• Tips for a Successful Voices into Action Mini-grant Application (Application Deadline: October 30, 2015 by 5pm!)

    Posted on October 23, 2015 by in Blog, Harnett County, Lee County, Wake County

    by Helen Herrera

    tips photo

    There’s only one week left to apply for a Voices into Action mini-grant! The deadline to apply for the 2016 Voices into Action Mini-Grants is October 30, 2015 by 5pm. This year’s application asks different questions than in previous years.  For this year, established collaborative partnerships and sustainability are the most important funding priorities. As this is our last year of mini-grant funding, we are looking to support projects that are thinking about ways they will carry out their work after the mini-grant funding period is over. Collaborative partnerships are a second funding priority because we know that projects with strong community support and established connections are more likely to succeed. What does that all mean, and what can you do to have a stronger proposal?

    Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    1. Does the project involve collaboration? Think about organizations that you have worked with previously, or those you would like to partner with.  Discuss the support that you can provide for one another. What is the basis for your partnership? What roles will you each play in the project?
    2. Do you have a sustainability plan? When thinking about sustainability, the biggest question to consider is: What tools or support does the project need to continue operating? As this is the last year of available funding, it is important to think about the foundation necessary to continue your projects beyond 2016 and share your plan for how your project will continue after the mini-grant has ended.
    3. What’s your long-term vision and plans for project expansion? The goal of this year’s mini-grants is to support projects that are looking towards a long-term vision.  We hope that these projects will use mini-grant funding to create or expand on their project in ways that they would not be able to do otherwise. Previous mini-grantees should ask themselves: ‘Are we requesting funding to do the same thing we’ve done in previous years or Are we looking to expand or scale up beyond what our project has consisted of previously?’
    4. Do you have realistic, achievable goals? This is an important question because knowing you can achieve your project’s long-term goals can help to build sustainability.
    5. Do you have a clear plan for tracking your project’s success? Do you have realistic evaluation methods? How will you know that you have reached your goals? Who will be responsible for collecting evaluation data?
    6. What’s my budget? Don’t feel compelled to ask for the maximum funding amount. Instead, budget for what you need.
    7. Have you considered the funding restrictions? If you are unsure, ask! Because this is the last year of funding, all funds will need to be used by December 31, 2016. Remember things like labor, personnel time, furniture, construction of permanent structures, paving, large appliances, and transportation funds, to name a few, cannot be funded.
    8. Does your project build on proven means and methods? Have the strategies or procedures that you’ve decided to carry out been proving to be effective?  If you need more information on this, check out our mini-grant packet for some ideas.
    9. Do I have time to submit a draft of my application before the deadline? This allows Voices into Action staff to review your proposal and provide feedback, if needed. This is especially important because our funding priorities include collaborative partnerships and sustainability. The applications deadline is October 30, 2015 by 5pm.
    10. Have I read the mini-grant packet for instructions, explanations, and submission requirements? The mini-grant packet, application materials, and further information on the mini-grants are available at http://voicesintoaction.org/projects/.

    Above all else, please reach out to your outreach coordinator should you have questions or concerns. They are there to support you throughout this process and are more than happy to help you craft a strong proposal.

    Lee and Western Harnett County:                         Southeast Raleigh:

    Zandra Alford                                                        Helen Herrera

    Office: (919) 513-2858                                            Office: (919) 513-2703

    Email: zandra_alford@ncsu.edu                               Email: hherrer@ncsu.edu


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