as a prototype for others.
- If you do not have access to the help offered by a grants research department, try searching for grants utilizing a computer in the library of a campus with a grants department. Often all campus computers are linked to the database of one of the three major grants information sources.
- There are three main grant information sources available to colleges and universities. These organizations collect and organize Foundation RFPs (Request for Proposals) and RFA (Request for Applications) and post them through databases to web subscribers. These databases include: Community of Science ( COS ), InfoEd International ( SPIN ) and the Illinois Researcher Information Service ( IRIS ). Since these services can be quite expensive, usually only college and university research departments subscribe. However many universities give log-in privileges to most on-campus computers.
- When searching databases utilize broad key words. 'Academic Advising' may be too specific. Instead try searches utilizing terms such as 'education improvement' and 'student retention'.
- While monies may be found under broad subjects/topics, they can also be found by targeted populations. If your campus has a large group of students who share a specific characteristic, think in terms of searching for that grants targeted to that group of students. Search also by terms such as 'adult students', 'women', 'athletes', or 'minorities' to find grant monies targeted to a specific population of students.
- While at the library ask the reference department about 'State Foundation Directories'. Many states publish a guide to all grants available for residents of their particular state.
- Check out The Foundation Center's list of free funding information library centers. These are usually public libraries that have agreed to help individuals search for grants in exchange for housing grant information books.
- If you find a possible grant, talk to someone at the grant foundation before beginning to write. Foundation personnel can often provide insight not available from the RFP. Additionally, many foundations accept grant proposals 'by invitation' only. It's best to know this before investing a large amount of time on a proposal.
- Consider taking a grant writing course through the Continuing Education department of a university that has grants research department. These courses are often taught by members of the grants office staff who can help you find and secure funding.
- A number of resources related to research can be found in the NACADA Store
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