Need Statement, Goals, and Objectives
Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have intellectual disabilities, which are the most common type of developmental disability (“What is intellectual disability?” 2017). For decades, it has been recognized that the needs of people with disabilities primarily encompass the creation of appropriate conditions that reduce the number of difficulties that those people face on a daily basis, the respect and fulfillment of their rights, and the establishment of social infrastructures and social services that can make their lives easier. However, it is also widely recognized today that the needs of people with disabilities include fulfillment and accomplishment; to an extent to which they can be engaged in social processes or accomplish meaningful work, people with disabilities should be encouraged to become engaged (Beadle-Brown et al., 2014) Previous studies established that inactive adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, i.e. people who have no daytime activities, do not necessarily suffer from depressive moods or health problems because of inactivity (Taylor & Hodapp, 2012); however, it is also known that inactivity is a factor that can deteriorate the state of people with disabilities. Therefore, appropriate opportunities should be provided, but a major obstacle is that people with disabilities do not always have access to meaningful activities or have time to engage in them because they struggle with everyday household-related problems that may be much more challenging for them than for people without disabilities.
At some point in their lives, some people may find themselves—or their loved ones may find them—no longer capable of running their homes on their own. This is a very vulnerable and a truly dreadful state, and many who find themselves in it have no-one to help them. There are many aspects of this inability to manage their own living, from challenges with fixing an electric bulb, doing shopping, or paying bills to full incapability of living without constant care. First of all, it is a humanitarian necessity to address these needs by providing residential services to adults with intellectual disabilities and to help them live in decent conditions. There are many initiatives to address this problem; one of them is conducting residential services programs, in which targets receive assistance in their homes or are given opportunities to live in a facility like in their own homes (“Residential services,” 2013; “Residential services,” 2017). However, there are still major complications with organizing these programs and reaching all potential targets; also, the funding is often insufficient, which means that not all the people who are in need of such assistance receive it. The proposed project is aimed at creating funding for residential services in the state of Pennsylvania for adults with intellectual disabilities.
In the context of the problem discussed above—the need for providing people with disabilities with opportunities to do meaningful work if they are capable of doing it and are willing to do it—it should be noticed that household-related difficulties are exactly the barriers that may prevent people with disabilities from such fulfillment. From the perspective of the need to support people with disabilities in their everyday lives and household tasks, it should not be overlooked that the individual needs of different people may be different. Some of them need assistance for which it is sufficient to have a social worker visit the person on a regular basis to help with groceries, maintenance, or paying bills. For other people, however, more extensive assistance may be needed, and they may find it more convenient to live in residential premises in which they share space with other people with disabilities, but it is important that they live there as in their own homes, not a facility. All these types of assistance can be provided through residential services.
The description of identified needs and proposed solutions should be aligned with the funder’s purpose, interests, and priorities (Ward, 2012). For the Clemens Family Corporation, two major considerations are family and community (“Charitable gift application instructions,” 2015). In the proposed project, communities are served by encouraging the engagement of people with disabilities who may be deprived of an opportunity of such engagement due to their everyday struggle with household tasks. From the perspective of family, the families of people with disabilities are engaged, too, as well as supported and assisted in their efforts to improve the living conditions of their close ones who have disabilities.
The goal of the proposed project is creating funding for residential services in the state of Pennsylvania for adults with intellectual disabilities. Funding creation may be accomplished by various means, and what is recognized as a crucial component of the process is communication. By explaining the identified needs and the proposed action, it is expected to attract funders whose purpose, interests, and priorities are relevant to the proposed project. The communication will be aimed at building a relationship with the funder that is based on common interests, and the project will play the role of mediation between the funder, the Clemens Family Corporation, and the receiver, the Indian Creek Foundation. The latter formulates its mission and philosophy as follows: “To provide opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live in and enrich the community throughout their lives” (“Mission & philosophy,” 2017, para. 1). This complies with the Clemens Family Corporation’s claimed mission, which is connected to serving the community interests, too.
