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Putting it all together: Finishing the grant

Published 6:22pm Monday, February 20, 2012

In the last article we shared the steps for developing the final step of the proposal process – the budget. In this article we will wrap up the series on grant writing by talking about putting it all together.
Now that you have the proposal written, foundations and funders often ask for additional items to be submitted with the proposal. These items include the following:
• IRS letter, proving that your organization has received its 501(c)(3)/tax exempt status
• A list of your current board of directors, their business title and current affiliations
• Financial statements from the prior year (the statements should include a balance sheet, profit and loss, audit and 990)
• Budget for the current fiscal year and a budget for the upcoming year, depending on where the grant proposal falls with the current fiscal year of your organization
I recommend keeping all of these documents in one file, either a hard copy or a digital file on the computer. It will make life a lot easier as the deadline approaches if you don’t have to go and round up these documents at the last minute.
With the additional documents, you are now ready to put it all together and submit the proposal. Many foundations and funders will provide you with a checklist that specifies the order the proposal should be in when it is submitted. If this is provided make sure you follow their instructions.
If you do not have a checklist, follow the steps outlined in this series, starting with the cover sheet, executive summary, need statement, goals and objectives, method section, evaluation section, sustainability section, organizational information, budget and finally the additional items requested.
Once everything is in order, don’t forget to have the executive director and/or board chair sign the application/cover sheet.
You do not need a fancy binder, but it should all be neatly typed and free of errors.
The next series that “Nonprofit Leadership” will embark on will be marketing for nonprofits.

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