While grant-writing can be time consuming, grants can provide a significant amount of funding for your nonprofit organization. Grantors should be able to visualize the importance of the grant to your organization as they review your grant proposal. It is important to make sure that your nonprofit organization’s grant proposals stand out from others to have a better opportunity to secure grant funding. The following tips may help your organization better manage the grant-writing process.
Create a calendar for your grants. A calendar accessible to each person involved in the grant application process will allow for prioritization and appropriate delegation. Both an online and physical calendar can be helpful, depending on the personnel and operations of your organization. One benefit of an online calendar is the ability to send notifications to individuals as deadlines approach. Having a master calendar can also help in prioritizing between multiple grants.
Track key funder information. This includes contact information, links to 990s, EINs, grant names, funding range, funder type, areas they fund, and even social media. Equally important can be notes of past conversations, past grant history, grant notes, and who wrote the grant and proposal. Keeping track of this information will help your organization be more efficient, as well as lower your risk of missing deadlines, or making mistakes when applying for the same or similar grants year after year.
Show the value of your organization. Showcase your organization’s mission and strengths. Express what makes your organization unique to others and why your organization deserves the grant you are requesting. For your grant proposal to stand out from others, it may be helpful to include the following:
Reputation – how well known and supported your organization is throughout the community
Achievements – awards and other recognitions
Revenue Streams – the more diverse, the better
Management and Board Composition Stability – While it is normal for board members to serve a one or two year term, having a diverse group of board members year after year is important. Consistent management is also important, as it may be alarming if your organization’s management team has a high turnover rate.
For nonprofit organizations that rely significantly on grants for funding, having a grant-writing process that is effective and efficient is vital to the organization’s success. By spending some time to get organized and apply the tips above, your organization can ensure this process runs smoothly year after year.
Please contact the Not-for-Profit Niche team at Gilliam Bell Moser LLP for further guidance.