Monday, August 12, 2013

Do’s for working with an outside (or new but experienced) grants professional

Do listen to our advice about your organization (and fundraising)
Successful grants are awarded to strong organizations. We can tell within 5 minutes of meeting you whether your organization is grant-ready.

We can read an audit. We know what a strong fundraising plan looks like.

When we recommend your ED attend the site visit with a program officer, we’re not monopolizing his/her time. 

When we tell you 100% of your board should be giving, please don’t ask “really?”

Do remember that in the first two months of working with us, you’ll spend a lot of time with us
We need to get up to speed on the ins and outs of your programs. We need to ask about organizational structure. We need your program leadership to talk about future plans. We’d love to attend any events (and volunteer) or program milestones.

We’ll ask many detailed questions. We’ll ask why your mission statement reads 3 completely different ways on your website. We’ll ask you tough questions. 

We’re doing this so we can do our best job in the beginning. We know what Foundations want to know.

And, we want to reduce the number of edits in the first couple drafts. If you don’t answer our questions up front, you will have many revisions/questions later. And, better to answer to us than to a Foundation!

This time will pay off. Our subsequent drafts will require less filling in from you, because you’ve shared your program goals for the upcoming fiscal year.