Monday, December 21, 2009

Tips for Preparing for the Upcoming Grant Season

You know you need to write some grants this year for your organization and you're itching to get started, but there are no applications out right now. What should you do? Isn't there some way to get started and avoid the last minute grant writing rush?

Yes. And No. There will always be a rush to the deadline as you try to assemble complicated applications with less than 4 to 6 weeks between announcement and deadline, all while still trying to do your regular job. However, there are some things you can do to get ahead of the curve a little and make your job easier.

1) Pull together your needs data and get it organized. Take a look at available survey results for your agency, and quantitative data documenting the number of people you served in the last year and, most importantly, the outcomes documented for those clients. Don't wait for an application to be out; look at your data now, get it organized, and determine what it's telling you.

2) Write your brief needs statement. If you draft out a page or two describing your agency's need (documented by data, of course), you can easily modify it to fit a formal application.

3) Prepare all of the additional materials you need for an application. If you manage a non-profit agency, prepare your agency budget, develop an updated list of board members, and make sure your IRS letter documenting your non-profit status is handy. Consider putting together a single file that has all of these documents in one place so you'll be ready when an application is released.

4) Develop a plan to consult and the websites of funders to which you hope to apply. Assign someone in your agency (maybe it's you!) to regularly check for funding releases. Check your online sources at least once each week, more often if an application release is imminent.

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About Creative Resources & Research

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Woodland, CA, United States
Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.