solicitation compliant
Grant proposals are a great way to achieve the funding of your nonprofit needs. But before you submit a proposal, it’s important to read through the fine print carefully. Many states have charitable solicitation laws, which can hurt your chances of receiving a grant if not followed correctly. 

These charitable solicitation laws are often overlooked, and could get you in trouble if they aren’t abided by. In this blog, we’ll go over the fine lines of applying for grants without solicitation, and how to avoid these common mistakes. 

solicitation compliant

Are grants considered charitable solicitation? 

Yes, most states categorize foundation grants as a type of charitable solicitation. In general, you should consider applying for grants as part of your compliance strategy. There are a few states that exempt government grants, so we advise researching state and grantmaker requirements before you submit a proposal. 

If my nonprofit has an IRS determination letter, can you apply for grants anywhere? 

Many organizations are guilty of assuming that having a 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS is all it takes to fundraise without limits, which includes applying for grants. However 41 states require you to file a separate registration, where you’ll provide the determination letter and additional information regarding your leadership team, finances, other fundraising activities, etc. 

If my organization wants to apply for funding, where should we register? 

In general, you should register in whatever state your funder is located in. In fact in every state except California, you’re required to register before any sort of solicitation. With that in mind, make sure you’re planning your registrations and grant applications ahead of time, and allow yourself extra time for any fallback.  

When submitting a grant proposal, does my nonprofit need to submit proof of charitable registration? 

The short answer is yes. It might depend on who issues the grant, but it’s very likely you’ll submit an IRS determination letter as proof. Especially living in a day and age where anyone can apply in a digital world, it’s important to show proof to distinguish your application from a large stack of noncompliant applicants. It’ll show the funder that you’re credible and qualified!

Does the grant total amount affect registration? 

The only way the total would affect registration is if the amount is so big that your nonprofit can’t qualify for the exemption anymore. And even then, exemptions could take other streams of revenue into consideration, so you might have to register regardless. Make sure you’re taking all added costs into account.

What happens if my nonprofit registers but we don’t receive any grant money? 

Remember, applying for the grant does not guarantee you’ll receive it. And by registering to solicit in order to apply for the grant, your application might be turned down. So be prepared, as you may register to solicit and not get a whole lot back. It’s super important to budget out for compliance and apply for funding wisely (especially in other states). 

How does my nonprofit stay compliant? 

If you want to do the most, you can register in every state that has registration. It’s tedious, but it’s a proactive way of ensuring you’re complying without fault. Most nonprofits don’t have the budget for this, so at the very least, register in the states you do most of your fundraising. 

If you need help with your grant proposals, RBW Strategy can help! We provide a variety of services, from prospect research to overall project management. Visit our services page and contact us on LinkedIn today!

How to Utilize a Grant Calendar to Increase Your Nonprofits Success
How to Utilize a Grant Calendar to Increase Your Nonprofits Success

Applying for grants is a competitive, time consuming task. And like any big project, grant proposals take a lot of organization and planning. Creating a grant calendar to track all grant related activities for your organization will keep you focused, get tasks done on time, and provide an overarching view of all the details that can make or break your application. And it’ll serve as a great template to use for other grants moving forward! 

So, what are the steps for creating a killer grant calendar? 

Step #1: Choose a template or software. 

The format you choose will vary depending on your team and the grant itself. Some organizations like to break things out into monthly spreadsheets, where others prefer to use a project management software like Asana or Monday.com, and some might use a preferred funder software or CRM tool like Bloomerang, GrantHub or SalesForce. Whichever way you choose, make sure you’re doing the best you can to align the grant’s timeline and your employee’s workload. Try to make it as intuitive, clear, and concise as possible. You should be able to see an overall snapshot of the month, and the status of the application and deadlines should be clear. If you’re working on various tasks with multiple people, make sure you’re using something like a Google Doc where you can collaborate effectively. 

 

Step #2: Review past grants. 

