It’s Thursday afternoon. You have a few binders, a few more manila file folders, and approximately 281 pieces of paper lying around your workspace. Your email inbox is starting to look a little scary, and you don’t remember the last time you saw it empty. Your coffee mug from this morning still has a few ounces of cold swill in the bottom because you were called into a meeting before you could finish even waking up. You considered ordering in lunch, but you forgot and now it’s 2:45. Also, your desk is covered in sticky notes and other scraps of paper from all the notes you left yourself last week.
Unless you’re in the (estimated) 0.12% of people that have never made a mess in their lives, I’m sure your own workspace popped into your head while reading that. A cluttered area makes us all more anxious, more stressed, and detracts from the great work we’re doing for the sake of our nonprofit missions. Here are some hard truths for your consideration in becoming a more organized, less stressed coworker:
You and your team have decided to move forward with applying for a certain grant opportunity. Most questions seem pretty typical: “Describe your project.” “Give us a brief overview of your organization as a whole.” and “Please supply us with your mission statement.”
You get down to the financial section and the required attachments that you are to upload before you can submit the final application. You see the request for your budget.
Before you simply upload your internal-use, hundred-line-item, not-even-our-program-managers-use-this budget, consider making this easier for your reviewer and for your use later on once you’re awarded the grant.
So now your application deadline has passed, you’ve received approximately 1,000 applications (give or take a few) for funding from so many great organizations. Once you weed out those that don’t align with your current funding priorities, how do you continue the review and funding recommendation process? With site visits, of course!
As a grantor, consider the following tips for your next round of site visits:
Grantors are as unique as the organization they seek to fund. They can be family foundations, community foundations, donor advised funds, corporations, or local businesses. Some grantors have been grantmaking for years while others are just entering the game.
No matter where the funding originates or how long the funder has been around, the following ideas could lend to a more streamlined grant process for all involved:
You’ve done the hardest part- you’ve gotten the grantor to agree to come visit you in your own space. Congratulations! Whether you’re in the middle of a grant application process or prospecting a new funder, it’s your job to keep the funder engaged and entranced with your programs and mission.
Here are a few points to consider when you’re planning and executing the visit:
What do you do when you find a new grant opportunity? How do you handle those opportunities brought to you by program staff, board members, or volunteers? Are you applying for every grant opportunity that even slightly fits your mission, or are you seeking to be more strategic in your grantwriting efforts?
Below are five ideas to consider when your team finds a new grant opportunity.
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Position: Chief Operating Officer
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Nonprofit organizations are always looking for ways to simplify their ask and make it easy for supporters to get involved and donate their time, talent, and treasure. Amazon has created a simple way for nonprofits to ask for specific in-kind donations through their wish lists. Organizations can compile products that they need to support their programming and services in one easy list. It is shareable, it is easy to add and delete products as needed, and it makes it possible for supporters anywhere in the world to get involved with your mission.
Here is a quick guide for getting your organization set up with a Wish List:
Position: Communications Director
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