AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



Nicole Bowman on Essential Strategies for Success in the Grant Money Game: Hot Tips for Grant Writing

My name is Nicky Bowman and I am the President of Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC)

BPC is a nationally award winning grant writing and scientific consulting firm.  I’ve not only written grants but more importantly I’ve WON them for clients. I’m so happy to share some lessons learned, quick tips, and resources with you so you are equipped to win at grant writing too!

Lesson Learned:  Don’t Believe the Man in the Dollar Suit!

Remember Matthew Lesko who ran around in a dollar suit and screamed enthusiastically about all the “free money” that anyone could have?  Decades later, many people still think there is a ton of “free money” available.  Given the economy, government budget cuts, and highly competitive nature of grant writing, there is much less funding to go around today.

Hot Tip: Patient, consistent, and methodical grant writing will help you win and sustain funding. 

Lesson Learned:  Be Strategic About Which Grants you Write!

Understand what grants are best suited for your organization or program and what is most realistic based on the funder’s history of grant awards.  Consider your mission, vision, and goals.  Choose grants that best align with the purpose of your work.

Rad Resource:  Use a funding research worksheet to find the appropriate grants.

Hot TipYour organization has a grant writing resume. Start at an entry level position, gain experience and skills, and work your way up. If you are a beginner do not go for a complex multi-million dollar award as an “entry level” effort.

Lesson Learned:  Get Real and Get Real Busy!

Make an honest assessment about the capacities and expectations you have for grant writing and supporting the implementation of grant awards.  Know who you are by strategically completing your grant research, and carefully select the grants which are best suited.

Rad Resource:  Allow enough time to write the grant by backwards mapping each step.

Hot Tip:  Plan a year in advance.  Look for free online webinars, YouTube channels/videos, Twitter feeds, and listserves to help you better understand grant writing.  Contact program officers and ask for exemplary sample proposals.  Find federal offices that need grant reviewers (who “score” applications to decide who gets funding). This gives you the inside track on what the funding agency expects.

Follow aea365, attend my second AEA Coffee Break Webinar on June 6th  and visit the BPC website. Request resources from me via e-mail, or social media: Twitter @NBPC1 and LinkedIn.

Rad Resource: Check out my materials in the AEA Public eLibrary.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply




To top