The successfulness of the project will be measured through identifying the financial needs of the residential services programs and assessing the amount of generated funding. From this perspective, the goal of the project is that the needs of the organization that provides various residential services to targets are met, and more people receive necessary and sufficient assistance in terms of managing their living.
The objectives of the proposed project are as follows:
- To evaluate the current situation of the Indian Creek Foundation and measure the organization’s financial needs;
- To overview the activities of the organization and ensure that the assessed necessary funding will cover all the planned activities, and as many targets (adults with disabilities) will benefit from them as possible;
- To communicate to the Clemens Family Corporation the needs of the Indian Creek Foundation and connect the planned activities to the funder’s claimed mission;
- To evaluate the impact of the planned activities and demonstrate how adults with disabilities will be assisted in reality;
- To ensure that the residential services are designed in a way that sufficiently and effectively addresses the needs of targets;
- To evaluate the experience of other residential service organizations (e.g. residential service programs in Wisconsin) and relevantly apply it to the context of the Indian Creek Foundation in Pennsylvania.
- To obtain necessary funding and ensure that it is properly distributed among project activities according to the declared goals.
Methodology and Evaluation Plan
The program will consist in funding creation activities, primarily involving communication. Four major parties are recognized: the Clemens Family Corporation, the Indian Creek Foundation, the proposed project, and the general public. To the Clemens Family Corporation, the goals and planned activities of the project will be communicated to assure the corporation of the projects’ targets’ eligibility for funding and to demonstrate that the corporation is a good fit for the project, which is an essential component of a granting process (Flavin, 2014). With the Indian Creek Foundation, extensive communication is planned to identify the needs of the foundation and to monitor its activities in providing residential services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania. The proposed project will partially act as a mediator in the process of granting. The general public will be addressed with the purpose of raising awareness about the needs of people with disabilities and the goals of residential services provided to them. It is expected that general support can be received from the public, too.
A significant part of the program will be working with targets directly. For example, participation is planned in the Community Living Arrangements (CLA) program conducted by the Indian Creek Foundation; under this program, adults with developmental disabilities reside in common living space with constant support from trained social workers. Another initiative is lifesharing; under this program, families (who are preliminarily checked for criminal background and child abuse) accepts people with developmental disabilities to their homes and provide care, support, and some knowledge and skills to targets. The respite care program allows families that constantly take care of people with developmental disabilities to take a break by having someone who can take care of their family members temporarily, either in a host family or on an in-home basis; both hourly and overnight schedules are available. All these and other programs will be monitored and supported as part of the proposed project.
Non-personnel resources primarily include facilities, supplies, and technology. For the realization of the funding creation project, premises are not required; however, other parts of the project, such as ensuring the effectiveness of the Indian Creek Foundation’s activities, certain facilities and supplies may be needed according to the estimation of the foundation’s programs’ needs and objectives. The foundation manages several facilities; particularly, the ones that participate in the CLA program; however, most of the work is done through host families and lifesharing providers. The role of premises should not be underestimated, as some adults with developmental disabilities are unable to live alone and require constant support from social workers in specially equipped residences, but it should be acknowledged that the main portion of non-personnel resources are technologies that enable communications and equipment that makes the lives of targets more convenient and move encouraging for meaningful engagement.
People are recognized as the main resource for the proposed project. For the purpose of communicating with the three recognized parties, people will be appointed. Project participants responsible for communication will be in charge of constantly maintaining contacts with the Clemens Family Corporation and the Indian Creek foundation; moreover, a person is needed to conduct social networking campaigns aimed at raising awareness about adults with developmental disabilities and residential services for them. It is expected that the efforts of two persons will be sufficient: one will be responsible for the communication between the funder and the receiver and for generating appropriate project documentation; the other one will be responsible for conducting campaigns for attracting public attention and support. One more person will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation; this person will overview the activities of the Indian Creek Foundation and ensure that they are aligned with project goals.
