Too Busy to Write a Grant? Here's Help
Updated: Mar 6
In a recent survey by GetEdFunding.com, "Lack of Time" was the #1 reason most respondents don't write grants. I understand! When I was a school leader, writing grants was not at the top of my list...far from it. But today I see how important grants can be in helping you meet your school goals. In this blog, I'll share five strategies that can help you make time for grants.
Click here to see the blog and survey from GetEdFunding: https://blog.getedfunding.com/2020/02/get-insights-into-the-grant-writing-landscape/
1. Learn How To Delegate (Without Losing Control)
Most charter school leaders struggle to get it all done. You are expected to be an expert in too many jobs, and you never have enough time. It is easy to get buried in the details of a job that someone else could be doing, but how can you decide what to delegate? How can you be sure the job will be done well? Who is responsible if it fails?
This chart will help you decide when (and when NOT) to delegate, and how to manage outcomes and responsibility.
You can learn more about how to delegate effectively in this free report: Know When To Delegate
2. Train a Grants Manager
Designate one staff member to be your grants manager. This will allow you to delegate many grant duties to someone who is prepared to handle them.
It is crucial to have one point of contact for all your grants. Provide training and support to ensure a successful grants program.
Coordinate your school’s grant-writing efforts
Track all grants submitted
Prepare all required grant reports
Meet all grant deadlines
Participate in Grants Committee See this blog for details on grants committees: Do I really need a grant-writing committee?
Help your grants manager be prepared for the job with these training and certification options.
Online Grants Training
FREE courses from Nonprofit Ready https://www.nonprofitready.org/grant-writing-classes
Ed2Go: A to Z Grant Writing https://www.ed2go.com/courses/business/operations/ilc/a-to-z-grant-writing
Ed2Go: Advanced Grant Proposal Writing https://www.ed2go.com/courses/business/operations/ilc/advanced-grant-proposal-writing
Granting Your Vision: Online courses in development Check website for updates at www.peggydowns.com/courses
Grants Certification Program
3. Make Sure It All Gets Done
The term grants administration covers all the tasks related to getting a grant and carrying out the project. The work typically involves a variety of staff members who are responsible for various duties related to the grant program. This may include, for example, the accounting department for handling the funds and preparing financial reports, the staff members who are leading the program, the office staff who may be ordering supplies or curriculum for the program, and the HR department who may be responsible for onboarding new staff being paid by grant funds.
All of these activities must be managed by a leader who understands the grant’s goals, the school’s goals, and the requirements of the grant agreement. You can be successful with grants when you ensure your school:
Is committed to instituting ethical practices that align with the school’s values and are in compliance with laws and grant procedures.
Develops and updates policies to address operations, responsibilities, and accountability for its grant program.
Creates and updates procedures for all grant functions, including financial reporting, transactions, and grant compliance.
Has established a system for finances and program administration.
Provides adequate training for all employees involved in the grant program.
Establishes systems to routinely monitor accountability and evaluation, within a continuous improvement cycle.
Sometimes the fear of how to manage the grants you win can be a roadblock. Prepare for effective grants administration with this one-page checklist. Download your free copy: Grants Administration Checklist
4. Start with These 5 Easy Grants
In this blog, you will find links to five simple grant applications and a description of exactly what you need to complete each one. I will summarize each grant's focus areas and typical projects, and all the important details you need to decide if it's a match.
Each grant in this list had to meet 5 criteria:
Funding amounts of $10,000 or less are accepted.
Applications are accepted year-round or at least twice per year.
Application process requires basic documents, nothing too unusual.
Application is one to two pages long or a simple letter of interest.
Application can be submitted online.
Learn more in this blog: 5 Easy Grants for School Leaders
5. Join the 7 Day Write a Grant Challenge
This is your ultimate introduction to grant writing. In 7 days, you'll know what your project is, whom you want to serve, how to choose a donor, and you’ll have a fully-planned proposal for an easy grant.
7 Days - 7 Simple Tasks
Each day, I will send you an email with a video lesson and a task. Each video is around 5 minutes long, and the task should take you 20 minutes or less. In 7 days, you'll know what your project is, whom you want to serve, how to choose a donor, and you’ll have a fully planned proposal for an easy grant. I will even provide a couple of simple grant applications to get you started!
Join the 7 Day Write a Grant Challenge now.
You are never too busy to make time for what you love. It's just a matter of prioritizing - evaluating how you spend your days and dedicating time for what you value. If something is really important to you, you will find a way to fit it into your life. - Author: Jessica N. Turner
Make Time for What Matters
Providing resources your students need will bring you satisfaction and greater success. Set your goals and make time for grants.
Which strategy will you be using? Comment below and let us know what's working for you.
Check out these resources to learn and grow as a leader
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Ready to learn more? Check out these posts:
Peggy Downs works with school leaders who want to leverage grants to dramatically increase funding, impact, and credibility for their schools. More info and a ton of free resources are waiting for you at:
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