Taking a step back to look at previous grants can provide a lot of insight on how you can improve your processes moving forward. What parts of your previous grants were organized well? Where were the gaps? What steps can you put in place to ensure you’re using your time efficiently? In particular, make sure to review the amount of funding you received, how much time it took to submit the application (and follow up), and what the chances look like of receiving the funding again. It’s important to do this on a recurring basis, as the grant application process changes frequently. 

 

Step #3: Establish hard deadlines, and flexible deadlines. 

Once you have decided which grants to apply for, prioritize your plan with those that have hard deadlines. This will be the skeleton in which you’ll plan the rest of your submissions, so you can maneuver the more flexible deadlines. 

 

Step #4: Align with other priorities. 

Surely, this grant isn’t the only task on your organization’s docket! Make sure you’re taking other projects and their timelines into consideration before creating another one. You may have to frequently adjust this and be flexible based on the other projects. Always allow yourself a bit more time than you think you’ll need, especially for revisions. 

Really take some time to think about what the task requires. Do you have the accurate data needed to complete the task? If you don’t, how long will it take to get that data? 

 

And there you have it! If you’re looking for assistance in the grant process, RBW Strategy can help! We provide services in grant prospect research, to writing, all the way up to project management. Visit our services page for more info and contact us today!  

 

Stories are an essential part of every grant application, as they help the funder connect with your nonprofits idea, mission and overall goals. It’s the best way to set yourself apart, and there’s a much better chance your proposal will resonate with the reader. However telling your nonprofits story isn’t easy, even if you know the organization like the back of your hand. It takes organization and creativity if you want it done right. 

If you’re unsure where to start, think about your grant proposal like a novel. Every novel has five quintessential areas: a purpose, plot, characters, an audience, and great writing. So, how do you bring these to life in your grant proposal? Let’s break it down. 

Grant proposal

Step 1: The purpose.

Why does this story need to be told? And why is it important to tell it now? Every good story starts with a well thought out purpose, as it sets the baseline and guides you through the rest of your storytelling journey. You want the funder to know why your project is worth funding and what impact it’s going to have. 

Step 2: The plot.

This is what we call the “meat” of your story. When it comes to grant applications, this means incorporating any organizational information, budget details, supporting documents, etc. What can you provide that will show the funder how the problem should be addressed, what the approach will be, and the expected logical outcome. If your project isn’t well planned out and outlined, these outcomes won’t make any sense to the reader. It’s important to continually stress the steps that are in place from beginning to end, so it’s clear how their input will make a difference.

Step 3: The characters.

Every great story includes great characters. The question is, who are these characters relative to your nonprofit? It’s important to remember that the application is not about you as a writer — it’s about the project leaders and staff on your end, and those participating on the funder’s side. But more importantly, the main characters are the people and causes that your nonprofit is aiming to serve. Because at the end of the day, this is what your goal is all about — helping!

Step 4: The audience.

We hear it all the time: storytelling is about knowing your audience, and grant writing is no different. An application should only be submitted when you know that the funders objectives and mission statement is in line with your own. Storytelling helps build relationships, and you don’t want to tell a story they don’t want to hear! In the same respect, make sure you aren’t changing a story just to try and sit them. If you start feeling yourself doing that, the funder probably isn’t a good option for you anyway.

Step 5: The writing itself.

Keep in mind anyone can have a great story, but the delivery matters. To deliver your story well, the first step is allowing yourself enough time to prepare, write, and submit it. You’ll want to make sure you’ve answered every question and requirement by the funder, and have somebody else (or multiple people) proofread it before submission. If it helps, ask your proofreader to explain the project back to you. Because if they can’t understand it…neither will the funder.

And there you have it! We hope these storytelling tips will take your grant proposal to the next level and increase your chance of attracting fundraisers. Need help in your grant writing process? RBW Strategy can help! Visit our services page for more info. 

 

 

grant proposal weaknesses
Writing a grant proposal takes a lot of leg work, and nobody gets it 100% right the first time. If you’re looking to improve your grant writing skills, it’s important to do some reflecting on prior proposals, and understand where you can improve. In this article, we’ll be going over some of the most common grant proposal weaknesses, so you’ll have the tools necessary to make your next proposal the best it can be. 

