Innovation Grant Lab series: Finish line! (March)

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Hello, and welcome back to our asynchronous workshop series, How to Design a Successful Innovation Grant.

The series began in September, and it ends this month, when Innovation Grant proposals are due to the Virginia Western Educational Foundation.

Let’s review some of our Lab Lessons so far, including:

#1: Grant proposals are not time wasted … even if you FAIL

#2: Know the rules of the game

#3: Focus on NEEDS first, solutions second

#4: Begin with the budget

#5 Relationships are the secret sauce

#6 Baby steps work

#7: Assume success

So we’re here … March 2022, and applications are typically due the last Friday in March.

That brings us to our final Lab Lesson #8Respect the details!

The fine print is important, especially when it comes to grant applications.

You have come so far during this series — you have really thought about the big-picture goals, you understand the needs, created a budget, talked up your idea, and you’re expecting success.

Now we have to follow the specific directions in the application.

Re-read the first page of the application again, very closely.

Hopefully you noticed the signatures required on Page 1.

And there are EARLIER deadlines for your Supervisor (2 weeks prior to submittal), and the Vice President of your division (1 week before submission).

This may seem like more bureaucratic hoops, but these advance signatures are required for a reason: Your Supervisor and VP need adequate time to read and approve your proposal.

But since you’ve been working so far ahead — chatting up your idea with your supervisor all along — the signatures should really be a formality.

So what’s next?

You are submitting your proposal! Just be sure to:

  • Re-read the directions
  • Follow the directions
  • Don’t miss the deadlines
  • Thank everyone who helped you along the way
  • Celebrate your success! This is an awesome accomplishment!

Here’s a fun tip: Whenever we were awarded a grant, I would ring the Virtual Gong, which you can easily share on LinkedIn and Twitter. You better tag me! 🙂 I’m @smogilvie and on LinkedIn.

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About Stephanie

Stephanie SeagleStephanie Ogilvie Seagle has served as Grant Specialist at Virginia Western since 2016, but she prefers her honorary title: “Chief Joy Officer.” Stephanie spent most of her career at The Roanoke Times, a daily newspaper, where she served in various news and features roles including “Shoptimist” shopping columnist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies at George Mason University and a master’s of arts in liberal studies at Hollins University. Stephanie is a mom to one human daughter and multiple chihuahuas … and is obsessed with reading nonfiction, Halloween, and crafting glow necklaces inspired by the Mill Mountain Star. Glow Roanoke!

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