The feature article for the January 2016 newsletter is “Preparing to Write Proposals, Part 1: Getting Your Organization Grant-Ready.” February’s article will be about the need statement and making your case for funding. To sign up for the newsletter, visit http://grantproseinc.com/newsletter/ .
The feature article from November 2015 is below.
Expressing Grants Gratitude Inside Your Organization
As we approach Thanksgiving, it is appropriate to take a few moments and think about the role of gratitude in grant seeking and management. Thanking the organizations and people who fund your organization is important and should be built into your grants processes. However, a strong grants program relies on internal relationships as well, and relationships rely on recognizing and acknowledging the people who make your grants program possible. Below is a list of some people inside your organization to remember to thank throughout the year and some ideas on showing your appreciation.
- Your IT staff: Where would we be without those folks who fix the glitches in our Adobe Pro when we are panicking about adding page numbers to our scanned attachments? Or reinstall our printer drivers just when we need to print off a copy of the narrative for the Executive Director to proofread? Or….and this is the big one….get our computer back online immediately when it crashes just when we are ready to hit the “Submit” button and we nearly have a heart attack? IT is mission critical for keeping us productive and sane, so show your appreciation for your IT staff often. Find out what they like and keep them stocked, be it with Skittles or Keurig coffee pods.!
- Project Managers: The people who implement the grant project and keep it on track deserve a big dose of gratitude at regular intervals. Without them, your reputation and your ability to bring in future grants would suffer. Show your project managers how much you appreciate them with regular celebrations of their work. A congratulatory email (with their supervisor copied) when they submit a report showing progress towards milestones is always a great way to recognize their accomplishments and boost their motivation. A random gift certificate for a cup of coffee at their favorite coffee shop or a fancy set of post-it notes to help them stay organized are thoughtful and inexpensive ways of showing appreciation.
- The people who provide support the proposal development effort: We don’t write grants alone. A variety of people provide information critical to the success of the proposal, whether it is data, past accomplishments and organizational history, program activities, or budget numbers. Be sure to thank all of those people who take time away from their regular duties to get you the information you need. Celebrate submission day with them by sharing a snack of doughnuts or fruit. For an above-and-beyond response on a short notice, send a roll of Lifesavers and a handwritten note thanking them for saving the day. Or give them a public shout-out, such as a thank you with the hashtag #granthero on Twitter.
- Board members: From approving the direction of your grant strategy, to making pitches to colleagues on other boards, to doing the planning and oversight that keeps us employed, our own board members are critical to our success and continuity. Thank them for their direction and support by inviting them to kick-offs, publicity events, and milestone celebrations. Keep them informed of project successes to reinforce their importance to the organization. Arrange opportunities for them to hear first-hand from participants about the impact the project has had on their lives.
The holiday season is a great opportunity to renew your dedication to showing grant gratitude. Use this time to show people your heartfelt thanks and to plan your appreciation strategy for the next year.
Jenny Braswell is a GrantProse Associate.
For more information on how to prepare successful grant proposals, sign up now for our monthly e-newsletter and explore the resources available on our website (www.grantproseinc.com). You can also view all of our previous newsletters in the GrantProse email archive.