A Guide on How To Avoid Grant Emergencies
When it comes to grant deadlines, nothing gets my blood pumping like doing critical last-minute finishing touches on a proposal with the deadline looming mere minutes away.
Grant emergencies are nobody’s friend yet we can sometimes find ourselves caught in the middle of an eleventh-hour submission, sweating bullets and panicking as every second speeds by.
How did we get here? How did we let this happen? Again?!?
I had a mentor who would say, “Planning is 90% of a job well done”. And when it comes to Development Planning, she’s 100% right. While the adrenaline rush of last-minute online proposal submission might appeal to some, in the long run, it does far more damage than good.
What could you be giving up?
Quality: Giving yourself enough time to submit a proposal, be it online or hand delivered, ensures that you are submitting a quality proposal. It has been reviewed by at least one other set of eyes and double triple checked for content, consistency and grammatical errors.
Staff Well-Being: Submitting a grant is a team effort. And a team works best when they are not stressed to the max and running around like headless chickens. Anxiety and stress are bad for grant business and bad for the staff. You don’t want to scare off your staff the next time it’s time to write a grant so please, have mercy.
Opportunities for Feedback: One of the best-kept secrets in grant writing - sometimes if you turn in your grant early, funders will let you know if you’ve left something out or if they need more information. And they’ll give you time to correct it and re-submit without penalty! You’ll never find that on their website but it’s a nice perk!
A yearly development plan is an excellent way to stay ahead of sneaky grant deadlines.
If you haven’t done so already, making a yearly development plan a part of your routine is an excellent way to stay ahead of sneaky grant deadlines. An ideal yearly development plan would include a grants calendar for the upcoming year, a pre-grants checklist, updated boilerplate language, updated foundation profiles and clear program/project priorities.
And of course, an organizational strategic plan and evaluation plan are a MUST. These tools are essential to keeping your organization focused and steady. And since it is still the beginning of the year, now is an excellent time to dust off those plans and update them!