This is the fifth of a series of posts comparing grant writing to house remodeling.
As Kevin and I were planning the remodeling, we identified the basic tools needed for most remodel projects. Fortunate for us, Kevin is a handy man so we had most of the basic tools such as hammers, drills, squares, measuring tape, chalk line, and more. If we were missing something, we purchased it and added it to our basic tool kit. He is also very organized. This meant the tools were systematically organized. This saved us valuable time. It definitely cut down the stress as we did not have to go searching for the basic tools as we knew where they were located.
Just as we needed the right tools and gadgets in our tool box before we started remodeling, your organization needs to have certain tools in its basic grant writing toolbox. So often, organizations end up searching for the same required organizational documents each time they write a grant. The items are usually located in different areas or with different people. And then, no one remembers who or where and the frantic search begins! If these basic items are not organized, it will delay your progress and may even cause you to miss the deadline! Below are items to include in your basic grant writing toolbox BEFORE applying for grants:
Governance: Charter & Bylaws, Policies & Procedures, Annual Reports, Impact Reports, Board of Directors with their Name, Organization, Position, Contact Information, Term
Financial: Annual Operating Budget, List of In-Kind Donations, Strategic Plans: Fundraising, Capital Campaign, Sustainability, Audits, EIN#, Duns & Bradstreet
Legal: IRS Letter of Determination, Articles of Incorporation, Licenses, State Sales Tax Exemption Letter
Programs: Mission and Vision Statement, Community Needs Assessments, Organizational Chart, Process for Managing Letters of Support, Matching and In-Kind Documentation, Timelines, Strategic Plan, Brief Description of Services/Programs Provide, Resumes/Vitae of Key Staff, Key collaborators list, Timelines, Budget, Job Descriptions, Testimonials, News Room: clips, videos, newsletters, pictures, publications
Organize these items in a system that fits your organization – three ring binder, files, and/or electronic. Having your basic grant writing tool box ready before you start will make the grant writing process a whole lot less stressful!!