Saturday, March 8, 2008

Too Much Data, Not Enough Space

Here's my challenge today... I'm writing a grant (don't even ask why I am working on Saturday) and I have more needs data than I could possible use. I have a 40-page limit for the narrative and the needs section is worth 20 points (out of a possible 100), so only 20%-25% of my pages at most should be spent on the needs section.

The good news is that I have lots of data. I am usually challenged by not having enough hard data. The problem is prioritizing all this good information.

Here's what I do:

1) Focus on the main issues. I may have some good data for some of the more peripheral problems faced by my client, but I need to stay focused on the main issues that we will be trying to address with the grant.

2) Decide which data best support those big issues. I have to cut loose (for now) the information that doesn't make the strongest case.

3) For the data I won't be using, mention tat it is available, and that it supports the rest of the findings. I don't do this too much, though, or the readers will question why I didn't include it all.

4) Use the data evenly. If I have loads of evidence to support one need and only one little stat to support another, I need to be careful. If I use all of what I have for the first issue, it will make the second one look very weak. Sometimes less really is more.

No comments:

About Creative Resources & Research

My photo
Woodland, CA, United States
Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.