Writing Successful Grants KnowledgeBase

The Writing Successful Grants KnowledgeBase is an online resource aiding education professionals in their pursuit of public and private grants to support local programs. Its five elements contain information and resources that assist the grant seeker with developing their project, writing the grant proposal and managing the grant upon its award.

Task 5: Assess Family and Community Involvement

Guideline: Family involvement is an important part of a child's education. Knowing how parents are involved, the type of activities they participate in, and level of participation may be useful when compiling the grant proposal. Understanding the community's demographics, socio-economic status, and health profiles is important when assessing the community's impact on the school and students. Depending on the nature of the grant sought, a community assessment may be a useful part of the grant proposal.

Family and Community Data Elements

This chart from the U.S. Department of Education publication, An Idea Book on Planning, Vol. I, Implementing Schoolwide Programs, provides a checklist of data elements related to family and community involvement for inclusion in a school profile.

Strenghtening Partnerships: Community School Assessment Checklist

This Coalition for Community Schools document contains three checklists designed to help schools assess partnership activities within their community.

Characteristics of Our Community

This worksheet from the Washington Education Association's Building Community Connections publication may help school leaders create a community profile.

Alternate format: PDF

Measure of School, Family, and Community Partnerships

This tool was developed in collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Education Northwest, the former Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. As noted in the document's opening, "it is intended to measure how your school is reaching out to involve parents, community members, and students in a meaningful manner."

School as a Caring Community Profile - II (SCCP-II)

As noted at its website, "the School as a Caring Community Profile-II (SCCP-II) is an instrument developed by the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility) to help schools assess themselves as caring communities. The SCCP may be administered at any point (ideally at the beginning) of a character education initiative and then at later points to assess progress."

Six Types of School-Family-Community Involvement

This National Network of Partnership Schools webpage discusses six types of cooperation among families, schools, and other community organizations as identified by Johns Hopkins University Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships Director Joyce Epstein.

Element 1: Assess Organizational Needs and Basis for Desired Funding

Purpose: Writing a successful grant application begins with understanding the reason for seeking grant funding from a governmental agency or private foundation. If the grant seeker is a school, the organizational assessment undertaken for improvement planning may provide useful reasons for the desired funding.

The grant seekers organizational assessment must address the subject area the funding organization has an interest in supporting. In regards to a governmental grant proposal, the assessment must address the request for proposal's focus.

Element 1 outlines the tasks involved in creating an organizational assessment.

Activity 1: Take a Snapshot of Your Organization

Activity 2: Identify Broad Areas in Need of Improvement

Element 2: Outline the Project Ideas

Purpose: Developing innovative grant ideas that fulfill organizational needs is essential in a successful grant application. The successful grant application will be one that effectively matches the grant seeker's project ideas with the grant funder's interests or programmatic focus!

Activity 1: Create a Project Team

Activity 2: Conceptualize Project

Element 3: Organize for Action

Purpose: Prior to writing the grant application, the project lead should pre-plan how the application will be developed, a timeline for completing it, and an internal review process for the application. Element 3 outlines the steps in creating a road map for the application process.

Activity 1: Understand the Grant Requirements

Activity 2: Plan to Act

Element 4: Develop and Submit the Grant Proposal

Purpose: The grant proposal brings life to the project idea. It is the vehicle the grant seeker uses to sell their idea to the prospective funding sources. Element 4 outlines the steps to develop and submit a successful grant application. Once the application has been submitted, follow-up with the funder is essential.

Activity 1: Develop the Project Plan

Activity 2: Commit the Proposal to Paper

Activity 3: Review and Finalize the Proposal

Element 5: Implement the Grant

Purpose: Upon receiving the grant award it is necessary to have a process in place for administering and managing the grant. Element 5 outlines the steps involved with implementing the project and fulfilling the grant's administrative requirements.

Activity 1: Administer and Manage the Grant

Activity 2: Accomplish Change

Activity 3: Evaluate Project Outcomes