by Lynn Calder
This past weekend, I was thinking about how we advise clients to prepare for the grants writing process, and it brought back memories of my annual two-week trips I would make to the overseas campus of my former employer (a university). The process before departing would entail gathering my necessary work files (these were the days before Dropbox!), clothing, pleasure books and magazines for the flight, gifts for colleagues and toiletries.
I created and kept a word doc of my packing checklist. As I prepared for each trip, I would gather everything up and not miss a thing—making the whole process of leaving the country quite easy.
This process is similar to what we advise for our nonprofit clients preparing grant applications.
Although each foundation has different requirements, there are some documents that are usually always needed, such as your organization’s IRS determination letter.
Shoestring Solutions has developed a checklist that helps nonprofits gather up needed materials for a grant application. It is a helpful exercise to compile certain documents and organize them in a folder, let’s call it “Grant Documents,” on your hard drive or in Dropbox.
Check to make sure your Board of Directors list is current—if it is not, update it. Do you have your most recent project budget and organizational budget? Find a copy of your latest audit or 990 and place it in there. Do you have any brochures, clippings or publications that can help your case for support? If so, put them in the Grants Documents folder.
Having these documents at the ready will make the process of submitting a grant application much easier. You will save time and headaches without having to scramble around at the last minute.
So make your grants list (Shoestring Solutions can help you) and then be assured that your application can be sent off with ease!
Shoestring Solutions for Nonprofits is passionate about helping small nonprofits meet their mission. All Laced Up is just a taste of how we can help you gain traction with your constituents, raise funds, and make the most impact with limited resources. Questions? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: AJ Cann, Flickr