As a nonprofit relying heavily on grants for funding, staying organized and managing grants efficiently is critical to your overall success. There are a lot of other tasks that must be accomplished once a grant is received, and of them is showing your donors exactly how their money was spent. Creating regular check-ups and alerts can help a nonprofit stay up to date on grant management and stay in the running for future funding opportunities.
Express your gratitude
Right off the bat, this is the first thing an organization should do after receiving a grant. Organizations tend to forget to do this because of their excitement over gaining funding. When a donor expresses dissatisfaction over a company’s lack of gratitude, the organization is less likely to receive a grant from that donor again.
Keep a calendar
Maintaining an updated calendar will help nonprofits keep track of upcoming deadlines and other important dates associated with grants. Once the funding has been received, immediately start jotting down report deadlines. It also doesn’t hurt to make notes reminding oneself to contact the funding source with updates. Spending less time reminding people and more time on finding new donors, writing more powerful proposals, and nurturing relationships with stakeholders and donors is a good tradeoff.
Remain in touch
Staying connected can help build a stronger relationship between an organization and the funders. Richard Male and Associates suggested keeping pictures and articles about the program the grant is helping and then sending them to funders. The images and news stories will help keep the donors informed about how their money is being spent, and also keep an organization on a donor’s radar.
Tracking key information about the funders you work with is another good practice. Often this information resides at best in someone’s email folders or, at worst, in their head. This puts your organization’s fundraising capabilities at risk. It is vitally important that you document key contact information, past results, and funding priorities, and make it accessible to those who need the information.
Donors need to know how their money is being spent to determine if an organization will possibly deserve another donation in the future. A nonprofit should maintain accurate records of what is being spent on various programs. Managing these records will help an organization keep funders informed, but will also help the organization determine if it is spending correctly based on its budget. When organizing these reports, RBP Methods suggested that an organization make sure the records follow the criteria the grant specifies for reports.
Use helpful software
Once an organization starts receiving more than one grant, keeping track of all the data associated with each can be tedious. Utilizing grant management software makes the process easier for an organization by tracking grant applications and sending reminders about deadlines. A system that has the capacity to automate grant management activities not only saves time but improves your accuracy.
An effective grant management process reflects the results of your efforts and investments. If you want to get the best return on your grant-seeking efforts, you will want to use tools and processes that help save time to eventually increase the amount of funding you receive.
Whether you’re a startup organization or a leading grantmaker, CommunityForce provides fully customizable, all-in-one online grant management solutions to maximize your efficiency, simplify complex processes, and improve collaboration so you can focus on increasing your impact. We’ve helped countless universities and philanthropic organizations streamline their entire grant-making process no matter the size and scope of their giving.