Monday, May 14, 2007

Creating Model Programs And Their Effect on Getting Grants

You may have read about model programs, or model projects and how important they are to potential grant donors. You might wonder...what is this all about?

If your non profit organization creates a program, project, method, study, educational program, or even an innovative item, or any other new way to deal with, perceive, treat, educate, study, etc. in order to fulfill your group's mission - you may very likely have a model on your hands. A model is any innovation that can be replicated. If the innovation is something that should be replicated, because maybe it lowers the cost of doing something that is a standard today, or it is more effective, etc; it is a very likely candidate for grant support.

Grant donors love innovation and anything that can be replicated in your field because it makes your field's work easier or better. Models are very important and so donors support them.

For instance, let's say that you and I are scientists at a cancer research non profit; a medical university. Let's say, too, that we are working on a cure for leukemia. Let's also say that you and I developed a new research method that we are wanting to attempt in the 2008 - 2009 school year. We've found strong indications from other research we've recently completed that our new method could allow us to access red blood cells quicker and more accurately than any known methods. We realized that if this new method is accurate and as effective as we think it is, it would revolutionize our research but also other sciences who work with red blood cells!

This program would be very important. The method that we've developed would be something that we'd use in our future work, if it is successful, but it could also be replicated by other organizations and companies all over the world. It would benefit our whole field and other industries. The benefits, if it turns out that our new method works, are that scientists will be able to access red blood cell quicker and more accurately. These goals are undeniably a benefit to science and medicine. Lastly, our research on our proposed new method has indicated that there's a high likelihood that we are correct and that we can actually do what we are attempting to.

All of these attributes of this proposed new research program make this method a good model candidate. This method, if it is found to be successful and accurate, can be taught to other scientists, doctors, and to students in appropriate fields. It would save money, time, and lives. It is an innovation that can be replicated to the benefit of many other causes. This is an excellent example of what a model is.

Grant donors like supporting innovations because it moves many fields and causes forward in their work and effectiveness. As I wrote in the blog entry, "A Shift In Giving: Proactive Philanthropists Instead of Passive Donors" , today's donors are not passively handing over checks, blindly, anymore. Today's donor is savvy, researched, very passionate about the causes that they support, results - driven, and involved. As today's donor is interested in results, meeting needs, and working with informed organizations - funding innovations are an excellent fit.

Programs, projects, and other work that create new ways of doing something; or faster, cheaper, better methods have a high likelihood of being a model program or project. This innovation could help others in their work and could be replicated. Models are a win win scenario for non profits and their investors, some of which are grant donors.

For more information on what grant donors typically like, and don't like read my posts:

What Campaigns, Programs, or Items Get Grants?

What Does Not Get Funded Well By Grant Money?

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