Grants play an important role in nonprofit funding. Nonprofit organizations rely on donated funds and grants to support their mission and provide much needed services to their communities. Many nonprofits prefer to focus their efforts on fundraising to raise the majority of their funds; however, applying for and winning grants can supplement a fairly significant portion of the budget. By incorporating both fundraising and grants into your organization’s funding plan, you can secure your funding and ensure you have the resources you need to support your community well.
Grant management involves more than applying for and winning grants. In fact, winning a grant is just the beginning. In order to secure your funds and win more grants in the future, you will have to properly manage and report on the ways your organization is using grant-related funds. Many grantors have specific stipulations on how funds can be used and how the organization should communicate and measure progress on specified goals. If your organization does not adhere to the rules and regulations tied to your grants, you risk losing your funding and your opportunity to win more grants in the future.
Grant management is a fairly extensive (and expensive) process, and if you’re going to do it, you need to do it right. Research has shown that 13% of every grant dollar is spend on grant management—that’s a lot of money! Don’t let your efforts (and hard-won money) go to waste. Putting the time, effort and money into your grant management process may seem like an inconvenience now, but we promise that the payoff will be worth it.
To help you ensure that your grant management process is running as smoothly as possible, we’ve created a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to grants. If you have ever questioned if you’re managing your grants correctly, the following tips are for you.
- Do your research. Before you even apply for a grant, you need to have performed the proper research. Make sure you understand the reporting requirements and possess the tools and technology to meet grantor’s expectations.
- Carefully prepare your grant proposal. A well-written grant proposal is important to securing your grant. Pay special attention to the executive summary, for this is the first part of the proposal that will be read. Make your case and clearly explain your need (without making your situation seem too dire).
- Make sure you thoroughly understand the grant guidelines to ensure compliance. Failure to comply with the grant’s regulations can (and often will) result in your grant being denied. Don’t risk losing your funding—take the time to understand your responsibility.
- Select your grant targets carefully. Don’t waste your time submitting proposals that won’t be considered by grantors. Focus on the areas that are worth the time investment, and don’t get sidetracked by trying to win every grant.
- Don’t submit your proposals late. Failure to submit your grant proposal within the specified time-frame will leave a bad first impression with the grantor and influence whether or not your organization will receive the grant.
- Don’t be negligent with deadlines. Just as submitting your proposal late could put your funding at risk, failing to submit documents and reports by the specified deadlines could lead to the loss of your grant funding. Keep track of important deadlines in your grant management software system, and write them down on your organization’s calendar.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to gather important information pertaining to your grant proposal. Writing a grant proposal takes time and important detail to information. Make sure you gather your information in a timely manner so you can submit your proposal by the deadline.
- Don’t fail to follow up with your grantors. Follow up with your grantors to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork and documents have been received and completed correctly. You should also check in periodically to see how the approval process is moving along to see if there is anything more your organization can do.
Attention to detail is important in the grant management process. Using grant management software for nonprofit organizations will ensure that you don’t miss important deadlines, as well as ensure your compliance to each grant’s reporting requirements. If your organization is not currently using grant management software for nonprofit organizations, contact us today. We can help you select the perfect solution to help you effectively manage your grants and secure your grant funding for years to come.