Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 100: On the road-Dramatic Adventure and the grant writing process

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dramatic Adventure Theatre shares the journey of the Pepsi Refresh Challenge
                                              The Application Process

I had a conversation with my daughter, Mary K., co-owner of Dramatic Adventure Theatre. We went through the process of filling out the application and gathered experiences to share with you.

Here is the link to the Dramatic Adventure Theatre idea. They need DAILY voting for the next 9 days:

If you are specifically interested in applying for this grant, the first thing I would do is click on the link above. Then, After voting! Click on the following words:

How It Works
anyone can submit their idea
Download the toolkit

The toolkit lists the step by step instructions and lists the dates for applying. This is the most critical piece to understand.

Here is some advice from Mary K. about the application:

1) Go into the site and pick a few "ideas" to follow. "Ideas" is the term that pepsi uses throughout the site. 

2) Look at the ideas in the Top 10 spots and the bottom 10 spots. Look at the presentation of the ideas.

3) Make a list of things you like and don't like. Think about things you already have created for your organizations website. Do you have pictures, a solid mission statement, short videos? Do you have a "why" for doing this?

4) There are 10 winners every month in the $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000 categories. The top 10 ideas with the most votes.

5) The $250,000 category is awarded to the Top 2. She feels that you need a really solid support system in place to receive enough votes to reach that level.

6. When applying for a grant take the lower category instead of reaching for a higher number. For example, if you have an idea with a budget of $30,000, select the $25,000 level. In the budget notes, make a note that you will be raising the additional $5,000 for the project. Someone may see that note and donate money to you. Do not add an extra $20,000 to your budget, if you can do it for $30,000.

7. Your application is also your "idea" website. So, it all has to be ready when you submit it.

8. Mary K and Jesse applied on the first day of the month, at 12:00 am (midnight). They received confirmation at 12:08 am. When they checked something at 12:28 am, the application process for the month was closed. 1000 applications were received.

9. The first picture you upload becomes the lead picture on your site. You can't change it. Choose the picture that best reflects your idea.

10. On that note, Mary K. was noticing all kinds of typos, even on an organization's name. Review all of the information well. This will be the face of your organization for the entire month. You can not change it once it uploaded and the voting begins.

11. If you are an individual applying for a grant vs an organization, select one of the lower amounts of money. *one important note for an individual. Write the description like a biography in 3rd person. It brings more credibility to the project. For example, you have a quilting project and you need funding for materials. "Dana has been a quilter for 20 years. Her greatest passion is providing quilts to people who are in hospice. The quilts provide warmth for the patient who is dying and the quilt goes home with the family member as a memory of the last days of their life. The quilts created by Dana will provide..." Mary the presentation from 3rd person is more powerful and compelling. Instead of writing, I have been a quilter for ... I will provide...I have done...

12. This last piece can be a little confusing. I am going to break this down into bite-size pieces.
-You have applied for the grant and your application has been "received"
-You will receive notification of final acceptance around 6am on the first day of the month.
-The pepsi website shuts down 8pm-midnight on the last day of the month.
-Basically, you will prepare everything and still you don't know if you are accepted until the day the voting begins.

Timeline example:

Idea site is completed by Feb 28 at noon
Application submitted at 12:01 am on March 1
March is the month to prepare your idea site with information and videos and pictures
April 1 6am (approx time) you receive the Yes! that you are accepted and everything goes LIVE.

I hope this was helpful to some of you who will be applying for this grant or another grant. Next week, we will list things Dramatic Adventure Theatre did to prepare for the voting.

All of the preparations made their organization stronger. Even if they had not been accepted for the grant process, they created a momentum in their company. They have all learned and grown so much this month.

More information next week. Thanks for voting!

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