Use Data to Support Your Case
It's not enough just to put the data requested in the RFP. Your next step is to use it well so that you can demonstrate that your community needs the particular service or program your organization is proposing.
Analyze why the RFP has asked for certain information and how relevant the data that you've gathered are to your program. For instance, you may have the data on teens who have attempted suicide, but do you use it to justify a case for additional computers in the schools? Typically, you would use that data in grants about something like health or mental-health services in the schools, but there are exceptions.
Sometimes your data are counterindicative. In other words, the data suggest that your organization or community does not have an overwhelming need for the services or programs for which you are applying. You can work around this. For instance, in the sample needs statement that you'll find at the end of this chapter, the writer states that the school district scored high on a state assessment of availability of computers in classrooms. But then the writer goes on to say that even though there are computers, test scores haven't improved and the computers are clearly not enhancing or improving learning. Now the writer has used the data to make a case for improved teacher-training programs, perhaps for additional or improved software, and for targeted computer-assisted learning programs in the content areas.