Who Should Be Part of Application Discussions

When your organization, department or municipality begins to talk about grant funding as a way to achieve your specific goals, mission and action plans, who is sitting around the table?


By Diane H. Leonard, GPC

 

When your organization, department or municipality begins to talk about grant funding as a way to achieve your specific goals, mission and action plans, who is sitting around the table?

Is leadership making the decision that grant funding should be pursued?

When your organization, department or municipality looks at individual opportunities and decides they are a fit with a specific project or plan, who is it that’s deciding if the funding opportunity is a good fit?

Are multiple members of the organization being allowed to weigh-in about the fit of a potential specific funding opportunity?

When your organization, department or municipality begins the work of completing an application for the specific opportunity identified, who is involved in helping to create a competitive application?

Is it a team of colleagues, or is the application left to be the sole task of the grant professional (whether internal or external)?

 

Ideally, here is who and how different members of your organization are part of your application discussion:

  • Leadership of the organization should make the decision that grant funding is a revenue development strategy that makes sense for the organization as a whole.
  • When looking at individual funding opportunities, colleagues including leadership, should discuss the specifics of the opportunity being considered:
    • How much funding is being requested;
    • What match funding is required;
    • Would the funding be for something already budgeted for the organization, or is it for a new proposed expense;
    • Why does everyone think the organization/project is a good fit for the potential grantmaker;
    • What contact has been established with the grantmaker; and
    • How much time and how many staff resources will it take to put together a competitive application?
  • When looking at moving the idea of a grant application into the stage of writing a competitive application, a grant team should be identified within the organization. It should be a team of colleagues who the lead grant professional/grant writer and be able to be relied upon for providing information when requested, content and program/project design support, and review and approval of content.

I typically get the most questions about the third level of team engagement, in particular, if I use the phrase “grant team” to describe the work. Many individuals balk at the idea of being part of a grant team if they are not a grant professional/writer. In my definition, a grant team is comprised of the members of an organization that will assist the lead writer (internal or external grant professional) with providing content, data, information and review/approval to ensure a competitive proposal is finalized and submitted.

 

How do these ideals align with the involvement of your colleagues in your organization during grant related conversations and grant application processes?

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