 

grant proposal weaknesses

 

Weakness #1: Using too many hyperboles. 

 

Hyperboles are exaggerated statements or claims that are not meant to be taken literally. We have a tendency to include these without realizing it because naturally, you want to “show off” your organization and highlight all the wonderful things about it. But make sure you’re being factual, and not overselling. Don’t include any unnecessary fluff, or make claims about your organization that can’t be backed up 100%. Keep in mind, there’s also a fine line between confidence and arrogance. You can speak highly of your organization without boasting! Reviewers have a heightened sense for scoping out these ego trips, so make sure you remain confident, but humble. In addition, we also recommend using language that suggests real action, versus a thought. So for example, use words like “expect” and “anticipate” vs. words like “hope.” These words are more action driven and show that you’re not all talk.

 

Weakness #2: Poor organization. 

 

These are arguably the biggest grant proposal weaknesses today. Remember, you’re supposed to be telling a story. And if you’re jumping all over the place, it’s harder to convey your message. If your story isn’t presented in a logical order, the reviewer is likely to lose interest or misinterpret your goal. We recommend using numbers, letters, and/or bolded headlines to create structure in your proposal. Be clear in your writing, and think about it as if you were reading it from the reviewer’s lens. There’s a good chance the bulk of the proposal will be scanned, so really drive in the main points as concise as you can. Be sure to start off with your hypothesis, go into the specific aims and goals, and close with a conclusion. We also recommend sharing the proposal with an honest friend. Reviewers aren’t going to spare your feelings, and it might be better to hear any constructive feedback from a friend first. 

 

Weakness #3: Failure to prove significance and innovation. 

 

One of the toughest parts about grant writing is finding a way to stand out. It’s possible to write a great grant proposal without providing any real uniqueness; and we see it often. Make sure you’re honing in on the “why.” Why is this problem particularly important? How does the grantor fit into your overall efforts and what part do they play in shaping the future of this problem? In addition to not proving a problem’s significance in grant proposals, we often see a failure to communicate any real innovation. What are you doing to make this project original? What makes your efforts special and what unique ways are you approaching the situation? In a nutshell — stand out! 

 

Weakness #4: Language and grammatical errors. 

 

There is no excuse for turning in a proposal with spelling and grammatical errors! You should have at least two other people proofread before submitting it. If you want to go the extra mile, consider hiring a freelance proofreader. It’ll give you peace of mind knowing you’re letting someone handle this who does it for a living! In addition to spelling/formatting errors, make sure you’re focusing on your language. If you fail to use the correct industry terminology, your credibility will decrease drastically and quite frankly, you’ll look ignorant. If you’re unsure on terminology, try reaching out to an industry professional for a second look. 

 

If you need assistance with your grant proposal weaknesses, RBW Strategy has you covered! We create a work plan to ensure alignment with funding opportunity guidelines. Our team is also skilled at integrating program-specific language, graphics, literature reviews, and research to create a detailed statement of need that effectively demonstrates your organization’s request for funds. Contact us online today!

 

How to Make the Most of Your Donor Prospect Research
How to Make the Most of Your Donor Prospect Research

Donor prospect research is no easy task, and takes a lot of time and effort. Selecting the right donor(s) are important, as their contributions are a direct reflection of your organization’s mission and goals. Prospect research is a great opportunity to learn more about potential or existing donors’ personal backgrounds, history of giving, indicators of wealth, their philanthropic motivations, and so on. You’re able to get a better gauge on a donor’s ability to give, and if they align with your nonprofits objectives and values. 

What is the best way to find prospects?

