How to Review a Proposal
Department of Public SafetyOffice of Justice ProgramsCrime Victim ServicesJune, 2016
Why use Reviewers?
To gain a variety of perspectives and experiences that can inform the grant making process&make the granting process transparent, fair, and as free from influence and bias as possible.
Who are the Reviewers?
Governmental and community-based stakeholdersAdvocatesSubject matter expertsCommunity members
Thank you!Your time and expertise are appreciated.
What’s in it for you?
Learn more about what makes a strong proposalBetter understanding of OJP funded crime victim servicesHave a voice in theprocess
Being a grant reviewer is one of thebestways to learn how to write a good proposal!
Overall Expectations ofGrant Reviewers
Read and rate proposals prior to the grant review. Start early – it may take longer than you anticipate.Keep proposals and scores confidential – this is not public information UNTIL grants are awarded.Thoroughly understand the information requested in the Request for Proposal (RFP) and assess each proposal’s strengths and weaknesses.Report any conflict of interest to OJP and refrain from scoring proposals in which you have a conflict.Show up to the review on time, participate, and stay for the entire review.
Reviewing Proposals: Step 1
Read OJP’s Request for Proposal.Become familiar with:The goals of the RFPThe requirements of the proposalsThe scoring criteria and point allocationsRead and understand the Application Review Form.Make sure to set aside enough time to review each of your proposals thoroughly. This is NOT a quick process. Most reviewers spend an hour or more per proposal.
Reviewing Proposals: Step2
Complete an initial read-through of each applicant’s proposal but don’t score them this time.Use this initial read through of the proposals to get a sense of what the proposals are about and how they are organized.
Reviewing Proposals: Step3
Re-read each proposal and begin scoring.Make sure to record proposal strengths and weaknesses on the Review Form.Try to provide helpful comments.
Rules and Tips for Scoring
Everyone scores differently – that’s ok! Just make sure to be consistent in your scores.Only score a proposal based on the information provided – don’t assume anything or add information you may know.Score proposals against the criteria in the RFP– not against the other proposals.No fractions or decimals – whole number scores only please.
More Rules and Tips
Make sure all information required in the RFP is contained in the proposal.You can deduct points for a disorganized proposal but make sure your score is primarily based on the quality and clarity of the responses.Just having an answer to each question in the RFP does not justify a highscore.
Range of Scores
Scores of a perfect100should be rare – this means there were no weaknesses in theproposal.Just as rare is a score of0– this means there are no strengths in theproposal.If you do feel like a score of 100 or 0 are warranted, please document your justifications completely.
More Rules and Tips
Proposals should make a strong case for funding and show compelling need.Proposals should:reflect best practicesdemonstrate effective collaboration with other agencies & criminal justice partnerseffectively address the needs of crime victims
Reviewing Proposals: Step4
Submit your scores for each proposal via the Survey Monkey link provided in your review packet cover letter.Declare you have viewed this PowerPoint, and you have no conflicts of interests with the proposals in your packet.Attend the in-persongrantreviewArrive on time & be ready to discuss the proposals.Make sure your Rating Sheets are complete and legible.Grant reviews usually last 3-4 hours – please plan according so you can stay till the end.
For more information or questions please contact the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Justice ProgramsChris [email protected]