importance of a grant manual - non-profit grant management
Most non-profits are predominantly funded by grants from government, foundations, corporations and other fundraising initiatives. Although some non-profits might generate funds from the services they offer, these funds are often not enough to fund the full cost of their programs. Thus, using a combination of funding from different sources ensures that nonprofits are able to fulfill their mission in an efficient and timely manner.
To ensure a productive system for the grant writing process, it is highly critical for non-profits to develop a grant manual. The creation of a grant manual will serve as a guide for personnel engaged in the grant writing process and highlight essential steps that ought to be implemented from the conception phase right through to the closure phase. This benefit notwithstanding, additional advantages of a grant manual to a non-profit include the following:
1. Delineation of Roles:
An indepth and organized grant manual will specify the roles of team members in a non-profits grant seeking and writing processes. By clarifying the duties and responsibilities of team members during these processes, confusion and duplication of efforts will be avoided. This will result in higher efficiency, productivity and less stress as each team member will have clearly assigned responsibilities. For instance, the finance director of an organization can be tasked with the role of preparing the budget section of the grant whereas the grant writer can be tasked with writing the narrative. The grant coordinator on the other hand can be assigned with the task of entering information from the grant writer and finance director into the submission platform of the funder.
2. Concise and Actionable Guidelines:
A strong grant manual conveys concise and actionable guidelines on a non-profit organization's grant seeking and writing processes. Ideally, processes covering the conception phase of the grant process right through to the conclusion phase ought to be captured in the grant manual. In essence, the grant manual should serve as a one stop shop that covers the critical steps of the grant seeking and writing processes of a non-profit organization. Some of these steps include:
Also, during the development of a grant manual, it is advisable to include key stakeholders. This will ensure ownership and "buy-in" which will ultimately lead to its usage by team members of the non-profit organization. Without buy-in, a grant manual will yield zero effect and defeat the purpose for creating it in the first place. For, what is the purpose of a document that is not being used by the intended recipients?
Once a grant manual is developed, it is highly recommended to update it annually in order to remain relevant and reflective of the non-profit organization's needs. Not only will an effective grant manual delineate roles while providing actionable guidelines, but it will also boost the non-profit organization's management capacity.
© 2018 Sherita Brace