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Grant Writing Services
Does my nonprofit have to be well-established to get grant funding?
At VC we offer services to nonprofits at all levels of their growth. However, we do not find it ethical to pursue grant funding on your behalf without making an initial assessment and having discussion about your grant readiness. If you are just starting out, we can provide grant readiness or program design consultation and assist you in taking the proper steps to reach
grant readiness. We also partner with a non-profit success strategist to be sure you maximize your likelihood of being funded by helping ensure you are grant ready. For more information on grant readiness, you should consider taking our
grant readiness course on the topic or scheduling a free 30 minute consultation call.
Do you only provide services to for-profits?
We conduct some of our services in governmental, quasi-governmental and educational settings. Although we do have experience in some areas of for-profit grant and proposal writing, we do not consider this one of our areas of expertise. The good news is we do have partners we can recommend to you.
Do you find grants?
Yes. We also provide grant finding services.
Why don't you charge a percentage of the grant as payment for your services?
The short answer is this is considered an unethical practice. See Standard #21 of the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards for professional fundraisers. But here are a few more reasons:
A grant writer or consultant can however be written into a grant proposal (in the proposal you are asking for funds for their services) but, this request must be in alignment with the funder's intentions. If the grant writer is also writing this proposal they must first be paid for writing the original proposal upfront, and once your organization is awarded, you will make arrangement on how they will be paid moving forward.
Many things factor into whether a grant will be awarded. Much of that is beyond a grant writer's control.
Grant writers get paid for their expertise and their time. Some notices of award take months to be announced. It is unrealistic to expect any professional to wait months for payment. If a grant writer has spent 10's or sometimes 100's of hours on a proposal, they should be paid for that time.
Funders rarely agree to pay for grant writing services obtained prior to award. They can't agree to pay for something before they have read your proposal. Those agreeing to do this
may intend to falsify budget documents to pay a grant writer. This would be considered fraudulent.
How is grant reviewing different from grant editing?
When we review a grant we are looking for evidence that your submission covers the appropriate content the funder has asked for in your proposal. A review seeks to answer questions such as: Are the funders questions answered? Do the concepts make sense and are they easy to follow? Is the “flow” of the proposal logical and easy to read? Essentially we will assess whether you have met the technical requirements of the request for proposals or grant application. We would review your proposal and assign it a score using a similar method as the one used to review federal proposals. This differs from editing since editing has more of a focus on grammar, spelling, formatting, and syntax.
Technical Assistance Calls & Meetings
What are examples of appropriate technical assistance services?
Technical assistance differs with each services. Grant related technical assistance may be as simple as helping interpret a section of the information the funder is asking for to as complex as creating an evaluation section or creating charts and graphs to complement your writing. Some clients seek technical assistance in the form of support for the staff in their office designated to conducting grant writing. Technical assistance is essentially any one-time, short-term, problem-solving activity.
How long is a technical assistance call or a meeting?
Every new client will get a free 30 minute consultation call. However, depending on the details of that call, you may need additional assistance which is billed hourly for technical assistance and in 40 minute increments for general inquiries. Each call or meeting is specifically tailored to the client’s specific need.
Book a technical assistance call with Volcano Consulting, LLC here.
How many calls or meetings can we have in a week?
We will work with your schedule as much as possible. This is based on our current projects and commitments. If your matter is pressing and time sensitive, we will let you know immediately if we cannot meet the demands of your project and we can refer you to others.
Education, Workshops, Courses, and Trainings
How will I receive the training?
Our workshops and classes are taught in-person, online, on-demand, and in blended formats and the length of time each is scheduled is dependant on the subject matter and method of delivery. In-person offerings are often announced on our Facebook and Instagram social media pages. Be sure to like or follow them so you get updates.
All workshops and courses include a certificate of completion. Our online grant writing course include a free grant readiness course and free membership in the exclusive Volcano Consulting, LLC Professional Development Center facebook group page. Courses offering continuing education units (CEU’s) will also provide documentation of the number of CEUs earned. Although there are many similarities between industries when writing grants, our educational offerings focus primarily on grants which provide funding for nonprofits, public health, social work, and health and human services providers.
Examples of the types of educational topics we train on include: Chronic and infectious disease health education, phlebotomy and other allied health skills trainings, time management, evaluation, quality management, employee training and recruitment and retention. Whenever appropriate, worksheets, handouts, and/or workbooks are included. We make a concerted effort to tailor trainings to our audience (nonprofits, public health, allied health) and update materials and information regularly. Don't see a topics you'd like to have presented? Just ask us. If we can't present on the topic, we may know someone who can and we don't mind lending a hand in your search.
What is the Professional Development Center?
The Volcano Consulting, LLC Professional Development Center (PDC) is our online video library. We want to make sure nonprofits have a low cost, high quality, easily accessible option for professional development. Click the link and check it out (free membership account required to rent videos). We also provide in-person education and training in several subject areas. We have a lot of collective experience here at Volcano Consulting and the possible educational topics are endless!
Pre and Post Award Program Planning
What goes into the pre/post award planning process?
Pre- and -post award planning refers to the periods before and after a grant award and focuses on preparing your organization to meet the requirements of a current funder, a specific type of funder you wish to approach, or preparing your agency to implement programs you have already recieved a notice of award for.
