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It is a day for celebration, you have completed the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge!!

Time for a rest day…time to relax, reflect and recharge!

You’ve done a great job with the fifth and final week of your Grant Readiness Challenge!

Here is a summary of what you have tackled this past week:

week 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that your 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge has come to a close…

What was the hardest challenge for you to tackle?

What was the easiest challenge for you to work on?

We’d love to hear! Email use your thoughts about participating in the Grant Readiness Challenge for the chance to get some personalized feedback from the DH Leonard Consulting team.

And don’t forget, grant readiness is always shifting in all organizations. You can come back and restart the grant readiness challenge over whenever you think that your organization needs to refocus on its grant readiness (and ultimately competitiveness in the grant application process).

 

Don’t forget to share your journey on the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge by using the hashtag #grantreadiness on your posts and updates on social media.

Are you hopping into the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge mid month? It isn’t too late for you to start! It’s free to participate in, and you can sign up at any point and it will start you back on Day 1!

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You’ve nearly done it! You’ve completed daily challenges aimed at improving your organization’s grant readiness.

Your final step, and it can be now on Day 29, or in a month or two if you need some time to finish all of the challenges, is to retake the GRASP Tool so you can see how your Grant Readiness Score has improved.

How do you think you’ve done? Anxious? Excited?

Go ahead and retake the GRASP Tool.

GRASP Tool

As you should recall from Day 1, completing the GRASP Tool takes approximately 10 minutes. Your information is confidential and will not be shared publically or with any other organizations. You will receive your custom GRASP report within 72 hours of submitting your confidential assessment. You will receive a Grant Readiness Score from 0 – 120 and a visualization of your areas of grant seeking strength and areas for improvement.

 

Don’t forget to share your journey on the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge by using the hashtag #grantreadiness on your posts and updates on social media.

Did you miss the launch of the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge? It isn’t too late for you to start! It’s free to participate in, and you can sign up at any point and it will start you back on Day 1!

getstarted-300x94

As you have moved through each of the challenges, you  have focused on research, relationships and writing to strengthen your overall grant readiness. Today, we continue on the theme for the last week focusing on the management of your current grant funding and positioning yourself to secure renewals of those grants are different continuation grant funding.

For today’s challenge, select one current funded grant that you believe you have the potential to secure renewal funding for from the same grant maker. Ask yourself the following questions:

1 – When was the last required communication with the grantmaker via a financial or narrative report?

2 – When was the last time that you provided an update on the success of the current funded project to the grantmaker?

3 – Have you reviewed the current status of outputs, outcomes and budgets with your colleagues responsible for implementing the grant funding project to see if everything is on track? Or if not on track, what the plan is to move forward and what needs to be communicated to the grantmaker sooner rather than later.

4 – Have you confirmed that the grantmaker is getting agency wide communications including hard copy or email newsletters?

5 – Have you confirmed that the grantmaker has been recognized as is appropriate given your organization’s recognition policies for grantmakers and major donors? This applies to social media, annual reports, printed program materials, etc.

6 – Have you set out a timeline for when you will broach the conversation of renewal with the grantmaker? Make sure it is on your calendar so you don’t cut your timeframe short or lose the opportunity!

How did those questions go?

Do you feel confident that the grant is on track for a strong renewal process? Excellent! Set aside a day in a week or two after the challenge is over to do the same for the other grant funding sources that you are planning on seeking renewal/continuation funding in the upcoming year.

Feeling a little worried? Better to feel that way now than after submitting a formal proposal. Spend the time now to strengthen your relationship with the grantmaker and prepare yourself for a strong position with the renewal application.

 

Don’t forget to share your journey on the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge by using the hashtag #grantreadiness on your posts and updates on social media.

Did you miss the launch of the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge? It isn’t too late for you to start! It’s free to participate in, and you can sign up at any point and it will start you back on Day 1!

getstarted-300x94

In Day 26 of the challenge we talked about looking at your grant financial reporting policies. Today’s challenge targets one piece of the Day 26 challenge as there is nothing worse for a relationship with a grantmaker and funding partner than not spending the funds as requested and not knowing it and/or discussing it with the grantmaker prior to submitting a report.

There were countless times when I was a Program Officer that I would review a year-end financial report and have to call the grantee to discuss why it was that their expended budget did not align with the proposed and approved budget. Definitely NOT a good grantee and grantmaker relationship moment.

Your challenge today is to look at the procedure in place for your organization for reviewing grant expenses versus awarded budgets. Consider your answers to the specific questions below and how you can improve your processes to be more consistent and ensure checks and balances are in place.

1 – How often does your finance team provide reports that show approved grant budgets versus actual expenses? You should be reviewing these reports monthly.

2 – Who is reviewing the reports from finance? Only you as the grant professional? They should be shared with the staff member who is responsible for implementing the funding program. They need to understand where they stand on their grant budgets.

3 – How does your organization handle over-expenditures for a funded line item?

  • Reallocation for the overage to a different revenue source?
  • Call the funder to discuss a potential revision to the budget?
  • Confidence that the grantmaker allows 10% line item variances without permission?

Who within your organization has the final authority to manage these decisions for every grant to ensure consistency of approach?

If you haven’t picked up on it in the challenge already, there are numerous elements of grant readiness that involve your grant team. The grant management and fiscal controls related to grants are top on the list for the overall success of your grant seeking strategy as an organization. To be successful in this week’s challenges, engaging your grant team in your daily challenge is key!

 

Don’t forget to share your journey on the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge by using the hashtag #grantreadiness on your posts and updates on social media.

Did you miss the launch of the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge? It isn’t too late for you to start! It’s free to participate in, and you can sign up at any point and it will start you back on Day 1!

getstarted-300x94

Does your organization currently have grants that need to be billed monthly or quarterly in order for the granting organization to release the grant funds? All grants require careful documentation. Reimbursable grants based on units provided or actual expenses put additional up front pressure on documentation as your organization will be doing funded work without cash. The need to report accurately and promptly is critical to the successful cash flow of your organization.

Even if the grants your organization has received are not reimbursable grants, but rather provide the grant funds up front or in two even payments, your organization still needs to be prepared to report on the expenses for each penny of the awarded funds.

As each organization will have a unique mixture of grants and reporting and grant billing requirements, today’s challenge is to review your organization’s grant reporting and billing procedures. Ask yourself these questions as you review your policies and procedures:

1 – What is the approval process for potential expenses before purchases are made or staff hours are revised?

2 – How are invoices, purchase orders and staff time coded to a specific grant? Are they consistently documented by all staff?

3 – Are reports run and reviewed monthly to compare expenditures for each grant compared to the budgeted (and funder approved) expenses?

4 – Who is responsible for ensuring that grant bills and financial reports are produced to meet each grantmakers expectations and requirements? Who reviews the reports prior to submission?

While the final policies and procedures will look unique for each organization, if you are receiving grant funds from government agencies you will want to review Uniform Grant Guidance and compare your policies and procedures to those federal standards.

 

Don’t forget to share your journey on the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge by using the hashtag #grantreadiness on your posts and updates on social media.

Did you miss the launch of the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge? It isn’t too late for you to start! It’s free to participate in, and you can sign up at any point and it will start you back on Day 1!

getstarted-300x94


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