Grant Readiness Assessment Tool
Tis the season to be jolly, and we have gifts for you in this installment of our GPC #linkyparty!
The grants profession is often complex, and my grant writer friends and I offer you a special present for the season: five useful tools that will help you develop more compelling and competitive grant proposals.
Jana Hexter, GPC of Grants Champion shared a great formula for estimating the time necessary to complete a federal proposal as well as some other proposal tool planning ideas here.
Heather Stombaugh, GPC, MBA of Just Write Solutions has a wonderful Decision Matrix which she shares here that I recommend you consider implementing in your organization – it is an excellent tool that you can access here.
Jo Miller, GPC, CSMS of JM Grants has shared with you a social media plan template and social media logic model here that will help you work through the alignment of grant goals and social media goals.
As I said above, Heather shared her phenomenal Decision Matrix which she and her team design to help organizations make the difficult “go” or “no go” decision about individual proposals. The Grant Readiness Assessment & Check-up Tool that I am sharing with you as our grant tools gifts this year, is one that helps your organization assess if you are grant ready in the big picture organizational sense before you begin evaluating whether or not to go after individual grant applications.
You may say, “our organization has been receiving and managing grant funds for years, of COURSE we are grant ready.” However, I ask you to follow me down this path for a minute and see how this tool can assist all organizations regardless of their previous grant successes.
There are two ways I recommend utilizing the tool I’m sharing with you:
1 – For Organizations New (or New”ish”) to Grant Seeking
For organizations that are new to grant seeking, having all of the necessary paperwork gathered and all of the key policies in procedures in place PRIOR to submitting your first application will make you more competitive in the process in the long run. Using the Grant Readiness Assessment & Check-up Tool will provide you with guidance to provide you with a framework of what materials to gather, and what policies and procedures you should begin to work through as part of the process of establishing your grant seeking strategy. I recommend completing the assessment questions and gathering your documents simultaneously with establishing your proactive grant calendar.
2 – For Organizations With A History of Grant Seeking Success
For organizations that have a successful history of securing grants, but are focused on maintaining their current grant portfolio or are focused on increasing their grant revenue and/or success rate, the tool is meant to be an annual check-up. All organizations have turnover throughout the year. The Grant Readiness Assessment & Check-up Tool can be a way to ensure that all players on the grant team, whether new or well-established in their role with the organization are aware of the policies and procedures in place. It can also help ensure that policies and procedures are kept current and reflect the full breadth of the current grant relationships that are supporting your organization. I recommend trying to use the tool during your annual proactive grant calendar planning meeting before setting your grant revenue targets for the year.
If you have a different way that you choose to use the Grant Readiness Assessment & Check-up Tool, I would love to hear about how and when you used it in your organization! Drop me a note in the comments or on social media.
And if you are looking for some more food for thought about Grant Readiness, check out the blog post from earlier this year on #grantchat about Grant Readiness.
Best wishes for continued grant seeking success for the balance of the year and well into the New Year!
About The Author
Diane H. Leonard, GPC, President of DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC (www.dhleonardconsulting.com) is an experienced and highly respected grant professional who provides grant development counsel to nonprofit organizations of varying size and scope. Diane founded DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC in 2006 and has secured millions of dollars in competitive grant funds for clients from the federal, state and local governments, and private foundations.