Magazine article Law & Order

Host a Grants Seminar

Magazine article Law & Order

Host a Grants Seminar

Article excerpt

You are seeking grants, of course. But maybe you are also seeking a grant-writing seminar in your area, one that will help you land those grants. You do an Internet search but can't turn up anything in the near future in your region. So, you think, "We ought to host a grants seminar."

Hosting is much easier than you might think and it leads to much positive publicity for your agency, a chance to network with other agencies, and the opportunity to send at least two of your people to the seminar for free. Not bad for a little groundwork in exchange.

A few companies offer seminars, but one of the industry's leaders is Grant Writing USA. It provides seminars across the nation, going where invited by hosts who want a workshop in their geographic region. The seminars offered by Grant Writing USA run two days and are given at no cost to the host except for the time involved in promoting the seminar (mainly e-mails and faxes), and, if applicable, the cost of renting a facility where the seminar will be held.

Grant Writing USA covers the instructor's expenses and provides all the instructor and student materials used for the training sessions. Although hosting is one way to get a seminar in your area, be aware that your request might be turned down if there's another seminar in its planning stage in your region.

The host provides a classroom setting (for at least 40 people) with desks or tables at which the students can work comfortably. Good acoustics might suffice if the group is about 40 students, but a sound system will likely be needed for larger groups. The host must also provide a "white board," a projector that accepts laptop signals, and Internet access (preferably through highspeed, although dial-up is acceptable). In the "not necessary, but nice" category is providing refreshments and snacks in the morning and/or afternoon, but the host is not required to provide lunches.

It is up to the host to garner the students-40 is the preferred enrollment. There is a marketing plan that the host receives that explains how to obtain participants. Support staff members from Grant Writing USA are available to assist the host. Grant Writing USA handles the process of registrations, pre- and post-seminar support, calls, and billing, and the instructor has his own laptop computer. The host is given two free enrollments, but, for every 10 paid enrollments, the host is given another free registration. These "free tickets" can be used by the host, sold, or given away.

At the very least, eight weeks in advance must be allotted for planning and promoting. Although the host can choose the days on which the seminar will be offered, usually a Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/ Friday pairing works best. Each day's session runs from 9am to 4pm, with lunch from noon to 1:20pm.

Because some of the students will be coming from areas outside the host's immediate region, the host needs to provide information about two or more local hotels. Additional information about nearby restaurants for lunch, locations near the hotels for dinner, and local attractions will also be appreciated by students. This information is posted on the registration pages of the Grant Writing USA Web site.

Although most of the students you attract will be first-time grant writers, you may also have a few enrollments from those seeking to sharpen their skills or get new information about grants and grant writing. Grant Writing USA emphasizes that their seminars are meant for government and non-profit organizations. The curriculum stresses how to write grants and how to find grant funding.

As a "selling point" for the seminar, alumni of the seminar are permitted unlimited, free access to the "Alumni Forum" at which research, consulting and other ideas are offered. …

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