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Checklist: How to get ready for the new year

Maximize your grants success by following these best practice tips! 

Grant Calendar is Key: Make sure you have an uptodate road map that will lead your way. 
  • Craft your yearly grants calendar by mapping out the deadlines of your current funders. Don’t forget to include when reports are due! 
  • Research new potential funders to confirm alignment between the funder’s priorities and your ask. Add these new prospects to your grants calendar so they are all in one place. Want to make sure you aren’t missing any funding opportunities? Learn how our Funding Scan can help you find new funders.  
Get Your House in Order: Refresh your grant materials for an efficient start. 
  • Spend a few hours organizing your grant files, both paper and electronic, to make sure you have what you need at your fingertips.  
  • Review your Master Grant Template and identify where it might need to be updated with new program information or revised statistics about your outcomes over the past year. 
Cultivate Intentionally: Show funders they are a priority by these proactive approaches. 
  • Schedule annual, in-person meetings with current and high-priority potential grantors, to identify the foundation’s current priorities and goals and ensure that you can write a clear, compelling narrative that aligns.  
  • Add foundation program officers and key contacts to your mailing lists to receive key communications. Foundation staff and trustees want to feel connected to the organizations they support. Also consider these other ways to connect.  
Personal Development: Invest in yourself (and your team) for highest returns. 
  • Spend a half day immersed in your organization’s programming: go to a class, visit the clinic, attend a performance, etc. You will learn something new that your funders should know.  
  • Take time for reflection. A study from Harvard shows that taking time to reflect on your experiences will increase your productivity. Spend a block of time dedicated to reviewing your grant seeking effort in 2019. What can you do differently? What should you try? Check out the Foundation Center’s calendar of training opportunities to see if you, or anyone on your team, should sign up to further hone your skills.  

Here’s to a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year! Share your tips below. 


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