Sunday, June 20, 2010

Welcome to Insights from the Grant Guru...

Welcome to Insights from the Grant Guru, a blog that provides information about the world of philanthropy and fundraising.  Insights from the Grant Guru is both practical and scholarly in its content, giving you facts and critical analysis about the ins and outs of the nonprofit sector. In most cases, we will try to keep it short and sweet, but some topics will demand a little more attention. Check in often and send us your questions and comments!

Now, let’s get right to the meat of things…

Some Truths About Grant Submissions

Truth #1 - We were supposed to launch on June 15th. We did not and as a result may have lost the opportunity to connect with some valuable readers. Hopefully; however, you will enjoy this blog and encourage others to tune in. Sometimes, life happens…

Truth #2 – If this were a grant application, we have already broken the first cardinal rule: do not turn in late submissions! Automatically, your organization is dismissed in terms of the pool of potential applicants eligible to receive consideration for funding. Be aware that unless the grantmaking organization has a rolling deadline, all grant submissions are due by the specified date. Late submissions are rarely, if ever accepted. Thus, you will have to wait until the next submission deadline and in some instances that could mean another 365 days!

Truths #3 – Read and follow the guidelines before you begin to develop the proposal/application. This will help to ensure that you will submit a well-crafted proposal/application.

Truth #4- Give the grantmaking entity EXACTLY what they ask for. If they say: 12-point font, times roman, 5-pages, and double-spaced, then that is what they mean. When you don’t follow the guidelines/directions, it suggests to the funder that perhaps you will not properly administer grant funds.

Truth #5- Grant awards are not guaranteed! There are various reasons why your organization may not receive funding OR less funding than you actually requested, including:

1)    Limited number of grants awarded each funding cycle
2)    Did not follow the guidelines/directions
3)    Mission does not align with grantmaking entity, thus your program/project does not match the areas that are funded by the entity
4)    Missing information
5)    Missed the deadline
6)    Poorly written
7)    Budgetary inconsistencies
8)    Your organization has never applied for a grant and/or does not have a track record of successful programs and services provided
9)   Did attend mandatory grant information session (some grantmakers require prospective grantees to attend info sessions)
10)    Board politics
11)    Reduction in funding because of economic down-turn
12)    Reduction in funding because grantmaker decided to spread the money among more organizations

Truth # 6 - I have prepared grants that have been denied for one or more of the aforementioned reasons listed in Truth #5. I learned from my mistakes and so can you! If the funder does not provide you with notes/insight regarding your denial, contact the funder via phone, email, or letter. In most cases, the funder is more than willing to tell you how to improve your next submission!

Until the next time, positive vibes and good fundraising!

-The Grant Guru

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