There are three main ways you can conduct your prospect research:

  • DIY. If you feel like you can find the right prospects using your own search methods, then go for it! This method won’t cost you any money, although it is a long and tedious process. Especially if you’re a one man show or doing research with a small team, there’s only so much information you can sift through between all the social networks and government and private databases. 
  • Use a consultant (hint hint, us)! Consultants have the knowledge and resources to find you the best prospects. They can also help train your staff on prospect research, develop research strategies, and build relationships in prospect relations.
  • Hire a prospecting company. If you’re looking to be almost completely hands off, then hiring a prospecting company is the way to go. They’ll be able to handle everything from start to finish, so you have more time to focus on other tasks. 

How do you know which prospects to screen? 

Each prospect will be unique in its appeal to you. But the first factor to consider is how large their past donations have been, as it’s a good indicator for what they could donate in the future. If the donation amounts don’t seem to align with your organization, give it a pass. Also, look to see if there are any personal or business contacts at the organization you can reach out to. A little networking never hurts anyone, and it’s a great way to start building a relationship with your prospects. You’ll also want to look out for consistency. How often is the organization donating? Is the amount they give consistent based on the nonprofits size? 

How do you utilize the research? 

Once you have the research, there are a few steps you want to take in ensuring you’re utilizing it properly. 

  1. Create an organized, centralized place for your research. Whether it’s Google Docs, spreadsheets, a project management app, etc, make sure you’re conducting research in a way that is organized and easy to reference. 
  2. Dissect the research. What factors are most important for your nonprofit when considering donors? Maybe it’s the amount they’re willing to donate, or their organization’s mission statement and values. 
  3. Make a plan to reach out. Once you have a prospects data, how do you plan to reach out? What does your timeline look like, and what methods of communication might work best for each donor?

Does your nonprofit need help with donor prospect research? RBW Strategy has you covered! Using a proven approach for success, we can help by performing detailed research to determine potential foundation, government and/or corporate funding prospects. Visit our services page to learn more!

multi-channel fundraising
Nonprofits can no longer rely on one or two channels to generate revenue. Your audience is in more than one place, so you need to be too! In this day and age, it’s hard to get your message in front of (and heard by) donors and supporters. We live in a constant media whirlwind, and our messages have a tendency to get lost if we don’t position them correctly. But with more media outlets than ever before, we have endless opportunities to experiment and optimize with our marketing efforts. Queue, multi-channel fundraising! 

multi-channel fundraising

What is multi-channel fundraising? 

Multi-channel fundraising is exactly how it sounds — spreading your message across multiple channels and utilizing tactics that will reach your ideal audience, at the optimal time. We live in a time where we’re fortunate to have so many avenues of communication; from direct mail, email, social media, phone, etc. 

It’s important to note that while you should utilize a variety of channels to get your message across, this doesn’t mean you should blast it. Messages should be strategic and cohesive across all channels, and tailored to each specific outlet. 

So, how do you make the most of your multi-channel fundraising efforts? The following tips will help set you up for success, and execute your multi-channel fundraising efforts efficiently. 

Step #1: Establish your fundraising goals. 

Before you get started on the leg work, make sure you have a clear goal and vision for your campaign. Set realistic expectations for your target number, and create milestones to help you get there. In addition, know how much you can realistically expect from each channel. For example, if you are experimenting with social media fundraising for the first time, it’s important to know that only 0.7% of organizations raise more than $100,000 through that channel. Be very conservative when you should, and risky when you can.

Step #2: Develop your campaign goals and messaging. 

It’s important to note that your campaign goals are different than your fundraising goals. Campaign goals are what you’re looking to accomplish through your fundraising efforts. So for example, you might ask yourself, “What will we achieve by raising $100k for my local foundation?” Putting X and Y numbers out on the table will help keep you on track to achieve your goals, just like any other campaign. 

Step #3: Define your messaging. 

Messaging should be optimized for each channel, as each channel has a different premise for how it’s used. Think about the different social media channels as an example. Instagram is used as more of a visual space, where Twitter is designed to be straightforward and concise. Think about the way messaging is different on each platform, and use that to your advantage. Regardless of the channel, make sure you’re telling a story that is captivating, and explain how their donation will benefit the organization, the program, and those sered. Donors should be able to see what tangible impact they’re making, and will be more likely to donate if it’s clear. 

