Grant readiness helps you determine if your organization is eligible and helps prepare your organization to start applying for grant funding. In order to start the grant process, the organization’s capacity has to be measured to ensure the best chance for success. “Winning a grant is not easy; on average, the odds of receiving a grant is between 10 – 20%. Often, organizations are unsuccessful in obtaining the grant award because they practice episode grant seeking, fishing for funds through intermittent series of desperate gambles” (Instrumentl, 2021). It’s key to note that the national average has increased to about 27%.
Where Do We Start?
In order to make sure our clients are as ready as possible to apply to potential funders based on their requirements we have to first assess. Grant Consulting Services, LLC’s grant feasibility study is our proprietary assessment designed to determine if an organization is viable and ready to take on the arduous process of applying for grant funding. During this study, a deep look at the organization and data are obtained and analyzed to determine if they are ready for the rigors of applying for grant funding. If not, recommendations are made and we work in partnership to help the organization become grant optimized.
Part of this process involves accessing required documents that most funders will need to see in order to make sure organizations are eligible to apply. These can include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Copy of State Articles of Incorporation document
2. Audit or unaudited financial statements for the last year (P&L and Balance sheet)
3. Most recent IRS Form 990 or 990EZ (if available)
4. Annual operating budget (current)
5. Year-end financial statement from the most recently completed fiscal year- P&L, and Balance sheet
6. 501(c) 3 letter (if you fall under another organization’s status, you’ll also need a letter from that organization authorizing you to use their letter)
Are You Ready?
To help you determine if your organization is ready, here’s a 6-question checklist to help.
1. Are you eligible? Grants have specific requirements in order to determine your eligibility, i.e., incorporation, an EIN, 501(c)3 status, etc.
2. Can you describe a clear and compelling community need that your organization addresses? Most funders want to hear a compelling story that will meet the community and organization’s objectives.
3. Do you have a clear purpose and vision? You should have a mission statement that clearly defines the organization’s goals that will help the community as well as stand out from the competition.
4. Do you have impactful programs and good community standings? Your organization must have programs that showcase how they will impact the communities they serve.
5. Does your organization have adequate infrastructure and resources? Resources include both physical and non-physical as well as internal and external that have to be evaluated and considered.
6. Are the organization’s finances in order? Make sure financial revenue and streams are consistently tracked, stable, and effective to assist with the company’s growth.
Being grant ready is essential if you want your organization to positively affect change by utilizing its resources to access available funds through corporate, Foundation, or the government sector. Becoming grant optimized can be a significant challenge. Guess what? You have help! Grant Consulting Services, LLC., is ready to answer your questions and help you get ready to access the grant funding your organization needs to help its community. Reach out to us today!
https://www.instrumentl.com/blog/is-your-nonprofit-grant-ready (2021). Retrieved May 1, 2022.