Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to work with the Resource Development (RDO) office in order to submit a grant proposal?
Yes, the RDO is the point of contact for all College grant-seeking efforts, to evaluate grant ideas and funding opportunities, to assess the likelihood of success, to coordinate proposal development, and to ensure administrative staff approval for grants is obtained. In addition, RDO staff has specific expertise that will increase the competitiveness of grant proposals. Staff has experience composing federal, state and private foundation grant proposals, and brings as much enthusiasm to crafting a million dollar proposal as they do to a thousand dollar one. Finally, many college staff have remarked how working with the RDO made the process easier and resulted in a better finished product they felt confident submitting for funding.
I have an idea for a grant, what do I do now?
Start by reviewing the Grant Process Diagram. This will give you a good idea of Valencia’s process for developing and approving grants. Whether your idea is in response to a specific grant announcement or request for proposals (RFP) or whether it is a new idea still under development, complete the Project Idea Worksheet and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is the grants process so complex?
A grant is an obligation and commitment by the College, so due diligence is needed to ensure that appropriate individuals are aware of and approve of a grant before it is developed and submitted to the funder. A number of issues are considered during the approval process, including the likelihood of funding, ability to charge indirect costs, alignment with the College’s strategic goals, availability of matching funds, and requirements to continue the project after the funding ends. (See the Grant Process Diagram). Following this process helps to ensure that you don’t spend a lot of time developing a grant proposal that is not internally approved or submitted. There are times when the grants process can be expedited; however, this is the exception rather than the rule.
I just found out about a grant that is due in a few weeks. Can we submit a proposal?
Call the RDO immediately to discuss the grant opportunity. Some grants are simpler to develop and the process may be expedited. However, a large federal grant usually requires months of planning and development in order to produce a competitive proposal. Once again, approvals are needed.
Can I write my own grant?
Ultimately, the RDO staff will prepare and submit all applications on behalf of the College; however, as a content area expert, your assistance is needed to develop a competitive proposal. After meeting with the RD staff and working through the approval process, the actual writing may be a blend of content developed by both parties. The RDO staff will seek guidance and final approval from appropriate individuals and will oversee all final edits to the documents and submission.
My department has been asked to partner on a grant proposal submitted by another agency and/or to provide a letter of support for another agency’s grant. Do I need to contact the RDO?
Yes. All grant related items are processed through the RDO. If you’ve been asked to partner on a grant or provide a letter of support/commitment, please contact us immediately for assistance. Be prepared to answer questions regarding the level of involvement by individuals or the College. Please do not commit the College to any activity without checking with your Supervisor/Dean. Working with you and your supervisor/dean, the RDO staff will process the partnership letter or proposal.
How long does it take to learn about whether a grant has been accepted for funding?
It depends on the funder, but a federal grant can take as long as six months to learn about an award.
Still have questions about Grant Development? Call the Resource Development Office 407-582- 2906.
I've been named as project director for a new grant, now what?
Resource Development is committed to support each project director in their efforts to achieve the goals and objectives of their grant if at any time you have a question or problem implementing your project you should feel free to call upon us for assistance. Once an award notice from a funder is received by the College, an initial grants management meeting will be scheduled. Members of the project staff, grant finance and Resource Development will be in attendance. During this meeting the highlights of the grant- including the objectives, reporting and budget requirements, activity implementation, and College grant management protocol will be reviewed. The goal of this first meeting is to clearly define the responsibilities and expectations (of both the funder and the College) associated with the management of the grant.
What is the single most important thing I should do as a new project director?
Be familiar with your approved grant proposal. Your proposal is your blueprint of what you should do, when it needs to be done, who is responsible for it, and what you should accomplish.
How do I know what is allowable under a grant?
Every grant program has a unique set of requirements and regulations. The best place to get started is to look at your approved proposal. If your proposal does not clearly state that you can do or purchase something, don't assume it is allowable before you check with the Resource Development or Grants Accounting office. Remember just because it's a grant, it doesn't mean that it is exempt from the College policies and procedures.
How should I respond to a funder asking for information about my grant?
Before you respond to any inquiry please contact Resource Development or Grants Accounting. We can often help “decode” what the funder wants and help to draft a response.
Is a grant budget different from a College budget?
In most cases the answer is yes. Most grant budgets come with very specific regulations that may restrict the transfers between budget categories, prohibit the purchase of certain goods, or services, and limit the specific time frame when the funds are available. In many cases, modifications to the originally approved budget requires prior approval from the funder. This approval process (coordinated by the RDO) can be very detailed and may require several months to attain. Please always consult with Resource Development and Finance when you have restrictions that require prior approval.
What are the reporting requirements related to my grant?
Because every grant program is different, funders will have different reporting requirements. However, the reporting process for all grants is coordinated and submitted by the College. Grant accounting will process and submit all financial reports. Program reporting is coordinated by the RDO. Normally, project directors submit a draft report to Resource Development two weeks prior to the due date. Resource Development will then submit the report for an internal review process which includes approval from the administrator(s) responsible for the grant, and if required, will then obtain the signature of the President. The report is then submitted by Resource Development on behalf of the College.
Still have questions about Grant Management? Call the Resource Development Office at 407-582-2911.