What is their relationship with their funding agency? What aspects of the program were program monitors most concerned about? Least concerned about?
What about the program’s project outcomes? Were their initial expectations too high or too low? How many of their objectives were achieved? What would they do differently to achieve those objectives in which they fell short? If they were to do it all over again, which outcomes would they change and why?
Budget tips are also a biggie. How did their PROPOSED first year expenditures match up with their ACTUAL first year expenditures? Would they do their budget differently? How so?
Now we can hear some of you asking, “ARE YOU CRAZY, YOU’RE ASKING THEM TO GIVE AWAY THEIR SECRETS?!!!!”
The first part of the answer is yes I am crazy - I chose grantwriting as a profession didn’t I? But that’s beside the point.
The second part of that answer is that programs are often mandated to share their successes with upstart programs and disseminate the results of their program to anyone who can use the information. It’s part of the requirements of executing the program as set forth in the RFP.
Third, staff from these best practice models are not in the cutthroat soft drink agency where formulas and recipes for success are well-guarded and billions of dollars of profits are at stake. Instead, you are talking to NON-PROFIT, HUMAN SERVICE agencies who (we hope) are in the business of helping people and the programs and agencies that serve them. These are generally very giving, sharing people who are flattered that you think enough of them and their programs to inquire about them.
More about this in the next Blog and in my new book: RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE: The Groundbreaking Process Used To Win More Than $385 Million In Competitive Grant Awards.