Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grant Management post featured on health funding website

With accountability the new buzzword not just for nonprofits but governments and corporations, grant management is becoming more and more critical a skill for grant writers to acquire. Even if you are not managing grants, you should be aware of how grant awards are managed, how compliance works, and what ethical management really is all about.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dashboards Aren't Just for Cars

Anyone heard of dashboards? No, not the ones in your car or SUV, but the one used by businesses to help in reporting and quality control. More and more, nonprofit organizations are also realizing the potential of using simple dashboards to keep an eye on programs, control expenses and report back to constituents.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Managing Grant Management

Grant Management should not be a headache, yet for many grant writers, it is. Others find the concept confusing, scary or worrying. So what exactly is grant management? And how can a grant writer learn to accept it?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Using Your Agency's PR for Grantseeking

PR - public relations that is - need not be an ugly word for the grant writer. Even though many organizations prefer to call it outreach, marketing is what it truly is, and the reason why the grants department feels no need to become involved. But the truth is that grant writers who do become involved in their organization's PR efforts can improve their grantseeking results over the long run.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What Exactly Goes in the Agency Background?

In the typical grant proposal, the grant writer tends to spend a lot of time researching and writing specific sections such as the needs statement, goals and objectives and the like. Oftentimes, the Organizational Background ends up being the weaker section, with less time and importance attached to it. At other times, grant writers may even go overboard with this section, thinking that they need to cram every piece of history and details in here. What is a good median here?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Holistic Grant Seeking Is Nothing to be Feared

Many grant writers ask me, how can we create a culture of collaborative grant seeking? Why is the burden of writing and submitting proposals on the grants department? How can we work collaboratively with other departments instead of alone as a grant writer? Well, it may take a while to get to the point where things go smoothly, but holistic grant seeking is not that difficult to implement in little steps. Here are some suggestions:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Almost-Perfect Case Statement

Is there really such a thing as a perfect case statement? Most likely, what looks perfect to you may seem otherwise to your boss, or even to your own self reading it again after a year. By definition a case statement must bring out the need for your program or project in such a way that the reader is almost compelled to fund the project. For capital campaigns especially, case statements make or brake the decision itself. While perfect may be difficult to achieve, I contend that hard work, practice and good writing can certainly take your case statement out of the "boring" category to the "must read" one... almost perfect!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Outcome Data Can Have Many Uses

Outcome measurement is not just for program staff. Although the most popular and important use of outcome data - the data collected from outcome measurements - is to assess how the programs are doing and whether improvements are needed, there can be many other uses as well. And all of them contribute to a more efficient and effective nonprofit organization.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Showing the Need Creatively

Deep down each one of us is convinced that the program (or service or organization) we are writing grant proposals for is absolutely and imperatively needed in the community. And we also know that the needs statement of a grant proposal is the ideal venue for a detailed explanation of the need that exists in the community. Yet sometimes it becomes difficult to find the relevant information to adequately explain that need in the most fascinating and urgent of tones. Although the descriptive quality of a needs statement should not be downplayed, the fact remains that the star of this show must always be the quantitative data that proves without a shadow of doubt the gap in services that your organization is trying to fill. The dilemma lies in the fact that data is usually BORING!