Grant Development Guide

Guide to Development and Management

Follow these steps to develop an idea into a grant proposal. Either individually or with a team, organize information and prepare for approval review. Contact the Grant Development Director early in the process for help with needs assessment and funding source identification. Refer also to Grant Project Management below and on separate Project Management Page.

Determine the Feasibility of Your Idea

  • Review NCTC's mission, vision, and goals.
  • Obtain statistics or anecdotal evidence to substantiate the needs.
  • State the goal in terms of the need.
  • Define the objective.
  • Think about strategies and the components that will be needed to meet the objectives: people, equipment, etc.
  • Envision a timeline or work plan.
  • Think about a budget.

Research Funding Opportunities

  • Consult with the Grant Coordinator or visit websites.
  • Determine why we want to approach this particular funding source with our request.
  • Consider external collaborators for cash matches or in-kind funding, even if a match isn't required.
  • Consider enlisting a business or another agency as a cost-sharing partner.

Request Permission to Proceed

  • Consult with the appropriate department head regarding the grant concept.
  • Complete a Concept Approval Procedure form.
  • Contact the Grant Coordinator to arrange for an approval review by President's Cabinet.

Write a Pre-proposal or Letter of Intent (if required)

  • Work with the Grants Coordinator to develop and write the pre-proposal or letter of intent.

Prepare to Write a Full Proposal

  • Read the Request for Proposal to learn the proposal requirements mandated by the funder. This includes page length, font, font size, section page requirements, points assigned to each section, etc.
  • Learn about the basic components of a proposal: summary, introduction of organization, problem statement or needs assessment, project objectives, project methods, evaluation, future funding, and project budget. Appendices, if allowed, may include letters of support or collaboration, brochures, and supporting data.
  • Refer to Creating a Successful Application for suggestions on organization, research, and delegation.

Write the Proposal Narrative

  • The Grants Coordinator and the VP Institutional Advancement will write the grant proposal for you.
  • Give the necessary information and statistics to the Grants Coordinator to assist with the writing of the proposal.

Develop the Budget

  • Refer to Developing a Budget for suggestions. Use the Budget Summary form if the funding source doesn't supply a form.
  • Refine the budget in collaboration with the Institutional Advancement Office.

Contact Collaborators

  • See Letters of Support and Commitment for suggestions and sample letters.
  • If collaborators are contributing funding or equipment, arrange for formal agreements or contracts to be signed.

Submit the Proposal for Final Review and Approval

  • The Grant Development Director will obtain the President's signature and submit the proposal package to the funding source.
  • Include originals of any required support and commitment letters.
  • Attach other forms and appendices as required and allowed.
  • Perform one last proofreading and check page numbering.
  • The Grant Development Coordinator will use the Proposal Checklist to ensure that the proposal:
    • meets funding source guidelines and
    • is clear and concise,
    • obtain the application signature from the President, in blue ink,
    • check on mailing deadlines for US Mail, FEDEX, etc.,
    • make the correct number of copies, single- or double-sided, as requested,
    • mail the application package,
    • file the original application and documentation to show proof of timely mailing and delivery,
    • distribute copies of the final proposal to appropriate staff, and
    • e-mail a notice of proposal submission to the President, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and the Project Coordinator. 

Project Management

Management of the funded project is the responsibility of the Project Coordinator (also called project manager or principal investigator). This person may be the one who developed the project or may be someone assigned the responsibility for implementation. The Project Coordinator will:

  • Send the original grant notification letter and/or contract to the Grant Development Director. The Grant Development Director will then
  • make sure that forms and agreements are distributed and completed according to policy and
  • e-mail a grant award notice to the Project Coordinator, President, Vice Presidents, Dean, Executive Director of College Advancement, Grants Accountant, and Marketing Office.
  • Administer the project in accordance with state, federal, and NCTC regulations.
  • Refer to Managing a Funded Project for more information.
  • Supervise personnel, oversee work done, and coordinate team activities.
  • Maintain data.
  • Ensure compliance with funding agency requirements for expenditures, project activities, evaluation activities, and reporting.
  • Plan expenditures properly.
  • Submit progress and final reports to the funding agency as required in the award agreement.
  • Close out and evaluate the completed project.