Step #4: Identify where your donors are. 

Think about where you’re most likely to capture a donor’s attention. Depending on the industry and demographics/psychographics of your donors, some channels may be more beneficial than others. For example if you’re looking to capture donations from an older generation, you might benefit from email more than social media. If you’re looking to capture donations from a younger generation, social media might be a good route. 

Step #5: Create a timeline. 

A calendar is the key to project management! Creating dates for milestone completions is a great way to help keep your multi-channel fundraising efforts on track. Make sure you include time for drafting, editing, and executing your messages, and include enough flexibility for when inevitably, speed bumps will occur. 

Need help overseeing your multi-channel fundraising efforts? Project management is one of our specialties here at RBW Strategy! We’ll take the reigns and ensure your project is completed on time, within budget, and in the most stress-free way possible. Visit our services page to learn more!

donors
Donors are an essential part of your operations, and they deserve meaningful thank yous. While all nonprofits know the importance of saying thank you, we often neglect adding personalization. And unfortunately, our thank you’s tend to be a one and done deal. Relationship building is crucial in the nonprofit world, and it’s time we start doing more than the bare minimum! There are so many fun and creative ways to show donors your appreciation. If you’re running out of ideas, here are a few options to explore. 

donors

  1. Send food from a local bakery or restaurant

    Think about some of the best gifts you’ve ever received. Chances are, they were the ones where a lot of thought was put into it. Do some research to see if you can find a local bakery or restaurant near the donor’s headquarters — one only the locals would know about. Or alternatively, send them some goodies from a local restaurant or bakery near your nonprofit headquarters. One thing to be weary of with this tactic is allergies, so make sure you take note of any dietary restrictions before ordering.

  2. Record a video message

    Nonprofit teams are typically crunched for time, which means it’s all too easy to resort to a simple thank you email. If you really want to stand out, go for a video message! There are tons of formats you can experiment with. Maybe you can showcase a way their donation is being used, or do a compilation video of everyone at the company saying thank you. They’ll also be able to use it in their marketing efforts — a big bonus! 

  3. Send greeting cards (but go the extra mile)

    If you’re going to send a thank you card, don’t leave it generic! Make sure it’s handwritten, addresses specific people, and discusses how the donation has improved your funding efforts. Instead of sending a one off card, we recommend celebrating continuous milestones. So for example, make a note on the calendar of the day you received the donation, and send them a greeting card on an annual basis. You could also keep tabs on personal milestones and send thank you cards for those — like if the donor was recently married or had a child. 

  4. Incorporate the donor into your marketing efforts

    Make sure you’re showcasing the donor on social media, email newsletters, annual reports, etc. This also helps build up your nonprofits marketing efforts, and facilitates continuous conversations online. We’ve seen a lot of nonprofits do donor spotlight blogs, webinars, and other interactive content as well. 

  5. Send some swag

    Everybody likes free stuff right? Consider sending the donor some customized company items that you have on hand, like a tshirt, coffee mug, or bottle opener. Encourage them to share pictures utilizing the swag and tag on social media. 

  6. Visit them in person, or offer them a tour at your headquarters

    Unfortunately, the pandemic makes this one a bit tricky right now. When operations resume in the future, consider inviting the donors to take a tour of your headquarters, or make a point to visit them in person if you’re near their headquarters. Even a special Zoom call could make someone’s day.

 

What ideas do you have for thanking and engaging your donors? We’d love to hear from you! And if you’re looking for funding help, we’ve got you covered. RBW Strategy specializes in services like prospect research, grant writing, grant review, and more. Contact us to learn more today.

diversity and inclusion
diversity and inclusion

In response to the prevalent racial injustice matters going on worldwide, many organizations have taken proactive measures to update their diversity and inclusion policies. In an effort to provide relevance and credibility, many organizations have released these initiatives quickly — but are not considering some key issues. 

