Grant writing is often assigned to one person who designated to complete the project autonomously. As we talk about on a regular basis, both in blogs and in practice, grant writing is really most productive and successful when done as a team (ICYMI: check out Grant Team of We, Not Me).
What comprises a balanced grant team? Here’s my take on who I’d draft for my dream team. These don’t have to be individual roles, one person can take on more than one role, but to create a balanced team you’ll want to have each role assigned to a person on your team.
Grant writing team roles
- A Budget Person-Having someone who has a clear understanding of the RFP’s parameters (match, in-kind rules, administration fees, salaries, organization’s budget, etc.) is essential to a successful application. The budget person not only makes sure that the budget material/attachments are correct, they also make sure that what is outlined in the narrative is reflected on the budget forms.
- An Evaluation Person-The evaluation section of a grant is where many organizations are uncomfortable and therefore it’s often a section that is short-changed. Get those evaluation points on your RFP by identifying someone on staff to help pull out organizational data, look at benchmark data from colleague organizations and make sure that your organization has the appropriate evaluation tools in place. Ensuring that your organization has an evaluation plan that has been tested, is based upon industry standards and organizational data, is key to a successful application.
- The Tracker-This is the person who tracks down the attachments required for the application well in advance of the deadline, creates a template for letters of support and contacts and follows up with people who have agreed to supply letters of support.
- An Expert in the Field–This is the person who is current with the research and progress in your organization’s area of expertise. This person should be able to cite current trends and know the current lingo.
- The Scheduler– This person’s role is to work with the group to create a schedule for the grant application that ensures that all material is completed, review and ready for submission a well in advance of the grant deadline. This person is responsible for getting all of the material into one place and also remind other team members about deadlines and, if necessary, deadlines that haven’t been met.
- The Editor-This person is the one responsible for making sure the grant is grammatically correct, that information is consistent, not repetitive and a clear case for funding has been made.
- An Outside Reader-This is your “Greek Chorus” the person who know what’s going on but hasn’t been involved in the grant writing process. This person will review the RFP, read a draft of the grant and provide feedback to the group.
- The Baker-All great grant writing teams need someone who will keep spirits up either through baked goods for the team, supportive notes, or taking a time during a staff meeting/grant writing team meeting to acknowledge everyone’s contributions. (An especially important role if procrastibaking to overcome writer’s block is important to you!)