The work of the two communication officers will be performed in coordination; however, it is recognized that the responsibilities are distinct. The first officer’s responsibility will include building the relationship between the Clemens Family Corporation and the Indian Creek Foundations, and these two organizations will be the main targets and the audience of his or her messages. The second officer’s responsibility will be presenting project activities to the general public along with the context of the needs of adults with developmental disabilities and relevant residential services provided to them. The third officer’s responsibilities will be connected to the activities of the communication officers; on the one hand, he or she will need to consult the first communication officer regarding the Indian Creek Foundation, i.e. how the organization should be addressed and how its activities should be evaluated; on the other hand, the third officer will consult the second communication officer on how the activities of the foundation can be covered in mass communication.
The management functions will be performed by the project manager who will be responsible for the evaluation of every project participant’s contribution, the quality of work, and the compliance with project goals. An integral part of the project manager’s work will be composing a managerial plan in which, before the project implementation, the activities will be listed along with evaluation criteria.
The specific criteria that will measure the successfulness of the project will consist in the sufficiency of created funding for covering the planned residential services activities. From this perspective, the work of the three officers will be evaluated as follows: for the first communication officer, the successfulness of the granting process and the effectiveness of communication between the Clemens Family Corporation and the Indian Creek Foundation will be considered for evaluation. The absence of misunderstandings between the funder and the receiver and the absence of misconception about the project goals and the funder interest will be the criteria of the first communication officer’s success. Concerning the second communication officer, the evaluation will take into consideration the feedback from the audiences that he or she is supposed to address. In social networking services, the evaluation can employ certain evaluation instruments, such as measuring how many people have been reached by the awareness campaign and how many of them were willing to share the information and attract the attention of their followers and subscribers to the issue of adults with developmental disabilities and residential services for them. Also, the volunteer participation will be considered in the process of evaluating the second communication officer’s work. Concerning the third officer, the evaluation will be based on the compliance with job responsibilities and the feedback from the Indian Creek Foundation with which he or she will be working. Therefore, the data that need to be collected is feedback from the four participating parties. The instruments of evaluation will be quantitative (for the second communication officer) and qualitative (for the other two officers). The evaluation is to be performed by the project manager; the effectiveness of the project manager’s work is to be evaluated by project organizers based on the compliance with the initial project plan.
Budget, Budget Narrative, and Sustainability Plan
|First communication officer||36,000|
|Second communication officer||18,000|
Along with budget, budget narrative should be provided to “explain the relevance of each cost to the overall goals of the project” (Ward, 2012, p. 211). First of all, it should be noted that the project is planned for six months during which the funding creation will be implemented. The salary of the first communication officer is based on the average salaries of public relations practitioners because it is recognized that performing communications between the Clemens Family Corporation and the Indian Creek Foundation as between the funder and the receiver qualifies for public relations efforts, i.e. it is aimed at building mutual understanding between the two parties and settling any possible conflicts and misunderstandings. The work of the first communication officer will involve profound understanding of the two organizations’ missions and activities; besides, it will be associated with the great responsibility of managing the contacts and the granting process, which is why the monthly compensation of 6,000 USD is deemed appropriate.
Concerning the second communication officer, his or her work is qualified as the effort of a social media manager, and the compensation for the work of managers of this type is averagely half of the compensation of public relations specialists. The work of the second communication officer will involve less responsibility for the project’s overall success; however, it is still considered important for achieving project goals.
Concerning the third officer, his or her responsibility will be monitoring the activities conducted by the National Creek Foundation, evaluating the outcomes and the compliance with planned activities, and reporting the results to the project manager as well as the Clemens Family Corporation and the National Creek Foundation. Unlike the work of the first and the second communication officers, these responsibilities will include presence and observation of actual programs conducted by the foundation, which is why the efforts needed for complying with the job description and the responsibility for the project’s success is comparable to those of the first communication officer’s; therefore, the compensation should be comparable, too. The proposed compensation is equal to that of the first communication officer’s.