Topics of diversity and inclusion are complicated and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s easy for leaders at an organization to make assumptions about the root cause of their employees’ problems, rather than putting in the effort to conduct proper research. The last thing you want to do is make false promises or provide surface level statements that cannot be backed up with specific actions. 

The success of diversity and inclusion programs will come to do the work of upper management (and we don’t just mean HR). Successful programs like these should be backed by measurable goals and targets, and consistently re-evaluated and adjusted by the leadership team. 

We’ve taken some time to evaluate diversity and inclusion policies of nonprofit organizations and found a few common areas that can be improved. 

  1. A lack of data collection.

    As we stated above, it’s easy for leaders to make assumptions on the root causes of employee dissatisfaction, rather than taking actionable steps to gather employee feedback. We highly recommend sending out employee satisfaction surveys on at least a 6-month basis. In fact, A UK report shows that evidence-based hiring practices are the most effective approaches to better results in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Having anonymous surveys will allow employees to open up more and admit their concerns more candidly. As the saying goes: numbers don’t lie! Employee satisfaction surveys are the most fair and credible ways of gathering employee feedback.

  2. Bias in the hiring process.

    In some cases, there seems to be a disconnect in the “quick fixes” an organization releases and their hiring process. For example, an organization may send out a list of diversity and inclusion resource groups, training courses, etc to their employees, but avoid those practices in the hiring process. It has to come from the top down! The best way to leave personal bias out of the hiring process is to ensure that hiring personnel don’t get to irrelevant personal details, like age, gender, ethnicity, and so on. 

  1. Using the “cop out” method when hiring leadership.

    It seems logical to hire a person of color into a leadership position to help address diversity and inclusion issues. But despite the beliefs of some organizations, that’s not enough. The leadership team as a whole should be diverse, not just one person. True diversity comes from having a unique set of backgrounds, and that can’t fall onto one person. It’s important that diversity is a part of the talent pipeline throughout the company, not a one time deal. And that process will require careful and thorough change in the talent acquisition system.

  2. Diversity and inclusion are important — but don’t oversell it.

    The last thing you want to do is set overly ambitious targets without a real plan in place. Internal targets your organization creates should involve managers, executives, employees, and other stakeholders so that the initiatives are owned, not thrown upon them. 

What steps has your organization taken to ensure diversity and inclusion policies are implemented properly? Leave us a comment below! 

If you’re a nonprofit applying for grants and need help conveying your organizations diversity and inclusion policies, we can help! Visit our services page for more information. 

crisis management
As fundraising consultants at RBW, we can safely say there’s never been anything like COVID-19. We’ve helped our clients with crisis management over the years, but nothing can compare you for a situation as drastic as a pandemic.crisis managementSince the outbreak began, we’ve been working with clients to help them transition into this new reality, while simultaneously trying to maintain fundraising momentum. Some organizations are going through a survival crisis, while others are working to raise additional funds needed to match the increase in demand for their services.

At RBW, we’re using a combination of past crisis management experience and creativity to help organizations navigate through these troubling times. Below are some important lessons we’ve learned during COVID-19.

  1. Communicate regularly. This is the perfect time to create effective donor communication strategies and reach out to donors who have given to you this year. Say thanks for their support,and inform them about what your organization is doing during this time. Make sure you’re utilizing a variety of channels, including email, letters, virtual webcam meetings, etc. You also want to make sure your direct donors know how to get to your online giving emergency fund, and your supporters should be aware of the COVID-19 stimulus package if they aren’t already. And when it comes to your staff, consider creating employee rallies, checking in with them regularly, and holding regular board meetings to keep them informed and engaged in fundraising efforts.
  2. Follow the plan. You can’t plan for everything, and saying things are uncertain right now is a bit of an understatement. But having scenarios identified and creating actionable steps in the event of a crisis can help a ton. Even though the world is changing rapidly, don’t feel like you need to update your crisis plan every 5 seconds. As long as you have a general outline for how to handle crises, you’ll be ok! At the end of the day, those who plan ahead will be ahead of the curve when this crisis is over.
  3. Good leadership is critical. Troubling times like these require top-down direction from leadership. It’s important that leaders are able to act quickly and decisively, and have a good handle on short term and long-term plans. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of hard choices to make right now, and leaders need to be confident in their decisions. During this time, leaders should be evaluating revenue streams, bottom lines, minimizing cost, and maximizing effort where needed. Leaders should also be speaking transparently, opening up the floor for employees and donors to express their questions, concerns, and challenges.
  4. Don’t forget your mission. Particularly in times of stress, it’s important to re-establish your mission statement and values. After all, this guides your decision-making and communication processes! It’s hard to excuse your values during troubling times, but it’s not impossible. This will show donors your organization is strong enough to weather the storm.

