Orange County Branch Newsletter

March 2016

Younger Member Forum

YMF - Grant Writing Workshop


By: Isamar Escobar

On January 15th, a few ASCE members attended a Grant Writing Workshop hosted by Assembly Member Matthew Harper. The event was held at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center and included a presentation by California Consulting LLC, the largest grant-writing firm in California. The workshop was open to the public and attendees included engineers, public agencies, school districts, medical professionals, athletic coordinators, and non-profit organizations.

The workshop highlighted the various resources and tools that are available to the public regarding grant research, writing, and applications. The workshop provided seven main tips to follow throughout the entire life cycle of a grant:

  1. Before applying to a grant, the first question you want to answer is – what exactly are you trying to fund?
  2. Once you have determined what you want to fund, you have to do a comprehensive search for grants that meet the need you are trying to fulfill.
    1. There are three types of grants – Federal, State, and Private Foundation grants. Federal grants are the most challenging and rigorous, while private grants are generally easier and less competitive.
  3. Following the comprehensive research, you want to evaluate how a grant’s request for application (RFA) matches up with what you are trying to fund.
    1. Look into what has been funded in the previous 3-5 years under the dame grant
    2. You can always contact the agency awarding the grant for information on their funding preferences.
    3. You always want to check whether the grant has a matching requirement and what its post award compliance is, in order to be prepared for any additional work you may have to do after being awarded a grant.
  4. While writing a grant application, keep track of scoring and budget matrices.
  5. If you don’t get awarded a grant, find out why. You can always contact the agency that awarded the grant, and most are willing to go over your application with you.
  6. If you do get awarded a grant, make sure to follow up on your post compliance and know all your requirements.

There are many resources that can be used to find grants for any type of program or project you want to fund. The trick is to know how and where to look!