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Basic Prep Work

I want to write a grant…
I have a need…
I have people I can call on…
But where do I start?

Sometimes we seem to have ideas of what we want to conquer however road blocks or just the unknown gets in our way. A Circle of Ten has found a good list of some Tangibles and Intangibles for writing a grant.


  • Designated office space    You need a quiet environment that you can think and communicate with others without a lot of distractions.
  • Computer with Internet Access   A lot of what you do will be on the computer. The grant sites are mostly digital and you will need to make sure that you have the basic Microsoft type programs. Practice your copy and pasting skills, this will come in handy.
  • Access to a printer   Make a copy of things. We like to put things in binders and each grant team member have the same information. You can use jump drives also but I like having the hard copy.
  • Copier/Scanner/Fax Device   If you do not have something in house, you can always use an Office Supply store. We have had the need for a scanner a lot. When you get any document it will need to be formatted to a pdf or jpg so that you can attach it to the grant. Suggestion: Invest in this.  Check out
  • Location to a 24/7 mailing place.  Track one down that’s closest. Join their rewards program you’re going to need them in your corner.
  • Letterhead    Make it appealing. You are going to compete with other organizations that are doing similar things. Think of this as a resume, you want it to look the best.
  • Information on others    Budget information for funding newsletters, nonprofit newspapers, foundation center directories, etc. Look at someone that is doing similar things and research data.
  • Filing system   As stated above we do a lot with binders, however with technology you can use jump drives and file sharing software to do the same. Once you have completed a grant, keep it! You may need to get something from the grant later to complete another.
  • Designate Roles   It can be very overwhelming for one person to do it all.Delegate the task that you are not strengthened in. I love research. So that’s a place that I strive. I’m not as strong in understanding and reading the fine print. So on our team, I am a researcher; I go find things on the internet or in files. Someone else reads the fine print and works out a timeline. 



  1. Someone with understanding of the organizations culture, structures, governance and programsYou are again competing for these funds. Bring your “A” game. You’ll need someone that has the background information. Founder, President, Board Member, etc.
  2. Time!!!
    • Meeting time: When? Where?
    • Program development: Who is going to do the program? How are we going to use these resources?
    • Writing: schedule time to write. Block out other things and make sure you are writing.
    • Develop an Evaluation Model: take time to figure out how you are going to measure success. What are the goals of this project?
  3. Identify and Designate Roles
    • Who is going to read?
    • Who is going to write?
    • Editing?
    • Re-write?
    • Final draft?
    • When are we going to get back together and collaborate?
    • Prepare the budget?
    • Is responsible for making phone calls or emails to prospective funders to build a relationship?
    • Who is watching deadlines?
    • Who talks with board members?
    • Who are signers on the proposals?
    • Who is responsible for grant administration?

The grant can’t write itself and without a clear picture of who is doing what, frustrations are inevitable. Find all the bullet points described in the grant and divide and conquer.

  1.  Make timelines   You have to have end dates set in stone at the beginning, without it all parties will be lost. Plan lunch meeting or specific times every week/month to meet. If you can’t meet in person utilize technology, Skype, FaceTime or any other program that you have. Meet together and do your part.

Want to know more about being organized?

We currently have a workshop scheduled at the

Cameron- J Jarvis Troup Library for October 8 from 1:30 to 4:30.

Interested? Or want to schedule this at your facility for your team*?

Call us at (903)541-0013 or


 *contract required


Local honored for years of service

   Allie Faye Busby, formerly with Crisis Center of Anderson & Cherokee Counties, Ms. Anderson, and Gary Allen, Workforce Solutions East Texas.    

        As featured in the Jacksonville Daily Progress – Saturday, July 21, 2012  Nonprofit and Community leaders drove from nine towns to honor Pam Anderson’s decade of services to A Circle of Ten, Inc. – Network for Collaboration on Monday.

      “The flowers and cards came all day followed by a great reception of people touched by Pam’s efforts the last 10 years,” Kathy Holdway, agency founder, said.  “We would not be where we are today, building the capacity of leaders, bringing down 100s of thousands of dollars for collaborating nonprofits if not for Ms. Anderson”

     Currently Pam is contract manager for C10’s Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) “Building Capacity Across Texas Project” bringing training and support to 17 TCDD Grantee agencies across the state.  This three year contact is building capacity and creating multi-agency, grant funded collaborations benefiting agencies serving people with disabilities.

     Her role in C10’s Funders’ Forum & Networking Gathering helped grow the Forum from eight Funders in the first Jacksonville Forum to 45-50 Funders in the Tyler, Athens, TX A&M University and Winnsbro Forums.  The US Dept of Commerce representative said “this is the largest gathering of grant makers in the nation.”  The 10th Funders’ Forum is being planned as a statewide event with TCDD and other state and federal sponsors.

     Ms. Anderson often represents Jacksonville on a national level.  In December she will present at the 2012 National Education Conference at the invitation of the Texas Association of Partners in Education.

     She has chaired federal grant review panels for U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for past four years, plus served on review panels since 2005.

     “We are proud of the leaders who came to honor Pam and her decade of services to meet our mission “To empower leaders and foster healthy collaborations to improve the quality of life,” Holdway said.

Other postings of this event were also listed in the Tyler Courier Times Telegraph, The Cherokeean Herald and The Bullard Banner News.