Many organizations, for-profit and non-profit alike, consider grant funding as a means to kick-start new organizational initiatives, fund internal programs, build new facilities, or expand existing programs. But many organizations adequately prepare for everything else, yet go in head first, unprepared for grant submission – and even worse – grant management.
Is your organization prepared to take the steps necessary to make a successful grant submission?
Several organizations mistakenly have the: “We want it. We need it. Let’s submit on it. We’ll get it!” mentality. I cannot stress how wrong this attitude is! Sure it’s great to expect positive results and feedback on project work and grants you have submitted, but approaching the grant submission and grant management process takes a little more strategic planning and organizational precision.
I can list a plethora of items, to-do lists, and perfect circumstances needed in order for organizations to be more sufficiently prepared for successful grant submission and grant management. I’ve chosen the CRUCIAL MUSTS that organizations must have prepared and in order before submitting on that $500,000 facilities needs grant!
- Understanding Your Organization’s Purpose. The biggest No-No in grant submission (or moving forward organizationally, for that matter) is not having your ducks in a row. Your organization’s mission is not only spoken, but is written in the form of a Comprehensive Program Plan, By-laws, Standard Operational Procedures, or other organized document. It is additionally practiced and implemented throughout management, staff, and each initiative and program that the organization carries out. The mission resonates strongly throughout your organization. Having a well-written plan BEFORE any initiative or grant submission simplifies the application process, allowing your grant writer to use core pieces of your plan to best sell your assets.
- Strategically Orchestrating Organizational Growth. Sigh…Never get caught up in “Blind Firing,” i.e., submitting on anything and everything that has a dollar amount attached to it. Take time to discuss key organizational needs amongst your management team before submitting on anything. Perhaps your organization’s growth is better planned in stages and manageable phases that help you monitor your organization’s growth in comparison to your initiatives and successes in those areas. What’s your operational, program, or new initiative budget? Is it more beneficial to submit on one large grant or break the submissions into more meaningful pieces? Having a better understanding of the phased needs of your organization helps to streamline the selection and submission process.
- Do Your Research! Have you taken the time to effectively partner and collaborate? Market your organization? Get to know the foundations or institutions releasing grant funding? Network locally and seek out grantors whose values match yours? Understanding the initiatives of the grantor, developing and cultivating those relationships, and being keenly aware of a grant’s needs and guidelines before you submit is one progressive MUST that your organization will appreciate.
- It’s All About the Timing. First of all, submit every – I mean every – grant on time. Failing to meet specific guidelines and deadlines will put you out fast! But more importantly, having an awareness of your brand’s unique needs, value, perspective, team and growth initiatives will help you to know when the time is perfect for your organization to move forward on the pursuit of a grant.
What stage is your organization in? Ready to pursue?
Join our June 4th webinar, Grant Writing 101: Preparing for Success!