By Erin Weldon
Whether you are writing the application yourself or hiring a consultant, your organization will need to gather the following information for most applications:
- Overall budget for your organization. Usually you will need a budget for the last fiscal year (including actual income and expenses) as well as a proposed budget for the current year.
- Program budget. This should be fairly specific. It’s not enough to say that your budget for the program is $20,000—you need to break this down into budget categories such as personnel, supplies, rent, etc.
check out the Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits! It offers guidance for every
step of the process.
- Specific request. Your request should be for a certain amount (usually no more than 10% of your overall budget), and you should indicate what specifically the funds will be used for. Do you want funds for supplies? Your office staff? Transportation? Funders want to know exactly how you will use their money.
- Measurable impact. Gather concrete information on the numbers and demographics of the people you serve. If you are considering going for grant funds at any point in the future, start tracking this information now! (It’s also helpful for internal evaluations). This should include both what you have done in the past (i.e., served 10,000 meals to 3,000 individuals last year) and a reasonable projection of what you plan to do during the grant period.
- Systems to track success. A funder wants to know how you plan to measure your program’s effect. Do you plan to track the number of people served? Administer surveys to measure satisfaction? Track graduation rates? Design a tracking system that you can faithfully implement and use to report accurate information back at the end of the grant period.
knowledge base to find approaches, guidelines, and tools you can tailor to your
- 501(c)3 Letter or Fiscal Sponsor letter and agreement
- List of your board members and their affiliations
- List of key organizational staff and their qualifications
- IRS form 990
- Most recent audited financial statements (if you have them)
- Letters of support or collaboration (if applicable)
Need help developing the above materials? Have them in hand and want to apply for a grant? No matter where you are in the process. Aril Consulting can help! Contact us today for a free half-hour consultation and to learn about our services.
This is the first in an eight-part series on grant writing from Aril Consulting. Check back next week for tips on writing a compelling needs statement!