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How to Organize a Grant Writing Committee

If it’s time for your team to get serious about grant writing, no doubt you’ve got a little anxiety. Can I get it all done myself? How do I find all the information I’m going to need? I didn’t do well in high school English; is my writing going to be good enough? Is this do-able for an executive director or director of development alone?

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Not to worry; these thoughts are normal. Grant writing is a necessary part of your work with a nonprofit organization, so it can’t be ignored. But, it doesn’t have to be tackled alone. Here are a few ways to break out the duties from one person to a grant committee that will lighten the load for everyone.

Who you’ll need:

  • a Type A personality. Someone who is organized and extremely detail-oriented. You’ll want this person to compile research, grant deadlines and establish benchmarks for each grant. This person can also keep tabs on the information being collected and ask other committee members for what’s missing. This person can also make sure all the grant requirements are being followed exactly. This person would make a good grant committee chair.
  • a decent writer. Someone who can take lots of great information and make sense of it for readers/grant funders who may be learning about your organization for the first time. A fancy writing degree isn’t necessary, but a person is who can write good sentences that cover all the bases of each grant, and make the changes to each grant draft as suggested by the rest of the committee.
  • a financial person. Someone with access to all the financial documents of the organization. The person who can pull the entire fiscal year budget, or break budgets out program by program. This person would be able to provide a list of other foundations/corporations/donors that have already contributed to the project for which your team is seeking funding. This person could be the treasurer of the board, or someone else who is good with numbers.
  • the executive director or development director. A must-have for each grant committee. This person will have the final say in when a grant is sufficient and finished, and must either submit the grants him/herself, or sign off on them so another team member can do so.

Communication among this team is key. Regular check-in phone calls and a shared Dropbox account with all the necessary files will make this process easier. Lean on each other, remain accountable to each other and dig in! Many hands make light work.

Has your team had success with grant writing in a group? Tell us about it.

 

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