Steps to Take Before You Write a Grant Proposal


When you find a grant opportunity you should study the guidelines from the grantmaker to make sure your organization is qualified to apply. Before you write your grant proposal you will need to collect a substantial amount of information and paperwork about your organization to use while writing the application.

Documentation Needed for General Information Regarding your nonprofit organization

Create a file containing copies of the following documents and keep them up-to-date.  Once you have all these documents you can use them for future grant proposals.

– Your organization’s 501(c)(3) documentation from the Internal Revenue Service.

– Your organization’s most recent letter from your State’s Attorney General Registrar of Charitable Organizations.

– Your most recent annual financial statement.  Some grant funders require audited statements.

– Your organization’s current operating budget including year-to-date information.

– A list of the Board of Directors or Trustees of your organization.

– Your organizational chart including all managerial staff.

– Detailed list of your organization’s current funding sources. Include all private, individual, corporate, foundation and government funding sources.

– Your organization’s personnel policies including affirmative action policies.

– Resumes of your key paid leadership staff.

Documentation Needed for Specific Information relevant to the Grant Proposal

– Create a file containing information about the project or program you are seeking funding for.

– A copy of your program’s current fiscal year budget and multi-year budget if the program is time limited.

– Resumes of  key program leadership including information about any contractors who will be paid through the grant.

– Detailed list of the program’s current funding sources including all private, individual, corporate, foundation and government sources.

– A list of all potential funders who will be contacted regarding the project.

– Detailed organizational chart that shows where the program fits within your organization.

– Contact names, addresses and phone numbers of  any project collaborators.

– Letters of thanks from grateful program recipients.

– Letters of support from collaborators, government and community leaders, possible other funders.

– Any printed material about the program, i.e., newsletters and brochures.

– Press clippings and a list of broadcast media stories about the program.

– A list of any awards or recognition received by the program.

– Copies of all forms related to the program.

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