Lots of activities happen during these phases and we will help with activities such as the development and testing of tools (questionnaires, assessments, reports,etc) assisting with needs assessment planning and implementation, and activities related to the formalization of your programmatic, program piloting, and evaluation plans. If we have the added advantage of access to the funder, we will work closely with them to ensure you meet their requirements and have a smooth transition into implementing your services. One of the most significant benefits is having someone to add efficiency and experience to your activities so you don't have to learn things on your own; avoiding costly mistakes!
What is included in your grant management service?
Some organizations, especially those which are relatively young, often have not had enough time to acclimate themselves to the expectations of funders. We assist with implementation and management of the operational, programming, reporting, and financial practices at organizations with new or additional programs so the people can focus on doing the work. Grant management projects vary in design based on funder requirements, program and organizational goals, and the mission or industry the nonprofit serves.
Will VC manage our grant or will VC guide us on how to manage our own grant?
We can do whichever you prefer. Grant management can be based on a short-term project of a multi-year project. This is something we can discuss during your free 30 minute consultation.
How does virtual/remote management and admin work?
We are very proud of our ability to work on your project remotely This saves resources and time and directly translates into savings for our clients. This also provides us the opportunity to select great talent for your projects from anywhere in the country--even internationally. Work life balance is also important to us and our partners. We believe that providing a flexible schedule and work environment positively influences our work. Finally, we are very proud that nearly all of our services are green and environmentally friendly.
Since much of the work is administrative or can be conducted most cost-consciously if they are conducted remotely, we prefer to conduct management services this way and we have experience doing so. We employ various methods of communication that ensures our level of engagement is similar to in-person interaction. We do realize not all clients are comfortable with that idea. But, many consultants operate remotely and we are always willing to negotiate a comfortable plan for everyone. Whenever necessary we can and will make arrangement to visit your site. Some activities that may be better suited for in-person encounters include focus groups, site visits, coaching, and observations.
Other Writing Services
What else should I know about your other writing services?
What format will we receive documents?
All of our work is provided to your electronically, in an editable format, unless otherwise specified or indicated as a requirement. All clients will also be assigned a Google Drive file where they can access their documents 24/7, make comments, and chat with our staff.
Proposals, Forms, Policies, and Letters
Some grant applications require letter of intent, concept papers, and other types of formal documents before and after award. We also write other technical documents such as partner agreements, policies and procedures, and training plans.
Will these documents be tailored for our organization?
Yes, your policies and other documents will not be just a template. You will receive documents, with your organizational brand, that are ready to share with your employees or partners.
Free Consultation Call
What we be discussed during the free 30 minute consultation?
During a grant related consultation our top priority is assessing your organization's grant readiness, infrastructure, and your fit for the grant opportunity. We do not benefit from writing grants that you are unlikely to get awarded. Neither do you. Please be patient with our questions. We may ask a lot. But, we will give you time to ask your own as well. We tend to use those 30 minutes efficiently.
You can request a free 30 minute consultation for any of our services.
Here is a diagram outlining our typical consultation and grant writing process.
Why do I need to complete this questionnaire before talking to you?
The questionnaire helps us prepare for your call, screen for services we may not be able to provide so we can recommend referrals, and helps us reduce the amount of time spent asking you those basic questions. Thirty minutes can go by fast. We want to be sure everyone's time is used efficiently.
You provide public health consulting. Does that mean we need to work in a medical or health care field to hire you?
Big, No! Let's start by defining public health. Here's a good definition by James McKenzie. "Public Health is the practice that collectively ensures that people and communities stay in a state of good health."
Healthiness, to public health officials, includes emotional, mental, behavioral, economic, environmental, physical, and spiritual health. The mission of public health is to ensure the health of the masses. That includes those who are being seen in a clinic or those being enrolled in a program at your nonprofit. Public health is everywhere--in every industry. So, the chances are, whatever you do, public health plays a role.
Do you provide program evaluation services?
We do! We have several professionals experienced in internal and external evaluation. We can write an evaluation plan for you to submit as part of your grant proposal. Just ask and we can send you a quote for evaluation services to include in your proposal as well (if you want to hire us after you are awarded a grant). Our experiences include proficiency in research protocols and design, including RCTs, IRB approval, Excel, SPSS, SAS, and several survey platforms. We are prepared to create evaluation tools and instruments that will suite your organization's current processes, or we can introduce new ways to evaluate your programs more efficiently. Just set up a free consultation call to ask us more.
How can you make our RFP better?
Many times, people are tasked with writing or helping write an RFP. However, for some of those people, they may not necessarily have the direct experience needed to think through all the detailed information or to understand how it will be perceived by or even restrict those who may apply. We read a lot of RFP's at Volcano Consulting, LLC. Just like a grant writer needs to perceive how information will be understood by the grant reviewer, the person or group writing the RFP should know how their readers will perceive what they are asking of them. Communication can be complicated sometimes. It is easy to think you have clearly conveyed a message until people begin to read it and you see the different perspectives through the Q & A process. What we can offer is an objective review of your requirements and help you translate them into words, phrases, and information that are more universally understood. Doing so will save the time of the applicant and your staff. Let us cut down on the number of questions you must answer or the number the number of ineligible applicants you receive responses from. Let us improve the overall quality of the applications you receive. We will work with your team to discuss the funder requirements and work with your legal team to be sure you won't have to worry about responding to appeals. We understand writing and we understand many of the varied types of programs that may see an award from you. Let us handle it.