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How to Knock Out and Maintain Repeat Grants Year After Year

Ashley T. Martin has successfully written another grant!

The grant is for disadvantaged youth of Clayton County, GA and it is awarded by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council in the amount of $750,000- the full request.

During times of tight budgets, it is essential for organizations to have positive control over fiscal practices if perpetual grant awards are desired. With the understanding that grant monies do not have to be repaid and are solid resources for any agency or business, The ATM Grant Writing and Consulting Corporation wants to share a few tips on receiving repeat grants year after year.

Building a relationship with any grantor should always be primary. Where grantors want to assist philanthropic endeavors and give back to the community in a meaningful way, it is important that any grant recipients learn to cultivate the relationship, spend funds responsibly, and communicate with the grantor so that there is recorded documentation that makes both the grantor and the grant recipient look professional, accountable, and full of good will at all times. This in turn, will help organizations to build and maintain a track record that favorably awards you in sequential years. Grantors need to show that they are fully supporting their (and the grant recipient’s) foundation’s mission, vision, and philanthropic goals and objectives. In adopting these practices, you are better positioned to receive future grants as you have already established yourself as a trustworthy recipient.

Tip #1: Do what you say you're going to do with the funds.

If you ever want to get a second grant and remain in good standing with Dun and Bradstreet and GuidsStar, ensure that you use the money exactly as you said you would in your application/ proposal. In the event that you need to spend differently than stated in your budget, ask permission and receive a positive response from the grantor in writing before you spend anything. Many state and federal funds are reimbursement grants, but for those that are not, you will be required to pay money back if you spend in any way that the grantor does not approve of. Retain any written amendments to the budget in your file for auditing purposes as well.

Tip #2: Report back to the grantor - whether they require it or not.

Grantors almost always require a follow-up report on the use of their award funds in order to maintain organizational documentation and financial tax filings showing who they awarded funds to. Although there may be a report form to complete, you'll want to write a letter as well- ensure that you show appreciation for their award, and pictures of your events could also help for future applications. In your letter, detail what your accomplishments and maximize your chances to be re-awarded during the following grant cycle. Some foundations don't require a report, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't send one. Keep the foundation informed even when a grant report is not required so that they remember you. Like all donors, foundations want to know the impact of their contribution to your community and society at large. Your letter will provide a personal connection to the grantor to those they served, especially when the grantor will never meet those you assist with the grant funds. Besides, it is human to desire and receive a sincere and specific acknowledgement of contributions. Your main goal is to make a connection with the grantor on a personal level and cultivate the funding relationship for as long as possible.

Tip #3: Submit reports on time.

Grant report deadlines may come months after you've exhausted the funds and moved on to other projects. To avoid missing deadlines, mark your calendar as soon as you receive notification that you will be awarded. It is helpful to mark due dates in advance so that last minute mishaps do not prevent you from being on time. Think of it this way, the grant funds were given to you on time, and you should show your respect and appreciation by reporting on time. Prepare to report a couple of weeks in advance so that you will have plenty of time to prepare it.

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