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Plan of work assignment


Your plan of work letter is your first major assignment and is worth 20 points toward your final grade. It is a letter from you to me, written in formal business letter style, that explains breaks your grant proposal project down into steps and discusses how you'll achieve them according to our time frame. These are very common workplace documents and knowing how to write them will give you an advantage in the job market as well as in academia.



1. Begin with a standard business letter format (google this--their easy to find) that includes both the sender's (you) and the recipient's (me) contact information. Mine is Beth Eakman Re, St. Edward's University, 3001 South Congress Ave, Austin, 78704. You may begin with Dear Professor Eakman or Dear Beth.


2. Your first line should state your purpose (you almost always do this in business letters). It will be something like "I am writing to outline my plan of work for the grant proposal that I will be writing on behalf of (non-profit) and submitting to (funder). The second line will be a generic statement of your confidence in your ability to get the project done on time.


3. Bold the heading Introduction and go to the next line. Start by establishing that a problem exists (pages 31-37) and explain how your organization's specific project will solve this problem. How much will this solution cost? Frame the grant money as an investment in the funders' mission. This will look something like "The Dell Foundation's $20,000 investment in computing equipment for the Austin Independent School District will help improve the district's high school retention and graduation rates, fulfilling the foundation's mission of 'improving the global community's quality of life through education.'" Voila! You've written an abstract and the basis of your entire proposal.


4. Bold the heading Background and go to the next line. Tell us a little bit about your organization: when was it founded, what is its mission, what kinds of projects does it do, what are its goals, and what are some of its achievements?


5. Bold the heading Project Overview and go to the next line. You will be asking for funding for a specific project (eg, a free pet-vaccine clinic, new furniture for a children's shelter, a documentary film). Tell us about the project. How is your organization the perfect one to solve the problem with this specific project?


5. Bold the heading Plan of Work and go to the next line. You are now no longer discussing the organization's project, but YOUR* writing project. First, divide your writing project into segments. These might be things like research, drafting, meeting with representatives from the organization, writing, revising, etc. Compare these tasks to our course calendar and make projections for when you will do them and how long they will take. You might begin with a sentence like "this project will require approximately four stages," and then bullet each stage and explain it. If you are good at charts and infographics, those are very effective and I encourage you to use them (try Gantt or Floating Bar charts). *This piece can be confusing. Just remember that the "project" that you are writing about (#5) is the one that your non-profit is doing and the "plan of work" is your plan for how you are going to manage your tasks over time for this class.


Include under this heading Constraints and Resources. They'll be headings, but indent them and don't bold them because they are subheads. Constraints are any obstacles you anticipate slowing you down and how you plan to deal with them and resources are things you already have in place that will help you achieve your goals (eg, the Writing Center, an awesome laptop, document design skills, OCD).


6. Your final component, bolded heading, will be Conclusion. This just formally closes your plan of work by concluding that you've got it all mapped out with specific tasks that will completed by specific dates in order to stay on schedule. Finish with a courtesy line like "I look forward to working with you on this important project." Drop down four lines, type "Sincerely," drop down another four lines, type your name, and them print the letter and sign between "sincerely" and your typed name.

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