What is Grant Readiness Assessment – Overview
Small and new non-profit organizations are eager to apply for grants. However, securing those huge amounts of money require significant effort and work.
The first step to ensure that your smaller non-profit organization is selected over other larger ones is to undertake a grant readiness assessment.
The grant application process is intensely competitive however with these proven tips, you can create an impactful and effective application to ensure your chances of winning the grant.
In this article, we will explain what grant readiness means and give you a checklist for effective grant readiness assessment.
What is Grant Readiness?
Grant readiness is being ready to strategically apply for grants. Grants offer substantial and meaningful donations to your cause.
For new organizations, the excitement of applying often results in overlooking core application techniques.
The first step to ensure that your grant application gets accepted is to measure your organization’s grant readiness. In simple words, grant readiness is determining your non-profit organization’s ability to research, apply, win and also manage grant applications effectively.
According to research studies, the odds of winning a grant are around 10-20%. The majority of applicant organizations are unable to win the grant amount.
The reason behind this is that such organizations normally practice episodic grant seeking. These organizations search for grants infrequently.
To make sure that you are not wasting precious time and resources on grant applications, you should go through, what is grant readiness assessment checklist.
What is Grant Readiness Assessment Check-List?
This is a short but effective 5-step check-list to ensure what is grant readiness assessment of your non-profit organization:
1 – Eligibility
Most grants have specific eligibility requirements to vet organizations that apply. If your organization is already incorporated, then the first thing you should do is to secure your organization’s 501(c)3 tax-exempt letter. If you do not have one, you can request the IRS to mail you one.
If your organization does not have a 501(c)3 status, then you should consider collaborating with another organization that can serve as your financial sponsor.
Besides this, some of the documents you need to keep handy are:
- Employee identification number (EIN)
- Registration with grants.gov and sam.gov with a DNUS number (for federal grants)
Make sure to read the Request For Proposal (RFP) or Request For Application (RFA) documents carefully to know about the specific eligibility criteria for the grant in focus.
2 – Purpose and Vision
Funding institutes look for organizations that are unique and offer specific services in a particular area of society. So, make sure that your non-profit organization’s mission statement clearly outlines your social work strategy to address different issues in your community.
This is necessary to highlight your organization’s uniqueness and what separates it from others. Your mission statement should be plausible and realistic, besides being clear.
3 – Reputation and Experience
Just like your mission statement, your organization should also have innovative programs. These programs should have a significant impact on the community your organization serves.
Every non-profit organization should conduct regular analysis of their programs’ impact and the success of its staff through verifiable data.
Apart from this, you should ensure that your programs have a good reputation for service delivery and assisting those in need.
You can seek to get letters of recommendation from upstanding members of the community to highlight your organization’s commitment to social well-being.
4 – Resources and Infrastructure
Organization resources and infrastructure includes physical and non-tangible resources. Check to see if your non-profit organization has sufficient financial resources, transportation and adequate facilities to sustain operations and growth.
You can use donor management systems and software for financial tracking.
You should also ensure that your staff is also supported with adequate resources to handle the current operations of your non-profit organization.
Check to make sure that there are sufficient operating systems in place and that your volunteer base consists of enthusiastic people.
5 – Finance management
Before seeking more funds, you should first ensure that your current finances are stable and well-organized. You should have multiple different revenue streams that can be tracked accurately throughout your organization’s various programs and services.
If you plan to grow your non-profit organization at a remarkable speed, then make sure that your organization has appropriate financial management systems in place.
The world of grants can be intimidating and complex, yet incredibly exciting and impactful for your non-profit organization.
By an unbiased examination of your organization’s grant readiness through our grant readiness assessment checklist, you can ensure that your organization is in the best position to win the grant.