THE PLAN OF OPERATIONS AND COLLABORATIONS, STAFFING AND ADEQUACY OF RESOURCES, BUDGET NARRATIVE, AND EVALUATION AND DISSEMINATION

Assignment 3 – The plan of operations and collaborations, staffing

ASSIGNMENT 3 – THE PLAN OF OPERATIONS AND COLLABORATIONS, STAFFING AND ADEQUACY OF RESOURCES, BUDGET NARRATIVE, AND EVALUATION AND DISSEMINATION (16 Points)

Assignment 3 incorporates several key sections of a grant proposal into one Assignment.

The PLAN OF OPERATION AND COLLABORATIONS tells the story of what will happen in your project once funding is awarded. It is the most important section of the proposal because a reviewer must clearly understand all the activities, including how you will recruit participants (unless you have an audience already in place), how you plan to provide prevention or therapeutic services, and how the logistics will function every day of the project. 

Collaborations are provided by outside businesses and organizations that will contribute products (such as food or office supplies) and services (such as residential services or psychotherapy) to your participants at no cost. Therefore, Collaborations are seen as donations or as “in-kind” services to the project and are required or encouraged by many grant funding organizations.

The Staffing and Adequacy of Resources section will let the funding source know that you plan to hire the right people for the project and that you have office space and all that is needed to make the project a success. The Budget Narrative will explain the details of your costs and expenditures, and the Evaluation and Dissemination section will describe how you will measure success and then tell the world about it.

Please submit this assignment as an attachment (not in the text box) and with a cover page with your name and the title and number of the assignment to the Assignments Tab of BB. This assignment’s sections that must be used as headers are:

The Plan of Operation
Collaborations
Staffing and Adequacy of Resources
Budget Narrative
Evaluation and Dissemination
A minimum of 6 pages, double spaced, is required for this assignment. Use the headers above for each section within the Assignment so they are clearly identified.

INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED IN EACH SECTION:

THE PLAN OF OPERATION and COLLABORATIONS (3 pages)

The Plan of Operation expands the objectives of your program, describing the specific activities for each objective (list them).
This section should be clear and easy to understand.
Here, you are telling the reviewer what will happen, step-by-step, in your project.
Include everything you need to do to make this a success, such as:
how you plan to find the participants for the project?
where the project will be housed?
what are the services that will be provided?
how you will schedule appointments and provide follow-up?
what happens if a participant stops coming or drops out?
what types of counseling, and how (individual, couples, families, groups) will be provided? Why? (evidence-based, best practice)
if psychoeducational activities will be provided, who will conduct them and what type of information will be imparted?
Include “a day in the life” here, where you will describe a typical project day if funding is awarded. Here you also describe the setting, what happens when participants arrive, how they are served by the project (through therapy or other activities), what happens when they leave, what happens if they bring children, etc.
Equal access for all, regardless of gender, religion, race or handicapping condition, should be discussed in this section.
Discuss the expected outcomes/impact once the Plan of Operation is successfully implemented. How are participants expected to change after they go through your program?
COLLABORATIONS can include organizations that give you space for your program so that you don’t have to pay for it, provide food or snacks, provide therapeutic services or referrals, etc. Collaborations enrich your grant and increase your chances of getting funded. Collaborators may include schools, mental health centers, grocery stores or restaurants for snacks, recreational facilities, other programs that may be used for client referrals at no charge to the clients, etc. Collaborations are an important part of grant proposals, as funding sources expect you to have “partners” that believe in, and support, your project. Sometimes, the cost of the donations (such as the cost of food, or the cost of the space they are letting you use) from collaborations are referred to as “in kind” monies that are included in your budget in a section that may be titled “In Kind Donations”.
STAFFING, ADEQUACY OF RESOURCES, AND BUDGET (1-2 Pages)

Describe “who does what” in terms of staff, therapists, etc.
Who supervises whom? What about credentials and licenses?
Are counselors supervised by psychologists or psychiatrists?
How are the duties of the clerical staff determined? Why are they necessary?
Who answers the phone to take referrals and speak to clients/patients?
What about “adequacy of resources”? Do you have “adequate” offices with parking spaces, computers, and all that is needed for the project?
Include a Budget Narrative (a couple of sentences explaining the purpose) for the following sections, with a dollar amount for each section:
Staff (clerical and other) and Professional Personnel (mental health professionals and other professionals)
Equipment (computers, copiers, printers, etc.)
Supplies (office supplies, educational materials)
Contractual (space rental, office cleaning, etc.)
Other (marketing, advertising, duplication of flyers, postage, etc.)
Can your “Collaborators” provide office space, food, or other services? If yes, list it in your budget so that the grant reviewer knows it will be donated.
Note that the total amount of funds requested may not exceed $150,000.
PROJECT EVALUATION AND DISSEMINATION (2 Pages)

The Project Evaluation and Dissemination section of your proposal answers the question of “How will you measure success?” It is very important to funders because they may not want to fund a project where the measurement of success is ambiguous or unclear. That is why in your grant proposal you have to develop operational definitions for any behaviors or attitudes you plan to address. For example, if you will be increasing self-esteem, how will you measure this? How do you define self-esteem? How is it observed? How will you know if a participant’s self-esteem increased? In this section, you will once again repeat the project’s objectives and align, for each SMART objective, the related outcome measure(s).

Mental health projects are especially challenging for funders because it is sometimes difficult to quantify increases in self-esteem or self-efficacy, decreases in suicidal ideation, increase in self-confidence so that abuse is no longer tolerated, etc. There are scales that can be purchased to measure change in mental disposition, but there are other ways to measure change as well.

Some of these ways include the keeping of journals for self-awareness and self- evaluation, and having participants evaluate change at the end of the project. Portfolios may also be used and these can include testimonials, photographs, poems and songs, and personal interviews. In the case of children, interviewing parents and teachers, as well as the children themselves, can be effective. Observation is also used with children for programs which increase social skills, such as those available for children within the autism spectrum.

The following are some suggestions, and questions to consider when writing your evaluation section:

How will project’s effectiveness and its success be evaluated?
Make sure you operationally defined terms such as “attitude” and “self-esteem”.
Describe in detail the type of data to be collected and at what point in the process it will be collected.
Keep in mind that some of these processes cost money and that they must be included in the budget.
Go back to the “desired outcomes” in the Plan of Operation and make sure you have addressed these in the evaluation section.
Use quantitative (numerical) data, if possible, and try to use scales and questionnaires that are quantitative
Interviews, testimonials, pre and post surveys also acceptable forms of evaluating success.
If necessary, a portfolio may also be acceptable, but only if there is no other way to evaluate success and/or impact. This includes pictures, testimonials, schedules, agendas, etc.
Include a short DISSEMINATION PLAN so that other individuals who wish to replicate the project can be informed. This can be through websites, journal articles, newsletters, and conference presentations. You may need to include money for this in the budget to pay for printing or attending conferences.

THE PLAN OF OPERATIONS AND COLLABORATIONS, STAFFING AND ADEQUACY OF RESOURCES, BUDGET NARRATIVE, AND EVALUATION AND DISSEMINATION

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