Truckin’ Through the Snow to Great Grant Awards

February is a short, but jam-packed month; full of important things like Black History Month and American Heart Month as well as some goofy things like Valentine’s Day: and, for me, a day when I am going to a friend’s plant store to make a Taylor Swift themed terrarium and another day when I am going out to a local farm to make a rug out of alpaca fur. In Nebraska, it is also a month generally full of snow. Lots of snow. This means you must contend with the constant stress of snow potentially ruining your festive plans, or affecting parking, and all kinds of nonsense.

This month, we will highlight a Sunflower success story and how we put some of the tools in place that we have talked about in past newsletters to secure a major grant for one of our clients.

Iowa Western Community College was looking for funding for a CDL Driver Training Program to upgrade training equipment, enabling IWCC to better serve rural communities and get more truck drivers on the road, faster. The program would lead to an increased number of heavy and tractor-trailer drivers, helping to address the shortage of qualified truck drivers.

After submission and review of the grant, they were awarded the full amount of over $200,000 for their new program.

There were several things that made this grant successful:

  • We told a clear and compelling story that showed the influence the grant would have on the entire community. Statewide, there were 6,215 projected annual job openings for Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers. In the seven counties IWCC served, we knew there would be a 6.8% increase in the next five years in truck driving. This area already experienced higher unemployment than its surrounding counties and we knew better training would help people get much needed employment.
  • We used statistics and facts to back up the compelling story: this project would add an estimated 190 new and upgraded CDL Class A and Class B drivers to Iowa’s truck driver workforce over the next three years.
  • We put together a well-structured budget that was easy to understand and detailed.
  • We kept it short and to the point. We used the identified problem to create a narrative supported by facts to make our case.

Hello February

Do you need a grant for any of these unique opportunities?

February 1 – Black History Month (grants for programs and related projects for African American groups).

February 1 – American Hearth Month (grants for heart related health initiatives).

February 4 – World Cancer Day (grants related to curing and treating cancer).

February 28 – Rare Disease Day (grants related to health and health services).


Fact: everyone faces unique challenges when it comes to writing grants. What is your biggest challenge right now? Email my team member Annie to let us know which of the below is your biggest hurdle right now. We will report the results on social media in mid-February.

A) Not having enough time to pull all the pieces together on your own.

B) Finding it difficult to put together a comprehensive budget for your program without all the information you need.

C) Challenges related to getting the key players to submit their information to you well before the grant deadline.

D) Writers block!


This month we will feature a short video from another grant professional! Here are five things Tiffany of Grant Chatter thinks you should include in every grant proposal. Do you agree?


If you are writing more than one grant, you must use a grant’s management calendar to track everything. Here is a great example that captures all the important details. You can download this template on Etsy, and there are a million other examples to choose from online.


In the month of February, if you secure grant writing services with Sunflower and mention the code SOLISTICE, you will receive 50% off of your first hour of the grant production process!


Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN’s) 2024 grant cycle has begun.

The Letter of Inquiry form is now available and must be submitted by Feb. 13, 2024. View the form here.

University of Nebraska programs and Nebraska nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply.

This is an exciting, inclusive grant opportunity!

Call or email us at

That is all for now! Stay hopeful and passionate!

More articles from Sunflower Grant Writers

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