Nothing will be accomplished unless adequate funding is provided to, by, or with the fleet owner. Part of our service to the fleet owner is to find other people’s funds that might be available for use. When we find a source of funding, we will assess whether or not the fleet owner can be successful in obtaining that funding. Grants and tax credit activities are each designed to accomplish specified goals, set by the funding organization or their controlling board. When both their goals and the fleet owner goals are close matches, we can assist in providing a compelling application package.
Using proven grant writing techniques is very important to achieving success. The words written must accurately reflect the goals and planned operations of the fleet and likewise clearly address the needs and goals of the funding organization. Understanding the intent, both stated and implied by the funding agent is key to successful grant applications.
Our grant writer has been successful on the federal level with the EPA and the DOE as well as the 2009 ARRA. On the Texas level, he has been successful with the State Energy Conservation Office, the Texas Emission Reduction Program and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. In addition, he was successful with a Clean School Bus grant for particulate emission reductions and with a local education grant entitled “Think Big” which was offered by the Council of Parent Teacher Associations.
Grant applications must be prepared to meet every small concern of the funding entity. A complete understanding of the requirements of the administrative instructions is essential. Often the grant application has multiple parts that are seemingly written in a different or conflicting manner. The Guidelines of that entity, often provided by their controlling board or legislature, provide the intent and clarity into what is really required to be accomplished. Likewise, often the Request for Grant Applications has many details which are tailored to the specific grant endgame but also refer to the more generic guidelines. Understanding both is a necessary task prior to the first draft of the grant application.
Obviously each sentence of the grant application has an impact on the decision maker staff. Use of phraseology that is understood by that decision maker is very important. The combination of words, phrases, and details should compel their staff to conclude that this is the application with the most opportunity for success and the least expense for each measurable metric that relates to the stated goals.
Grant applications are quite competitive and once an entity has been approved for a grant, here are many steps to be accomplished to establish the contractual obligations, Scope of Work, and to prepare for the monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and/or annual reports required by that grant administration. The Scope of Work provides the details of the expectations and actual deliverable itemized into the contract between the grant funding organization and the fleet owner.
Failure to adhere to the timelines or deliverables, including miles traveled annually, can result in litigation or censorship and return of grant funds. None of these are desirable and all can be avoided by proper assessment and clear statements of intent and by preparing for the collection of data that supports the accomplishment of these items.