Preparing Your Grant Strategy for the New Year

The tips below apply to all organizations, regardless of your fiscal year, but are very timely to consider now for those who are currently wrapping up the current fiscal year and anticipating the start of a new year on January 1st


By Diane H. Leonard, GPC

Is your fiscal year a calendar year, or some other variation? The tips below apply to all organizations, regardless of your fiscal year, but are very timely to consider now for those who are currently wrapping up the current fiscal year and anticipating the start of a new year on January 1st.

Grant award periods often do not match an organization’s or municipality’s fiscal year, so I can hear your question about why we need to revisit our grant strategy as the New Year approaches. The answer, as with all things grant related is multi-faceted.

Here are some questions to ask yourself every year, almost like an annual check-up with your physician, to assess the “health” of your grant strategy and overall grant seeking success:

* Do you have a current proactive grant seeking plan?

* Do you have a formal or informal grant team?

* Do you have a current grant calendar that is approved by your colleagues and the organization’s leadership? Is it accessible by more members of the team than just the grant writer?

* Have you confirmed recently that all current and recent grant funders are receiving all appropriate agency communications such as newsletters and annual reports?

* Have you confirmed that you are following all current and recent grant funders via your agency’s social media accounts?

* Have you reviewed your current and recent funder records in your donor/grant management software to ensure that the records are current? That there are not any recent grant funders who actually should be added to the proactive grant calendar as they have not been sent a formal application or made an award recently?

* Have you updated your grant seeking, grant funder relationship and grant management policies in the past year?

* Have you updated your social media policy/plan for the organization so that it includes researching, following/interacting and promoting awards from grant makers?

What if you answered “no” to one or more of the questions above? Does that mean that you won’t be competitive in the upcoming months on your grant applications? No! This list does not define your competitiveness in individual grant processes. Your answers do however serve as a strong indicator for your grant readiness as an organization.

Here are some other tips about how to Error Proof Your Grant Strategy.

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