Grant Writing Assistance with NWPA LWIA
If you are searching for a grant opportunity or grantwriting assistance:
Locating the "perfect" grant is not always easy, but many resources are available to assist you in your search. There are two Foundation Center libraries in Northwest Pennsylvania, including at the Blasco Library in Erie and at the Franklin Public Library. The better you understand your project, the more assistance the Foundation Centers will be able to lend to you.
Federal grant announcements can be researched at www.grants.gov and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration’s grants page. State grants are posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Recovery Act Workforce Development website.
The official Foundation Center website also provides free and low-cost online training for those new to researching and writing grants. Watch the Nonprofit Partnership's calendar, as they occasionally offer grant-related trainings in Erie. The Northwest Pennsylvania Grant Resource Center in Franklin offers a variety of free grant training classes. The Warren-Forest Higher Education Council also offers self-paced, online courses through Ed2Go that are more comprehensive (approximately 6 weeks) and specific—and also affordable (usually under $100 per class).
If you need to locate regional workforce data and reports:
The Northwest WIB and LWIA publish regional data and reports in the Resource Library on the nwpawib.org website, including monthly Labor Market and Unemployment Status reports. The Northwest PA Workforce Grants Blog frequently posts information on workforce related data sources and statistics. Searchable regional labor market data on unemployment, industry, occupations, and more is available at the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s Center for Workforce Information and Analysis website.
If you want to discuss a workforce project for a
potential partnership with the Northwest WIB and LWIA:
Please, complete the downloadable grant partnership request form. The LWIA Projects Team will review your proposed project to determine if it connects to the mission and priorities of the Northwest WIB. After review, LWIA staff will contact you on the next steps our organizations might consider taking to determine how we can best partner on a grant proposal or other options you may want to consider. This form assists the progress of potential grant projects on multiple levels—from initial conversations through the possible contracting and evaluation stages. Information on completing the form and contacts for questions are located within the form.
Additional Grant Resources
No Project, No Grant
"Chasing free money" will very rarely result in a funded grant or a successful project. Poorly planned projects or programs will be more difficult for you to implement and manage even if you do receive an award. The first step in the grantwriting process comes long before the writing of the actual grant. You should have realistic goals, outcomes, timelines, and budgets so you can more effectively locate grant opportunities that will be a good "fit" with your need. There are many online "checklists" to guide you through your planning, such as this one or this proposal outline. The sooner and more thoroughly you plan, the easier it will be for your grant process in the long run.
Research & Read
Once you find a grant opportunity that may fit your project, carefully read the guidelines. Pay attention to the scope, deadlines, eligibility requirements, allowable costs, and reporting processes. If it seems like a match, then carefully read them again. And again. And again. Find the contact information, and call the grantmaking agency before you begin writing. Be ready with a concise description of your project/need, and a few targeted questions related to the appropriateness of your submission with the grantor's mission and priorities.