Q & A’s About the Grant Application Process

This article is dedicated to all the nonprofit organizations that are a bit unclear on the details of how the grant process actually works. I've taken some time to create a quick question and answer guide to provide you with some clarity on how grant writing and the grant application process works. All answers are gathered from our professional grant writers. 

As the coordinator for GrantWriterTeam.com, I have the privilege to hear the hopes, dreams and financial needs of a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, each day. Additionally, I am in frequent contact with our knowledgeable team of dedicated grant writers who are eager to assist in the grant process. I want you to know that grant writing is not as easy as 1,2,3. 

The Only Grant-Writing Book You'll Ever NeedCan you guarantee that I will get the grant? 

NO! Absolutely not. No one is able to guarantee that you will be awarded a grant.

When you hire a grant writer from GrantWriterTeam.com, you'll be working with a professional that is trained to best articulate the needs of your nonprofit. However, that advantage does not mean they can make any guarantees regarding grant approval. Grant approval can only be confirmed by authorized representatives of the funding source.

Will I have immediate access to funds?

Whoa! After your proposal is submitted to the funding source, their committee weeds out the unqualified candidates. This process generally takes 2-3 weeks. If you do not hear anything back within a month, it may be a good sign that you are still in the running.

When you are awarded the grant, the funding source will most probably do a more careful review of your proposed budget.  They will let you know when the check will arrive and/or if there is additional paperwork required to receive the funds. How long this takes varies greatly from government agency to foundations.  We have seen less than thirty days to as long as a year.  There really is no rule of thumb, but patience is a virtue because the money is generally not immediate.

If you are looking for a snap your fingers, ASAP way to receive money for your nonprofit for urgent expenses, grant writing is not the route. 

What can I do to raise funds while waiting on a grant approval? 

To raise funds that support your nonprofit, there are a few options available. You can go to your Board, have a fundraising event or crowdfund your campaign on Uhelpfund.com.

The Uhelpfund.com platform is part of our family of grants websites with a dedicated crowdfunding mentor who is tasked with helping nonprofits launch of their crowdfunding campaigns,

Crowdfunding :  A Guide to Raising Capital on the Internet

"Seeking and applying for grants combined with crowdfunding is a great two pronged approach to obtain funding!" – Libby Hikind, Founder & CEO

About the Author: Tracy is a Coordinator for GrantWriterTeam.com.

3 Steps to Funding Your Nonprofit

So, you have a mission. You've defined a charitable cause or goal to work towards and have assembled a tight knit group of like-minded peers ready to work with you.

Great job! Now it's time to get funded.

As with all valuable things in life, nothing good comes easy. This reality certainly holds true when it comes to funding your nonprofit. However, with careful planning, hard work and research, you will discover a variety of funding options. Grants for nonprofits and crowdfunding campaigns are a few ways you can obtain funds to support your charity. Start by following these 3 steps. 

 

1. Get Organized

While grants for nonprofits vary in terms of eligibility, one requirement remains consistent: BE PAPER READY

For your nonprofit to qualify for grant funding, it is vital that you have all necessary documents properly filed and convenient to reference. Most importantly, your organization must obtain 501(c)(3) status. Before you seek funding opportunities, always reference this documentation and confirm that your 501(c)(3) status is still active. This is crucial because many grants are exclusively available to nonprofits.                                    

Organized documentation will make the entire grant seeking process more cohesive. When you hire a grant writer to find funding opportunities, your documents will also be their reference to quickly determine eligibility. Get organized to save valuable time and money for your nonprofit, allowing your team to focus on the mission of your charity instead of searching for paperwork.  

2. Get to Work                       

Establishing yourself as a 501(c)(3) is the most important step to getting funded, but the work is far from over. When applying for a grant, rest assured that your nonprofit will be in competition with other qualifying organizations. Be ready to show documentation that communicates your achievements and the positive impact your charity has made.

Hosting fundraisers, sponsoring events, volunteering and raising awareness about your cause are just a few ways your charity can establish value and earn funding opportunities.

When applying for grants for your nonprofit, be sure to provide documentation of the accomplishments your nonprofit has made as a 501(c)(3). All positive community presence is noteworthy and will help you stand out from the competition. Funding sources want to know their grants will be carried out by capable and dedicated nonprofits. Documentation that summarizes the socially responsible contributions of your charity can better your chances of grant approval.  

An article published on GrantNews.comdescribing your program, will establish your credibilty. Become a guest blogger to spread the word about your nonprofit 3.

Get Funded

Now that you've verified 501(c)(3) status and gathered documents to summarize your accomplishments, it's time to find funding. Set aside some time to make sure this research is done effectively. Utilize a funding resource like GrantWatch.com to find and apply for grants. GrantWatch is a highly effective and user friendly grant search with listings that include federal, state, local and foundation grants for nonprofits. For a minimal subscription, you can research the current grant listings for your nonprofit all on one website.

If you are unable to dedicate your time to the research required in finding available grants, another resource to consider would be hiring a grant writer. GrantWriterTeam.com has grant writers with years of experience available for grant composition, as well as research assistance. Streamline your funding search with a grant writer for optimal results! 

With organization, hard work and dedicated research, it's just a matter of time before you find funding for your nonprofit. Stay focused and stay positive. The GrantWatch family believes in you!

About the Author: Lianne Hikind is a Staff Writer for GrantWriterTeam.com and Affiliate Sites.