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  Allowable Activities

Activities that are eligible for funding under a particular grant's guidelines.

  Authorized Signature

The signature of the person legally responsible for the applicant's organization. In MPS, the superintendent is the only person allowed to provide an authorized signature.

  Award Letter

A formal document notifying an agency that it won a grant. The award letter specifies the project period and the funded amount.


 Prewritten material that is used in a variety of proposals and that is updated or changed as needed. Examples of boilerplate text include the organization introduction, district organizational chart, and staff resumes.

  Capital Request

A funding request to purchase, build, or renovate a space or building or to acquire equipment that exceeds $5,000 in cost.


A formal agreement that specifies terms and conditions under which an outside agency will provide professional services to the district.

  Cost Sharing

A method of “matching money,” under which the grant applicant  pays for part of the cost of a grant project by contributing cash or services.

See In-kind and Matching Funds.


The final date for proposal submission. Often, the funder will also give a specific time of day (and time zone!) that the application is due. The funder may require submission via hand delivery, United States Postal Services, or the Internet.

Most funders will not accept late submissions.

  Direct Costs

Costs directly associated with the grant project. Direct costs generally include:

  • Salaries or wages
  • Employee fringe benefits
  • Consultant services
  • Employee travel
  • Materials, supplies and equipment

An individual or organization funding a grant or contribution to an organization.


Elementary and Secondary Education Act

  Fiscal Agent

An organization that acts on behalf of another party performing various financial duties.


The individual or organization funding the grant.

  Goals and Objectives

A term used by in grants development to define the general outcome or final aim of a grant over a specific time period (the goal),  and the measurable outcomes that will be used to judge the success of the grant.


An actual award of funds to an agency.

  Grant Intent Form

The grant intent webform is a document used to 1)  notify the administration that district applicants wish to pursue specific grant opportunities, 2)  get permission from senior staff to pursue the grant, and 3) alert grant development staff that assistance may be needed in preparing and uploading the grant.

The  partnership intent webform is a document used to 1)  notify the administration that outside agencies wish to pursue specific grant opportunities and request MPS collaboration, 2) get permission from senior staff to collaborate on the grant, and 3) alert  grant development staff that assistance may be needed in obtaining a letter of support or other documentation.

  Grant Proposal Parts

Typical grant proposals consist of five parts.

Abstract: A project summary, or executive summary, that is usually no more than one or two pages.

Needs Assessment: Generally the first part of a narrative. The needs assessment shows, through facts and data, why a project is necessary.

Budget Narrative:   A document created on an Excel spreadsheet that explains project costs and supporting reasons and calculations.  Grant development staff has available a standard budget narrative template that district grant applicants should use when developing budget narratives.

Evaluation: Method a funder and the district use to measure the progress of grant implementation and its success in meeting program goals and objectives.

Project Design: The plan behind the project. This narrative section generally includes a scope of work or logic model and details goals, objectives, partners, activities and timelines.


The agency that receives the grant.


An individual or organization that makes a grant or contribution (also known as the donor).

  Grants Listserv

The notification service administered by the grant development staff that provides notice of grant opportunities. Sign up for the listserv.


Specific, detailed directions for submitting a grant proposal issued by the funder.

  In-Kind Support

A contribution of equipment, materials, time, and/or services that has monetary value that will help fund or support the grant project.

  Indirect Costs

Administrative or operational costs that indirectly support a grant project. The district's standard indirect rate is revised annually through negotiations between the district and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

See Direct Costs.

  Institutional Review Board (IRB)

A review body established to protect the welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in biomedical or behavioral research. IRBs are designed to protect the rights of individuals by guarding privacy and reducing risk.

  Letter of Inquiry

Used by grant seekers to introduce their project and organization to a prospective funding agency. Letters of inquiry generally are only 1 to 2 pages long.

  Letter of Intent to Apply

Requested by funding agencies to predict the number of grant proposals that will be submitted in a particular grant competition.

  Letter of Support

A letter from an outside organization or individual that in support of a project and the grant application.

Only the MPS superintendent has authorization to sign letters of support for grants sought by outside agencies.

   Logic Model

A document that presents the relationships between available resources, planned activities, and desired changes or results. The logic model describes the sequence of activities designed to bring about change, and how activities will link to program results.

  Matching Funds

A contribution of money or services from sources other than the grant funder that will support the grant program/project.


Routine service provided by grant development staff to detect unusual over / under spending or, in some instances, programmatic challenges.

  MPS School District Priorities and Strategies


  • Students come first.
  • Wherever students are learning is the most important place in the district.
  • Educators and school staffs have high expectations for all students, and provide the foundation for their academic success.
  • Leadership, educator development, and child-driven data-informed decision making are keys to student achievement.
  • Involved families are integral to increasing student achievement.
  • Student voice is encouraged and respected.
  • Quality community partnerships add value.
  • Increased operational and financial efficiencies are consistently pursued to support learning opportunities for our students.
  • Central Services supports 1) student achievement, 2) efficient and effective operations, and 3) student, family, and community engagement.

Strategic Goals:

  • Academic Achievement
  • Student, Family and Community Engagement
  • Effective and Efficient Operations
  Narrative/Project Narrative

The write-up of the project, and the main portion of a proposal.

See Grant Proposal Parts.


Onboarding is a service designed to provide administrators of new grants, and others as designated by their supervisors, with the training, background and assistance they need to administer their grants successfully.

During the onboarding period, grant development staff will provide assistance in:

  • Setting up the grant budget
  • Requesting to fill employee positions
  • Developing contracts

Pre-proposals contain all of the same elements of a full proposal, but with less detail. They often function as screening devices by funding agencies.

  Program Officer

The member of the funding agency staff assigned to monitor the programmatic and fiscal aspects of the project.

  Project Director

The member of the grant recipient agency who has responsibility for project management and operation.


A written document describing a program or activity and requesting funding for its support.

  Qualitative Data

Data that cannot be conveyed as a specific number or value.

  Quantitative Data

Data that can be conveyed as a specific, measurable number or value.

  Request for Proposal (RFP)

Solicitations for new grant proposals.

  Review Criteria

The specifications or rubric that the review panel will use to evaluate and score grant proposals. Review panel members will always consider applications in terms of how well they address the various points, or priorities, specified in the guidelines.

See Review Panel.

  Review Panel

A group of people who read grant applications and make funding (or non-funding) recommendations to the funding agency.

See Review Criteria.

Contact Us

Grant Development Manager: Ashley Adsit
Phone: 414-475-8696

Grant Specialist: Carla Fries
Phone: 414-475-8249

Grant Specialist: Denise Fields
Phone: 414-475-8251

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