Making a list and checking it twice: a guide to grant readiness!


Applying for a grant can be a lot more work that simply answering questions and filling out applications. Many funders require detailed evidence of your organization, to develop a full picture of who you are and what your organization does. Their goal is to get to know you very well before they hand over thousands (or millions, if we’re lucky) of dollars to complete strangers who are making lofty promises. Therefore, your goal is to make sure you have everything you need, so you’re ready for whatever they throw at you.

A Pre-Grant Writing Checklist can save a lot of time in the grant application process. Having these items handy and readily accessible make the grant process go much smoother. And it is also a good way to ask yourself an important question: Is your agency ready to submit a grant? Below is a pre-grant writing checklist of items most commonly asked for during the grant application process. Make sure you’ve made your pre-grant writing list and checked it twice before applying to grantmaking funders.

Organization Information

o  Mission

o  History/Background

o  Agency Qualifications

o  Purpose/Need Statement

o  Organization Description

o  Organization Data: Statistics, Facts, Figures

o  Target Population/Target Geographical Area

o  Program data (including demographics, numbers served, etc.)

Program/Project Information

o  Problem, Need and Case Statement

o  Program/Project Description

o  Goals and Objectives

o  Methodology and Activities

o  Evaluation, Results, Outcomes

o  Timeline and Work Plan

o  Scope of Work

o  Future funding, Sustainability, Other funding sources

o  Summary, Introduction and Abstract


o  Program/Project Budget

o  Organizational Budget

o  Board of Directors list

o  501 (c)(3) Letter

o  Articles of Incorporation

o  By-Laws

o  State Tax Exempt Letter

o  Most Recent Audited financial statement

o  Most Recent Financial Statement

o  IRS 990 Form

o  Letters of Support

o  Memoranda of Understanding, if applicable

o  Letters of Agreement, if applicable

o  Annual Report

o  Organization Brochure

o  Strategic Plan