FUNdraising Good Times: You Got the Grant! Now What?

Part two – Should you start spending money as soon as your nonprofit receives a grant? We recommend taking time to make management decisions related to the grant. Here are some things you should be concerned about when your nonprofit receives a grant. Review these and prioritize which you believe your nonprofit should discuss and take action on. Let’s start with three questions: Does the grant cover the full cost of what you would like to do? Do you have additional funds secured (if necessary) so that you can fully implement your project/program? How can you use the grant funds to accomplish your goal if you don’t get all the funding you need? Below are three other areas for consideration.

General considerations. Does the use of funds defined in the grant award letter match what you intend to use the funds for? Do you need more money than the grant award in order to fully fund the project? Can you use the amount from the grant if you don’t yet have the full amount you need? What is the time period covered by the grant? What needs to be done by when and by who to ensure the program funded will launch and be successful? What information do you need to share with staff, board members, and volunteers as it relates to how the grant funds are to be used, and the outcomes you are seeking?

Transparency and accountability. Will you share information about the grant with staff and volunteers? What will you share or not share? Will you share information with those you serve and the larger community? How will you share the information? How will you hold the organization accountable for using funds for the purposes designated in the grant? Who is the person responsible for approving the use of funds? How will this person determine when funds should be expended? How will you record your expenditures? What about other roles and responsibilities as it relates to the grant? Are you partnering with other organizations? If yes, what is their role? How will your board be engaged? What is their role?

The unexpected. Things don’t always go as planned. What will you do if you can’t recruit the staff you need, or if staff resign? What if grant funds are not enough to cover the costs of the program? Where do you go for help if you have questions about the use of grant funds? Who can you talk with if your project is not proceeding as you had expected? What will you do when the grant period comes to an end? What if you have more success than? If the grant is for one year, what will you do after that? How are you planning now to continue the program/advocacy/work after the initial grant expires? Finally, what are your vulnerabilities? Getting a grant is just one step in the process of fundraising. How and when you use the funds is equally important. Learn more in part one.

Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you grow your fundraising. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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