SUCCESSFUL GRANT WRITING—YOUR GUIDE
PART 3: Are You Grant-Ready?
By Steve Meyer, Steve Meyer Consulting LLC
In the majority of situations, developing a grant proposal is not as easy as filling out a form. If you have chosen to work with a grant consultant it is not as simple as contacting the consultant and telling them you want $_____ for _____ project. With either situation before you even begin the grant application process you need to be Grant Ready.
Your ultimate aim in being Grant-Ready is to have all of the information necessary to describe your organization and project in sufficient detail that you leave the grant reviewer with no questions about what you are doing, what you need in order to accomplish your objectives and what the benefit is going to be. Couple this with a convincing narrative and you’ve set the stage for thumbs up to funding your proposal.
In a nutshell grant-readiness entails providing detailed information about your organization and its project and backing your project proposal up with statistics and data that provide credibility to your project and its outcomes. The variables and data sources that this is contingent upon will change somewhat with different venues but there are some common denominators in the information you need to have available for all grants, including:
• Project description
• Organizational profile and mission statement
• Historical documents and statistical data relative to your project
• Articles, research reports and white papers relative to your project
• Annual reports of your organization
• Project budget
• Census Data
• Analytical data relative to your project
• Projected outcomes
If you are working with a grant consultant it may not be necessary that you have all of this information assembled. At the very least, though, you need to provide the consultant with the resources or contacts they need to pull all of this vital information together. The better the information you can provide, the easier it will be for your consultant to develop a competitive proposal. Either you or someone affiliated with the project will have to be a go-to person that the consultant can rely on to help them find answers and information vital to an award winning proposal.
The all important piece of the puzzle for being Grant Ready if you are tapping into a charitable foundation grant is having 501c3 status established for your sponsoring organization or cause.
Be prepared to spend some time becoming Grant Ready. The time you spend becoming Grant Ready is directly proportional to your chances for funding success.
Bottom line: if you aren’t Grant Ready it will be a wild scramble assimilating the necessary information before the grant application deadline. And, if you aren’t Grant Ready you are in a position of presenting a grant proposal that is fearfully inadequate.
Steve Meyer is a grant writing and emergency management consultant. You can find out more about his services at his website http://www.stevemeyerconsulting.com.