Organizations constantly engage in program planning, and most of the time that work folds readily into the ongoing work of administrators and program managers. In effective organizations, staff members have a finger on the pulse of community problems and regularly form working groups, join community networks, and pull together colleagues to lay out a way forward.
But to figure out how to address a very complex community problem, it’s sometimes necessary for managers to complete elaborate, large-scale planning processes. And, in some situations, funders won’t provide a program implementation grant until a high-quality planning process has been completed and a blueprint for action is in hand.
“Planning grants are for big, multi-faceted processes that require considerable time and resources,” said Barbara Floersch, executive director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “They’re for situations in which you can’t suggest an effective response to a problem without engaging the community in a deep, strategic exploration of what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how it can be improved.”
“The kinds of processes that would be supported by a planning grant extend far beyond the regular planning that is the bedrock of every good proposal. When the planning processes preceding a project are themselves so complex that they require considerable amounts of time, staffing, expertise and choreography, then a planning grant is a logical source for funding,” said Floersch. © Copyright 2017 The Grantsmanship Center.
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