In higher education, grants can be catalytic in running successful and sustainable programs. This is especially true in the fields of healthcare and education sciences, where programming is expensive and there are significant requirements for staying accredited.
Use the information in this blog to help your higher education healthcare programs understand how grants can help you and what steps you can take to be more successful in your solicitation of grantors.
Why Higher Education Healthcare Programs Need Grants
When most people think of grants, they think of “free money.” And while they’re technically correct—a grant is a cash award that doesn’t have to be paid back— there’s so much more that goes into earning and using grants.
For higher education healthcare programs, in particular, grants are essential in:
- Staying afloat. In some situations, grants are necessary in order to simply pay the bills and stay in the black. For smaller schools and community colleges, grants may make up a large percentage of overall funding. Without these grants, it’s tough to perform at the necessary levels.
- Funding technology. Healthcare technology and equipment is expensive – particularly when it has to be purchased in large quantities to outfit classrooms and labs. Certain grants help higher education healthcare programs stay current with their technology in order to remain competitive.
- Funding research. Postsecondary schools often develop a reputation through research and scholarships. For small healthcare programs to stand a chance at making a big splash, funding is required. Research grants in higher education can level the playing field and provide the resources necessary to make groundbreaking discoveries. Moreover, additional funding can ensure student achievements can be presented and shared appropriately for further visibility and future funding.
- Developing students. Grants can be used to extend financial scholarships, entice prospective students, and provide members of the program with the opportunities they need to thrive as students (and even as graduates).
At the end of the day, the right higher education grants play a key role in helping healthcare programs stay accredited. Without this funding, many would be unable to meet even the basic standards set by state and national accreditation boards. We aren’t just talking about “free money” in the sense of winning the lottery, we’re discussing essential components of the financial foundations of many postsecondary education programs.
Learn about some of the essential tech support for a healthcare simulation space you may want to consider for your grant application.
5 Grant Writing Tips for Success
Higher education healthcare grants don’t get tossed around like candy at a parade. They’re precious assets that are only offered when a program proves it has a need, is designed to promote student achievement, and comes with a strategic plan for using the money.
For your healthcare program to attract the funding it needs to thrive, you need to take grant writing – i.e. the act of soliciting grantors – seriously.
Here are some higher education healthcare program grant writing tips to help you review and improve your current process:
1. Find the Right Grants to Meet Your Healthcare Program Needs
There are grants for everything. Depending on the post-secondary institution’s size, location, and program type, there could be dozens of grants available. The key is to zero in on the right grants for your higher education program.
In other words, make a short list of the grants that:
(a) will be most beneficial to your program;
(b) are realistically attainable; and
(c) meet your goals and timelines.
Once you have identified a handful of possible post-secondary education grant opportunities, refine the list further to solidify the ones that best fit your needs. These are the grants you want to spend your time on.
2. Consider the Pros and Cons
As previously mentioned, grants are often essential in funding big higher education projects and remaining competitive on a larger scale. They also provide colleges and universities with opportunities to enhance visibility and promote credibility. But grants can also be very time-consuming.
“It first takes time to develop grant-writing skills that actually win grant proposals, then it takes time to write a winning application, and then it can take quite a while for you to see the funds in your bank account,” DonorBox.org explains. “Additionally, grants usually come with strings attached. Typically, there are conditions that will refer to how exactly you can use the money. These conditions can also be related to particular program outputs or outcomes.”
In other words, applying for a healthcare program grant just for the sake of running through the motions isn’t the best plan of action. Always weigh the pros and cons and make decisions based on all the facts you have in front of you.
3. Build Relationships With the Right People
Networking is a highly significant piece of the grant writing puzzle. Just like with any type of fundraising, relationships matter.
Take your time and cultivate relationships with the right people. This may look like calling a foundation to see who is in charge of the grant or striking up a conversation with a program officer.
While email and social media are certainly helpful networking tools, nothing replaces having real face-to-face conversations with people. Try in-person networking whenever possible.
By establishing genuine connections and trust, you ensure that your grant proposal brings more credibility and attracts more visibility. Strong relationships can be a bridge to help secure funding and make a meaningful impact.
4. Get Familiar with the Fundamentals of Grant Writing
Whether you plan to do it on your own or outsource it to someone else, it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of grant writing.
Every grant will have slightly different requirements and specifications, but most follow a pretty similar structure.
- Be sure to read the instructions and guidelines of the grant or funding opportunity, paying close attention to the format, length, style, and content of your application.
- Explain how your project or activity will contribute to the higher education program or healthcare field while also highlighting your strengths, achievements, and the program’s potential. In the application, this might include a written summary, a succinct mission statement, an expressed problem or need, and clearly communicate how the funding will be used to alleviate the underlying issue and produce more favorable outcomes.
- Include evidence and examples to support your arguments and use persuasive language to emphasize why the committee should select your proposal.
- Make sure that all required documents and information are included in the application, such as a cover letter, a proposal, a budget, a CV, a letter of recommendation, or a statement of purpose.
Understanding the nuances of higher education healthcare program grant proposals equips you with the knowledge to craft precise, compelling narratives that resonate with potential funders. Through this knowledge, you'll pave the way for securing vital resources to enhance healthcare education and research.
5. Consider Hiring a Grant Writer
Grant writing is a highly technical expertise. Unless you have experience writing grants – or you’re willing and able to learn on the fly – you may be better off hiring a grant writer.
A professional grant writer understands how to write compelling grants. This allows them to focus on gathering the right information and organizing it into a single persuasive document that’s designed to move people to action.
Just make sure you hire the right person for the job!
Uninformed or ineffective approaches to grant writing can not only prevent you from winning grants but could also damage your organization’s reputation with funders and your local community. Make sure you ask questions and check references before hiring a grant writer.
Take Your Program to the Next Level
Accreditation is a big issue for healthcare programs in today’s higher education field. Many of today’s governing boards are now requiring video observation for programs to become accredited and/or maintain accreditation.
If you find yourself in need of audio or video capture software solutions, the experts at
Intelligent Video Solutions can help.
If you’re looking for ways to improve training programs, for example, our video training solutions provide a cost-effective opportunity to enhance your core offerings, without the added requirement of securing a grant.
We highly recommend exploring all of your options so you can make a cost-effective decision.
Not sure if simulation is the right choice for your program? Take a look at our recent blog: Why Simulation Training is So Important (and How It's Evolving) to learn more about the key benefits to higher education.
If you’re considering an expansion, renovation, or new simulation space, our latest Healthcare Simulation Planning Guide can help you get started. It includes topics and tools to use in the early planning stages, including key players, funding, and equipment evaluation.
Intelligent Video Solutions can help you understand the best A/V capture solutions for your new healthcare simulation lab and set you up for success! Contact us today to learn more!