Perhaps your organization has decided that it would like to add grant funding to its array of funding. Or, perhaps, you have realized that you need a plan in place to be more successful in your grant writing efforts. Or, perhaps, you are not really sure if grants are a good fit for the organization….but “people” keep telling you they are.
Whatever the situation, your nonprofit or ministry will be more successful in its grant seeking efforts with a well-developed plan. Here, we will help you to begin to develop that plan.
Successful Grant Planning
First, spend some time doing an assessment of the organization. Below is a list of things to think about and questions to answer:
- Does the organization have a clearly written mission statement? Is the organization’s work in alignment with the mission statement?
- Is the board of directors active and regularly meeting?
- Is there an approved budget?
- Do all of the board members contribute to the organization? (Beyond giving their time and talent, most foundation funders want to see that each board member is making a financial contribution.)
- Does the organization have some documented results?
- Is there a strategic plan in place?
Gather Information Grant Funders Need
Once you have completed this part of the planning process, the next step is to begin pulling together information that is common across proposals for many funders. Some information to include in your grant file:
- Board Roster – Include professional affiliations, date of term expiration and contact information. (Double check the by-laws to ensure the terms align with what is written).
- Copy of governing documents including the by-laws and any amendments and the Articles of Incorporation
- Board approved budget detailing both revenues and expenses
- Most recent year-end financial statements and 990 (if required)
- Board minutes documenting board approval of a new program or service
- Copies of results achieved
- Copy of the strategic plan
- Copy of IRS Nonprofit approval
While this list is not all inclusive, gathering these documents and thinking through the questions above will help the organization to begin planning for success.
Have a question about grants? Send it to us, we will be happy to answer it.