Note from Diane: As we continue with our capacity theme, today’s post from Bethany is perfect! There are many times that we as grant professionals ask ourselves how to juggle or how to make sure limits are in place for juggling multiple grant deadlines.
More often than not I am balancing more than one grant application deadline at a time with each client and between my multiple clients. Certain seasons seem to have a plethora of grant deadlines. It is enough to drive anyone mad.
As the grant professional, it is my responsibility to keep the grant team on track to submit all those applications with all the necessary attachments on time. To do this, I have tips, tricks, and tools I use to help keep the grant team including me sane to share with you.
1. Grant Calendar: Have a grant calendar that everyone on the grant team has access to. Put all grant deadlines, grant report due dates, grant meetings, etc. on the calendar. Also, put the date you are shooting for to submit the grant. There are lots of tools you could use for your team’s grant calendar – paper calendar or whiteboard that hangs in a place everyone will see or an online calendar shared with the team like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook Calendar. I personally use a Google Calendar. Find the one that works for your team.
2. Project Management System: There are lots of moving parts for each grant application. To keep track of all the different parts and who is responsible for them, use a project management system. Again there are lots of tools you can use from a spreadsheet to online applications. I personally use Asana. Find the one that works for your team. Sometimes when lots of things are piling up, I use good old pen and paper and make a list of all the things left on a grant application or which grant applications we are currently working on.
3. Shared Documents: So that the whole grant team has access to the most current documents for a grant application, I use shared documents. My personal favorite is Google Drive. It allows everyone to live edit a document and see where each piece stands along with being able to leave comments and questions right in the document.
4. Regular Grant Team Meetings: I hold monthly grant team meetings. This gives us the opportunity to discuss all the grant applications and projects we have open. It helps give a boost to those to do items that get buried in emails and on the project management system. If you have several deadlines coming up, you might consider weekly or daily meetings to make sure everything gets done in a timely manner. Since I am a consultant and I remote employee, I use Uberconference to host most of my grant team meetings.
5. Breaks and Self Care: After working on a grant application or two, my brain starts to feel like mush. How about you? Step away from the grant application and computer to let your brain rest. I know I work better after a few minutes away. I also make sure I get daily exercise and time for hobbies in the evening. For me, that means spending time reading each night. Here are 4 Tips for Improving a Reading Habit. Diane recently shared a post on self-care called Capacity for the Balancing Act of Self-Care and Unplugged Time.
What are your tips, tricks, and tools for managing multiple grant deadlines? We would love to hear! Share with us via email (diane@ dhleonardconsulting.com), in the comments section below or via social media.