Your Grant Team Dream Team

Grant Writing Tips and Best Practices
Your Grant Team Dream Team

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Your Grant Team Dream Team

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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!)

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About The Author
Amy has worked with and for nonprofits for over 20 years as a practitioner, researcher and consultant. She oversees the creative direction at Finch Network as well as business development. Amy has worked with local, regional and national organizations including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Corporation for National and Community Service and United Way of Tompkins County. She specializes in program planning, fund development and qualitative research. Notable projects include a fellowship she completed for the Corporation for National Service where she conducted an evaluation of program sustainability of AmeriCorps*VISTA projects, coordinating an allocation process that invested $1.3 million dollars annually to health and human service nonprofits in Tompkins County and leading the qualitative research portion for two evaluations conducted for City Harvest. Amy has a strong commitment to her own community and volunteers with her local Foster Care program, Plattsburgh Community Garden and in Plattsburgh City Schools. Amy holds a B.A. in American Studies and a teaching certificate from the University of Rochester and a graduate degree in Community and Rural Development from Cornell University.

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