Grants Management is a process of seeking grant funds that includes ongoing funder research, best practices research related to your program or service, grant writing, budget writing, reporting to funders, and maintaining strong relationships with funding partners. It involves not only managing the lifecycle of each individual grant and funder, but managing an organized process to consistently secure enough funding for all programming.
Grants Management Basics
- Design and implement a fundraising plan and grantseeking calendar for each program
- Understand each individual funder’s needs
- Write high quality proposals that stand out from the pack
- Present a needs statement through data and stories
- Use evidence-based program design
- Conduct ongoing research on best practices in your program area and make changes to your program when necessary
- Add value by leveraging partnerships
- Appropriately address sustainability issues – it’s about more than securing funds!
- Demonstrate your organization’s capacity to carry out programming successfully, including evaluation
- Set measurable goals with realistic targets and a feasible evaluation and reporting plan
- Measure your results and report to all stakeholders
- Use evaluation results to increase organizational capacity and improve programming
- Maintain a relationship of trust and respect with all funders and partners
- Update your process regularly – new requests for proposals (RFPs) become available every day!
For grantmakers, the grants management process includes creating a Request for Proposals (RFP), designing a screening and review process, awarding funds, and following up with all grantees to ensure reporting requirements are met. Some grantmakers work closely with the grantee to ensure the program is having the intended impact and helps the organization build their capacity. For Grantmakers with no endowment, fundraising can be an ongoing part of the grants management process.
A great grantmaking process includes an objective rubric for ranking proposals, a willingness to help build capacity (including feedback to those who were not awarded funds), and a quality reporting system that encourages grantees to measure real impact and promotes transparency and learning.
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