The Grants Lab Approach

Image of GRCC banner among trees in the summer.

In 2015, the Grants Department officially began piloting its “Grants Lab” approach to help teams and individuals hone their ideas for grant initiatives. This approach constitutes a rigorous facilitation process based on "Theory of Change" questions that guide teams in refining the problem they want to address, and then articulating logical connections between project activities and outcomes. This process helps teams to build a solid framework for a grant proposal.

It may sound complicated, but it has actually proven highly successful. Team members who have gone through the process have remarked on how engaging it is and how they can’t believe all that is accomplished in such a short period of time.

The Grants Lab capitalizes on the depth of services already offered by the department including, but not limited to:

  • Proposal Development Services: Grant teams come to us at all stages of the proposal development process. Typically, teams contact the department for a consult before a proposal is written. At that point in the process, an assessment determines if they need advice or training on grant strategy, project planning, information on GRCC’s internal grants process, or help with proposal development.

  • Forming and Facilitating Collaborations: The Grants Lab encourages open communication among internal and external grant team members to identify the issues they want their project to address, to discuss strategies and activities, and to arrive at a consensus on the impact they want to achieve. Along the way, teams are asked to carefully consider their assumptions that underpin their beliefs about what they believe will work and why.

  • Grant Writing Support: Teams who need help with writing receive assistance in various ways. Assistance typically addresses specific proposal components like the needs statement, writing goals and measurable objectives, drafting budget justifications, or general editing support.

Do you have a concept for a grant proposal that needs further development? The Grants Lab approach may be just the solution! Simply fill out and return the Grant Concept Form to get started.