Tracking Grants for Nonprofits
Grant management is often overlooked and underappreciated. If you are organized in how you approach this area, you will improve the overall grant management process and enhance organizational efficiencies.
Below are a few suggestions that will help you improve your grant process and help you focus your time on other, more impactful activities.
- Create a Grant Tracking List / Calendar
A grant calendar can help you and your organization keep on track. It should remind you of your funder’s proposal deadlines and help you submit your grant reports on time. You should make sure all appropriate staff have access to the deadlines, actively manage the tasks and manage recurring funding opportunities.
At the start of your grant efforts, you may be just fine using a manual process and applications you already have on hand. But if you start receiving more grants, you may soon find that you are spending more time maintaining your solution and having less time available to focus on building relationships with funders and engaging in other fundraising activities. Be sure you reassess your grant management needs and tools at regular intervals so it can grow with you.
- Organize Your Funders and Grant History
Tracking key information about the funders you work with is a good practice. It is vitally important that you document key contact information, past results, and funding priorities, and make it accessible to those who need the information. Items to have close at hand include: grant name, status, funder, funder program, contact at the funder, who wrote the grant, proposal / LOI deadlines, requested amount, targeted program/restrictions, application method/details, date submitted, decision date, amount awarded, grant term, notes about the grant and easy access to all the grant documents associated with this grant.
- Coordinate Your Grant Team Responsibilities while Staying on Schedule
Grant management solutions can be utilized to track important deadlines and send email reminders of deadlines when they are approaching. This can be a great time-saver for the person who is organizing all the elements of a grant proposal and responsible for the final submission. Spending less time reminding people and more time on finding new funders, writing more powerful proposals, and nurturing relationships with funders is a good tradeoff. If you don’t have a grant management solution – then make sure you have an organized approach to tracking all the requirements for a successful proposal and who is responsible. Spending time upfront to identify everything that is needed and who is responsible helps you weed out funders that you are not a great fit with – which saves you lots of time if you catch that early in your process.
When you are prepared, organized, and have the data you need, you can be depended upon to provide your organization with solid advice. Your system can also help you become recognized as a knowledgeable grant professional, increasing the power of your recommendations. An effective grant management process also helps show the results of your efforts and investments, and support your need to make data-driven decisions. If you want to get the best return on your grant seeking efforts, you will want to use tools and processes that help save time and increase the amount of funding you receive.