Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Why you should stop reading this blog and go and record every detail about your grants history right now!

KateBNE

 

Author: Kate Sunners

I know, I know, we have probably harped on at you a million times about why it’s so important to record your application data. Oh gosh, wait…Actually, we haven’t!

We were a bit shocked when we went back through our blog posts to check because it’s something we’re always saying and just assumed we’d laid it all out in the past.

If you already keep detailed notes squirrelled away somewhere on every grant application and funder relationship, then gold stars for you! And even more gold stars if you keep all those notes in the same place, in a logical order where they can be accessed by other staff.

If you’re not keeping thorough grants records, it’s of the utmost importance that you go and put down (somewhere outside of your own head) everything you can recall about your grants program right now! And that you continue to record details going forward.

Having a complete picture of whom you’ve applied to for what and when, what relationships have been built with which funder contact, feedback on applications and what reception your project ideas received in grants rounds is utterly vital to the success of your grants program!

And we’ve definitely written blog posts on ensuring that your grants program relies on systems and processes, not on the unwritten knowledge of team members who can (and sadly do) leave. Part of this process is to ensure that all information about your grants history is being kept in one place, rather than having parts of it in different systems. This makes it much less likely you’re going to accidentally apply to a funder six-months after being successful for a grant only to find out that successful applicants can only re-apply after a period of two years. This is the kind of thing that irks funders!record1

And how are you meant to pull together organisation evaluations, annual reports, board reports and funder reports without records of your grants program?

So…just to recap, once your eyes leave this blog post you’re going to jump straight into recording details on:

- Funder relationship history

- Whom you’ve applied to for what and when

- The status of each grant application: in progress, submitted, pending, successful, unsuccessful

-The date you submitted and who the writer was

- The date your payment/s were received

- The date your funder reports are due

- Any feedback on the application*

Right?

*As a side note: all these fields are contained within the applications section of our GEM Local and GEM Portal systems – a great centralised place to store all your grants program detail. GEM Portal can be used to pull reports from your recorded data too, so when it comes time to report to your board, you can grab all your information with one click!