top of page

Involving Evaluators on Grant Proposals

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

By Stacy Hayden

Research Associate

Shaffer Evaluation Group recently finished working with several partners to develop and submit grant applications for the Department of Defense Education Activity Broad Agency Announcement for 2023. SEG frequently partners with school districts, institutions of higher education, tribal governments, and community organizations on grant applications. Our partnership starts during the period of grant development and continues into the grant term.

Shaffer Evaluation Group offers fee-based grant writing services as well as post-award support when selected as the external evaluator. We also offer limited complimentary services to support your grant application—we write the evaluation section at no cost in exchange for being named as the evaluator in your grant application. Here are some questions you may have about working with SEG on a complimentary basis to develop a grant proposal.

1. How will you be involved in the grant proposal process? What will your role be?

While every proposal is handled a bit differently, SEG always works as an external partner in the process. We typically ask clients to contact us once a full rough draft is developed as we cannot do our work without understanding the scope and specific activities being proposed for the project. However, sometimes clients need support with developing goals and objectives. If this is the case, SEG can often connect with clients briefly via a virtual meeting to discuss the drafted goals and provide initial feedback.

After the draft is sent to SEG, we work to develop the designated sections. These are sent to the point of contact once developed for feedback. If needed, SEG will make changes and send the final version back to the client.

2. What sections of the grant narrative will you be responsible for preparing?

Each grant solicitation requires different components. Typically, SEG prepares the evaluation section, which may include a narrative section and/or an evaluation framework. In some cases (e.g., Department of Education proposals, National Science Foundation proposals), SEG may also prepare a logic model and/or theory of change for the application. However, the scope varies by type of proposal. Coordinating this with the evaluator at the beginning of the proposal process will ensure everyone is on the same page.

3. Your expertise spreads to other sections of the grant proposal too. Can our organization have your support in those sections as well?

Often there are additional questions/requirements that reference evaluation or the role of the evaluator throughout the grant application beyond the evaluation section (e.g., “plan for monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of professional learning”). SEG is happy to provide support in preparing these sections by providing clarification on components within the evaluation plan, answering questions about typical practices, and providing feedback on client ideas. However, we typically cannot write these sections as part of our complimentary grant support, but feel free to contact us to learn about our fee-based grant writing services.

4. How do we contact you if we have questions throughout the proposal process?

Technology has made collaborating on grants incredibly easy! Many of our partners choose to use tools such as Google Docs to develop their grant proposal. This is a great way to share your grant proposal with us, particularly as it allows us to see changes over time. However, we typically look at this at key points in time as opposed to checking it frequently. When we are providing complimentary grant proposal support, it is helpful if you email us with questions as opposed to tagging us in online documents as we may not be checking these frequently.

5. Are you able to attend all our grant team meetings?

While we find the time we are able to meet with clients who are writing proposals helpful, unfortunately we cannot attend all grant team meetings during the proposal development process. We often have to balance the work we are already doing for our clients with supporting grant proposals. While we are happy to meet to discuss your plan for the grant/answer questions, we try to meet one time toward the beginning of the process and then answer additional questions as needed via email or phone.

We love having the opportunity to partner with clients prior to grant funding. Being able to provide input at that stage helps to ensure projects are set up for success with strong goals, objectives, and plans to measure progress. The complimentary support provided by SEG at no cost in exchange for being named as the evaluator in your grant application varies from proposal to proposal, but the questions above are a great way to discuss expectations with your evaluator prior to beginning the process.

As previously noted, we also offer fee-based grant writing services that position SEG as a member of the grant team and provide more support. Please contact SEG if you are interested in partnering on a grant proposal -- whether using our complimentary support services or fee-based services.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page