What Comes First? Grant Project Design or Budget?

A chicken and the egg dilemma that sometimes feels to be of epic proportions…where to start in your grant pre-planning and design work…project design, or budget design?  Never a group to shy away from a tough discussion, #grantchat -ters engaged in a lively conversation about their normal approach to balancing grant project design and grant budget design.

We started with a great theoretical question about the grant professional’s role: “What do you think is the ideal role for a grant professional in program and budget design for grant applications?”  The answer was a resounding “it varies” with some great tips about some ideal roles from our community members:

  • @JM_Grants A1: Ideal role – (depends) strategist, researcher, team coordinator, delegator, connector, editor, leader
  • @GaylaRawlinson A1: Ideal role for a grant prof. in program/budget design? As support – I provide budget templates; participate on logic model
  • @claybow A1: Multiple roles. But a seat at the strategizing table is most important.

We moved then to talking about our own processes for how to ensure consistency between program and budget design.  Never an easy task, but one that the #grantchat community realizes can be a proposals’ Achilles heel.

  • @JRW_SocialMedia A8: Double, triple, quadruple check both designs, then have trusted guides look for inconsistencies.
  • @duneschic A8: Reading, rereading, and editing
  • @JM_Grants A8: 1st – KNOW this is where MANY grants fail!

And while we as grant professionals recognize the fine balance necessary in creating the project design and budget design so that they are cohesive and one does not outweigh the other, how do you as a grant professional ensure that all voices within the organization are heard that may have concerns about program and budget design?

  • @duneschic A9: Preplanning helps but sometimes its program staff aren’t talking up the chain to directors
  • @DianeHLeonard A9: Structuring internal grant team to include both perspectives and designing review process to include both perspectives
  • @GaylaRawlinson A9. I make sure leadership is involved throughout the entire process

A thought provoking dialogue as always!

 

Do you want to check out the rest of this #grantchat?  Check out the storify for “What Comes First? Project Design or Grant Budget?”

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