Grant Development FAQs

Every Grant Needs a Champion

This is the main contact for the project who works closely with grant development. This person leads the effort on identifying and writing the proposal, coming up with the project budget, working with those involved and acting as liaison with the grants development officer. This person may or may not be the one to carry out the project if it is funded.

How do I apply for a grant?

See the COM Grant Proposal Process on the grant development homepage. If you need further assistance, contact the grants development officer, Susan Weeks.

What is a collaborative grant?

COM often works with others, such as community partners, industries, universities and/or other community colleges, to write grants to fund projects of interest to all involved. Depending on whether COM is the lead on the grant or a partner, the amount of funding we get and the control we have over the process varies. Collaborative grants often require several additional weeks of development.

Do I have enough time to respond to the grant deadline?

One year: no problem. Six months: good to go. Six weeks: still possible. Less than that: probably not. At the very least, there must be adequate time to write, compile, get authorization for, and have a near-final proposal approximately a week before the submission deadline. Large programmatic federal grants are often started a year before they are due.

What are the college priorities for grant-making?

The college aligns its grant-making efforts with Student Success Council priorities, as identified, for example, in the COM Annual Priorities. If you have an idea for a grant, check with your department or division chair first.

How do I know if my project idea will be supported?

You will not know until you ask. Before talking to your department chair, make sure your proposal supports at least one of COM's priorities or aligns with COM's core values. If it is still unclear to you whether your grant meets one or both criteria, contact the Grants Development Officer for assistance.

How do I write a grant?

The Grants Main Page offers a brief step-by-step guide to getting started at COM, and the Common Grant Terms page can help you decipher the proposal. Once you are ready to go forward, study the guidelines and follow them exactly. Be sure you know your audience, collect information, think about the topic, write and complete the editorial process of proofreading, editing and revising.

What can the Grant Development Department do for you?

We can provide research on appropriate funding sources for a specific project idea; help you develop project ideas to submit to potential funders; guide budget development; advise on grant writing and help write specific parts of or entire grant proposals; assist with grant review approvals and the preparation of required agency forms and certifications; and ensure proposals are submitted in accordance with agency guidelines and COM policies.

For all grants, the grants development officer can assist you with developing a plan to complete your proposal. In general, however, the grants development officer devotes most of her time to project development and writing significant institutional grants aligned with college priorities. On smaller grants, the grants development officer typically provides editing, budget assistance and proposal submission preparation.

Regardless of which category your idea or proposal falls under, you should contact the grants development officer as early as possible (i.e., three to four months in advance) for assistance with your proposal development plan.

Are there grants for students?

For prospective or current students seeking financial aid to attend college, please contact the Financial Aid Office or the COM Foundation for more information.

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