THE GRANT DOCTOR: Grant Writing Tips




Adult Forums:  We will conduct quarterly educational forums at Marin General Hospital and Corte Madera Community Center.  Forums will generally be in a lecture format.  Projected topics and invited speakers include:

·      L. P. (president of the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project) on results of current breast cancer research on Long Island

·      S. S. (researcher for Silent Springs Institute) on results of the Newton and Cape Cod Studies

·      P. R. (head of Environmental Epidemiology and Geographic Information Section, California Health Department) on new research in California on breast cancer links to organochlorines and electromagnetic radiation 

·      Dr. M. L. (founder and president of Commonweal and author of Alternative Choices) on alternative treatment options

·      Dr. J. G. (author of Preventing Breast Cancer) on ionizing radiation as a cause of breast cancer

·      D. M. (breast cancer survivor and grassroots activist) on activism, spirituality and breast cancer

We estimate attendance of 1000 people over the course of the year.

Evaluation:  We will track attendance via sign-in sheet and compare against target attendance. In a written survey, audience members will comment on usefulness of content, suggest format changes, and recommend future speakers.

High School Forums:  We will conduct quarterly educational forums in Marin high schools. Some student forums will be conducted by guest speakers for the adult forums.  Others will be conducted by a corps of 5-10 community educators (members of BCAN who have attended the adult forums and who have a personal experience of cancer).  We estimate reaching 800 students over the course of the year.  The forums will operate cooperatively with an environmental education program in the schools currently sponsored by the Pacific Environment and Resources Center.  We are currently in discussion with H. C. of the Center to expand content and format to include links between the environment and health.  Students will be taught how to review environmental records through hands-on experience as part of BCAN research projects.

Evaluation:  We will track attendance by head count and compare against target attendance. Students will be given a short test over content to evaluate effectiveness of forums.

Quarterly Newsletter:  With the volunteered time of R. C. (a professional journalist and BCAN volunteer), we will develop an 8-page quarterly newsletter to keep the community informed of recent developments in breast cancer research and grassroots organizing.  The mailing list will be based on a 1000 name database including attendees at past adult forums.  Sign-up forms will be made available at Marin General Hospital in the Breast Health Center and at private clinics throughout Marin County.  Circulation is estimated at 1200.  We will also develop a tri-fold pamphlet.  These will be handed out at forums and will briefly describe BCAN’s mission and activities.

Evaluation:  We will compare targeted circulation and publication frequency to actual circulation and publication frequency.  Further, in each newsletter we will invite reader response to content and format and provide a space for letters to the editor.

Media Coverage:  With the assistance of G. R. (public relations professional and BCAN volunteer), we will develop and place 10-15 articles and letters-to-the-editor in the Marin Independent Journal.  Topics will include responses to current research, announcements of new BCAN grants and projects, updates on statistics, grassroots activities in the Bay Area, and personal stories of breast cancer survivors.

Evaluation:  We will track articles and letters placed and compare to targeted placements.  We will also track media references to BCAN.

Promotion of Research: Board members will work with a contracted grant writer to develop proposals supporting cutting edge research. As part of proposal development, we will fund travel by two board members to New York and Boston to study the research methods of the Silent Springs Institute and the Long Island Breast Cancer Research Project.  Potential funders include:

·    Breast Cancer Research Council’s Community Research Collaboration Program.  In conjunction with the University of California system, the Council annually distributes about $16 million gleaned from California’s tobacco tax.  The funds are targeted for breast cancer research.  We currently have a $75,000 pilot award under this program, and will be preparing an application for a full research award to cover a $500,000 three-year study of factors in adolescence that put women at risk for breast cancer later in life.  We will also apply for a pilot project on environmental risk factors.

·    California Endowment.  The Endowment, a new foundation created by the privatization of Blue Cross of California, is committed to funding health-related initiatives.  The Endowment recently announced new guidelines for funding for projects that  address “persistent and/or emerging health challenges using a holistic, integrative, systems change approach.”

·   W. Alton Jones Foundation.  The foundation funds research on the impact of toxins on the ecosystem.

Evaluation:  We will track grant proposals submitted and awards made.  We intend to submit nine proposals and receive funding for at least three with an estimated total of $200,000 in new funding.