Gearing Up for Grants: Preparing your "Zen Zone"

Grant season is upon us and we anticipate the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) will release the runaway and homeless youth (RHY) program funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) soon. NSPN understands how important this funding is and we're excited to offer assistance to help make the process easier. We're launching a "Gearing up for Grants" email series.  We'll share tips on getting prepared, writing grant proposals, understanding the review process, and handling the stress once your proposal has been submitted. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. NSPN is here to help!

Setting up your "Zen Zone" - Staying Calm and Getting Prepared

Preparation is one of the keys to getting through this stressful time. A little advanced effort will help make things easier and keep you calm.  One way to promote a sense of tranquility is to make sure you can focus in your workspace. Have you ever heard of feng shui? It's a great, natural way to set the "tone" and energy of your home and/or office.  If you feel better, chances are you'll work better.  Learn more about feng shui at:

Bring feng shui to your office.

Image credit:

Feng shui is great for cubicals too!  

Check out these tips:

Gather Data

In addition to organizing your work space for maximum calm and productivity, you can start preparing your materials. There's no need to wait until the FOAs are released to gather information. For example, go ahead and pull together the following:

  • Mission and vision statements
  • RHY program relationship to the strategic plan
  • Estimated budget
  • Grant history (Think about what worked and what didn't)
  • Organizational chart, job descriptions, resumes, and biographies of key staff
  • Identify community partners and update Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)
  • Pertinent statistics (prioritize local)

When gathering your materials, consider the following:

  1. What is the problem your organization is attempting to solve? (need)
  2. How is the community affected by this problem? (need)
  3. How do you know there are RHY in your community? What are the numbers? (need)
  4. How can your organization make a difference? (action plan for services)
  5. How will you evaluate impact? (logic model)
  6. What are you going to do? Who is going to do it (staff/experts)?
  7. What documents do you have to support your case? (appendices)

Thinking about these specific questions (and more) may bring to mind other documents and information you may need for your proposal.

Watch for more NSPN Gearing Up for Grants emails.  You may also visit and contact us at [email protected] if you have questions. 

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