Grantsmanship at Valencia: Demystifying the Grant Proposal Process


If you want to write a grant proposal and can use help determining where to begin, you’re in luck. Kristeen Christian, assistant vice president, resource development, talks about where to start the grant proposal process.

Identify the Need First

If you want to access outside funding, it is important to first identify a need, preferably related to a student need. Although funding sources are not concerned if you do not have resources, they do care whether or not you are tackling a significant need and if you can further their goals and objectives. To help you determine whether the need is one that would receive funding consideration, it is wise to consider the following questions:

  • Do you have a significant need that impacts your work?
  • Does it impact your students, department, organization or community?
  • Do you have data to support your need?
  • Is it a local, state or national need?
  • Do you have comparative data?

Simply put, without a need statement, you do not have a proposal. However, if the answers are resoundingly “yes,” then you are well on your way to active problem solving and potential grant funding.

Once you have determined the significance of the need, you will want to list all of the long-term implications if the need is not addressed. Ask yourself: Why this is a problem? What are the causes of the problem? How can I help to solve it? Do I have any influence in solving this problem?

Through the grant proposal process the Resource Development staff will walk you through an analysis of your problem statement, ideas to help solve the problem and will coordinate with you the essential components of a grant proposal.

To learn more about the Essentials of a Grant Proposal, click here for Proposal Components.

Winning grant proposals come to life with stories and visuals and will also include facts and details.

Are you qualified to design and deliver a solution to a problem that you’ve identified? Do you have a broad-based understanding of the problem? Are you passionate about the issue and up-to-date on the current literature regarding it?

If so, there is a high likelihood that a funding source exists. The Resource Development Office is available to help you find that source and make your case.

Competitive and Worth It!

Grants are highly competitive. When funded, grant awards can seed new projects and support unique initiatives. Ultimately, grant funding becomes a college’s cornerstone for innovation and helps us to build capacity by securing resources to fund programs in support of student access and success.

If you have an idea for a grant proposal, please contact the Resource Development Office at

We look forward to partnering with you.

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