Responsive grantmaking means being agile and ready to help during times of disaster and crisis. If your organization is looking to expand efforts and launch relief grants when needed, take these best practices from grantmaking experts at Community Force:

Think of what lies ahead and be prepared. 

It’s safe to say most of us didn’t see a global pandemic coming. And even though we know natural disasters and civil unrest can and will occur, we never know the exact details and impact. But from each crisis you respond to, you can learn and utilize that information to plan for the next crisis.

By taking into consideration your own experiences as well as those of others, you can put basic approaches, processes, and the technology needed to initiate a robust hardship relief program.

Never underestimate the value of human interaction and contact.

Your program will need to be just that — a program — with all the rules, regulations, and perhaps even red tape that entails. But that is not a reason to not manage it personably. At the end of the day, it’s humans helping humans.

Be prepared to help grantees through their recovery.

Do more past the initial rounds of relief funding, realizing that while money was the imperative, immediate need, there was more that could be done to support grantees long term. A good example is helping some small businesses decide how to best spend the grant funds for future sustainability. In other cases, it could be providing feedback as grantees move forward with utilizing funds or doing check-ins to encourage and support grantee projects

Think about your communication strategy. 

While the planning of the actual grant program — funding sources, distribution amounts, application criteria, reviews, and awarding processes — can feel like the bulk of the workload, all that work can be compromised when the program is not communicated to constituents properly.

In short, your would-be applicants are already stressed and frustrated, and this program, designed to help them, shouldn’t add to that load. By clearly laying out the communication plan and connecting with the right individuals who can help you share those messages, you can ensure applicants understand the program, come prepared to complete the application, and understand the value the program is attempting to provide.

Invest in technology. 

A purpose-fit grants management platform allows you to set the tone for your program from the get-go with a single destination — a submission portal — for all information about the program. Easy to use, here they can quickly complete their application and see the status of their application. You can even rely on this platform to help you come up with unbiased reviews and disburse funds.

Take action and deliver aid quickly during times of crisis with our all-in-one hardship and relief grants management platform.

Application-Specific Dashboard

Applicants can view their application sections, status, and view matching opportunities at a glance. They never have to worry about losing their work because we will automatically save it for them. Request any additional functionality from our friendly support team to meet your needs.

RHG Applicant

Eliminate bias and discrimination in your review process

Utilize the powerful and intuitive review tools to simplify the review process and eliminate bias in your relief funding process – such as hidden fields, and anonymous commenting and scoring. Make sure you never have to worry about discrimination and create an empathetic relief program.

RHG Reviewer

Discover how CommunityForce can help your organization get the best return on your Hardship Relief Grant-Making process and make a difference during times of crisis.