Grant Management

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1. Do what you said you would. 

Granting sources consider the proposal/grant process a contract. They are paying you to do what you proposed, so perform the task. There is no surer way to keep the door open for future funding that doing superbly what you were paid to do.

2. Know when to ask for changes. 

The world does change, and sometimes you need to change the "contract" you have with your grantor. If the scope or the direction of your program must be significantly altered, ask for formal approval beforehand. This is one of the few exceptions to the maxim "tis better to ask forgiveness than permission". On the other hand, don't bother them with non-material tweaks of your program plans.

3. Reward them. 

Particularly for foundation or corporate grantors, you should always include their sponsorship in public service announcements, celebrations, brochures, and public affairs. Invite your key contact to grand openings, even when you know they probably can't make it. It surprises some that even government funding agencies want recognition and positive publicity. Any list of sponsors had better include your government grantors if you have them. They notice exclusions.

4. Seize opportunities. 

Several times we have received full grant awards from more than one funder for the same project. Tell them thanks, the project was funded, may we tell you about Phase II? If you get partial funding, think of it as leverage or challenge match for that larger funding agency. There is always more need than funding, so keep your eyes open.

5. "One time only" funding isn't. 

If you have done a good job of managing the grant, ask for another year. Examine their funding history and you will find repeat funding to some agencies. You may have to modify your program slightly, try a new approach, develop a sister program, but it is usually a mistake not to ask.

6. Management is key. 

Non-profit organizations are just like for-profit businesses in that some are lazy and ineffectual while others are high achievers and quality-minded. The difference is usually in the management, so attend to business even if you are not a business. Follow sound management principles and grants will flow.




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