It’s important we keep these crisis management lessons top of mind as we move forward in this unprecedented business landscape. That way when the pandemic dissipates, nonprofits are able to help people recover and sustain our communities.

If you need tips, advice, or additional resources, don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our services page for more info. You can also check out the blog for other related topics.

grants lifecycle
grants lifecycle

The grants lifecycle refers to the entire process of a grant—from planning, to opportunity, to implementation, to closeout. The lifecycle of a grant has three major stages: pre-award, award, and post-award. The recipient and grantor both have unique tasks within each stage. 

Phase 1: The Pre-Award Phase 

The pre-award phase includes the grantor announcing the funding opportunity all the way through the application submission and review of grant applications. 

Here are the steps included in the pre-award phase:  

  1. The grant-making agency plans and develops a funding program based on its mission, the Administration, and congressional initiatives.
  2. The grant-making agency announces the funding opportunity and advertises it to applicant communities. They will also publish details of the funding opportunity on Grants.gov.
  3. Potential applicants will utilize Grants.gov to find funding opportunities by using the search tool. 
  4. Once an opportunity is identified, potential applicants will register with Grants.gov. and check for any additional registration requirements. 
  5. The applicant will spend a few weeks filling out the application. Note: it will take a lot of time, but you can download the PDF form and save the fields as you go. Once the application is complete, you submit it through Grants.gov.
  6. The application is then screened for compliance by the grant-making agency. If it passes, it then goes to the appropriate agency program for consideration. The applicant is notified via email if this happens.
  7. Applicants can then track the status of their application by communicating with the grant-making agency.
  8. The grant-making agency will continue to review the application. 

Phase 2: The Award Phase

The award phase is the shortest of the three phases, and starts taking place when the federal agency sends the Notice of Award (NOA) to the successful applicant and the grant becomes legally binding.

Here are the steps included in the award phase: 

  1. Once the application is reviewed, the funding agency notifies the applicants whether or not they have been awarded a grant. The agency also starts working with the award recipient to go over the legalities of the funding agreement. The funds are then dispersed. 
  2. Now the applicant will begin their project. The award recipient is responsible for meeting the administrative, financial, and programmatic reporting requirements of the award.

Phase 3: The Post Award Phase 

The final phase is the longest phase (despite fewer steps), as it includes the implementation of the grant program, along with all the reporting, audits, and closeout processes.

Here are the steps included in the post award phase:

  1. After an award has been granted, a grants management officer at the funding agency oversees the reporting compliance. This process involves reviewing reports submitted by the awardees. Representatives from the grantor agency might perform on-site visits with the project director and implementation staff. Oversight can vary based on the type of auditing done. 
  2. Award recipients submit two types of reporting to the funding agency: financial reporting and programmatic reporting. These reports are submitted regularly, and are helpful to the agency as they provide information about the overall financial status and program performance of the grant project. 

The grants lifecycle is complicated, and given the competition for funding, the process is often daunting to many nonprofits and government agencies. That’s where we come in!

RBW Strategy can help by telling you where to start with the grant seeking and writing process, how to best obtain funding, and how you can ensure you have the capacity to manage grants. Learn more about our services, or contact us via the contact form at the bottom of our website. 

For additional information on the grants lifecycle, please visit the Grants.gov page.