The project manager is the key position because it is associated with the key responsibility for the project’s success. Apart from planning all the project activities, the project manager will be responsible for monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of those activities and their compliance with project goals. Failures in the work of the project manager will cause serious damage to the project, which is why it is recognized that the project manager should be highly motivated to coordinate the work of the officers and compose plans for the project with a high level of effectiveness. For these reasons, the compensation for the project manager’s work is higher than compensation of any officer appointed for implementing the project.
The transportation expenses are primarily associated with regularly visiting the places in which the Indian Creek Foundation conducts its programs. These include facilities in which the CLA program is implemented and homes in which adults with developmental disabilities are accommodated either constantly (e.g. host families) or temporarily (e.g. as part of the respite care program).
It is noteworthy that the budget is composed according to actual project needs aimed at creating funding for residential services and does not include targeted support of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is done to ensure the project-centeredness of the proposal as opposed to theme-centeredness; this approach is confirmed to be the most effective in terms of addressing funders based on their purpose, interests, and priorities (Porter, 2007). Therefore, the focus is on what will be done under the project, not on what should be done in terms of addressing the problem in general.
It should be acknowledged that the project approach to problem-solving has a significant disadvantage: projects have timelines, and once they are completed, it is hard to guarantee that the achieved success will be preserved. Some projects do include the stage of monitoring the long-term results, but in case the achieved outcomes fade out, people responsible for the implementation of the project can only report it, and new projects are needed to address new challenges. This is why projects should adopt the consideration of long-term results (Stokes, 2012). One of the ways to do so is to incorporate into a project plan a sustainability plan, i.e. the description of how the positive achievements of the project can be maintained, and how further improvement or development can be ensured.
In the proposed project, it is recognized that there are many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania whose needs are not sufficiently addressed; moreover, not all the targets are recognized because they either live in their families who do not seek support or live on their own without knowing where to go to get help with managing their living and household tasks. This issue will be addressed through the awareness campaign conducted by the second communication officer; in addition to attracting general public, volunteers, and people who are willing to support the residential services programs, the campaign is expected to reach those people who are in need of those services or their close ones.
Also, the sustainability of the project will be ensured through strengthening the programs offered by the Indian Creek Foundation. It is important that not only adults with disabilities will be assisted in a targeted manner, but also the generated funding will be used for improving the infrastructure of the existing programs and their structure. By establishing programs instead of providing targeted help, the project activities will ensure that not only certain people are reached and provided with residential services, but also the framework is established, and the instruments are designed to reach more targets and help them in the future.
Another important aspect of sustainability is that the collaboration between the Clemens Family Corporation and the Indian Creek Foundation will create a positive example of funding creation for residential services programs. Other organizations that provide such services will be able to use the experience of the project in their own efforts of obtaining more funding for programs that they conduct.
Beadle-Brown, J., Mansell, J., Ashman, B., Ockenden, J., Iles, R., & Whelton, B. (2014). Practice leadership and active support in residential services for people with intellectual disabilities: An exploratory study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 58(9), 838-850.
Charitable gift application instructions. (2015). Web.
Flavin, R. (2014). Tips for writing a winning grant proposal. Tech Directions, 74(1), 18–19.
Mission & philosophy. (2017). Web.
Porter, R. (2007). Why academics have a hard time writing good grant proposals. Journal of Research Administration, 38(2), 37–43.
Residential services for adults with developmental disabilities. (2013). Web.
Residential services for adults with disabilities. (2017). Web.
Stokes, K. (2012). Writing clear statements of needs and goals for grant proposals. American Medical Writers Association Journal, 27(1), 25–28.
Ward, D. (2012). Writing grant proposals that win (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
What is intellectual disability? (2017). Web.