Carolyn Owens

From boring to brilliant: Using data for maximum impact

posted by
Carolyn Owens,
Grant Writer & Partner
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This is part two of Carolyn Owen's series on gathering and using data for grant proposals. Read part 1 here.

Data is a vital part of your grant application. It’s the link that turns a bunch of random declarations about the issue your nonprofit is addressing into a statement with weight and relevance. Data can illustrate the scope of the problem, the need for your program, and why it will be successful.

So how do you intertwine data in the proposal so that it supports and amplifies your cause rather than obfuscate it? Although I would not claim to be an expert, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned in close to 15 years of researching and compiling grant proposals.

Remember the data should be:

  • Recent, within the past 2 years if possible
  • As local as possible, relating to the community, city or state where your program is located
  • From a recognized, reputable source - a federal agency, well respected research group such as Annie Casey Foundation, or peer journal
  • Related to the need to be addressed by your program.

Google and beyond: How to master search engine research for your grant proposal

posted by
Carolyn Owens,
Grant Writer & Partner
501 Navigation

Don’t get me wrong. Google is my best friend. I shudder when I think of how difficult it was in the dark ages prior to this uber useful search engine. However, Google is a tool, and like other search engines, a data middleman, not the end result. I myself have been frustrated by even its super powers to extract data that I know is out there in cyberspace.

So how do we search so we can find that most wonderful of prizes? How to best use the Internet to find the data we need? How do we judge the quality of the hits we get?

Although I do not claim to be an expert, I am happy to share what I’ve learned in more than a decade of mining the Internet for information to support grant proposals.

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