Is Your Organization Grant Ready?

I often get calls from nonprofit leaders that say, “We need funding. We want to hire a grant writer.” Whether in startup phase or a 20+ year-old organization, grant preparedness is essential before a pen is ever put to paper (so to speak).


During those first conversations, I try not to scare them away, but want leaders to know

  1. What they already have in place
  2. What needs to be in place before the organization embarks in successful grant seeking


​​Depending on the organization and its capacity, this can mean significant time to be grant ready. Here are my best questions an organization must answer to increase the likelihood of successful grant funding.


Key Questions to Ask

  1. ​Is our mission clearly defined?
  2. Do we have a clear, concise and compelling case for support for the organization?
  3. What makes our organization different from others with similar missions and work?
  4. Are our programs well defined?
  5. Do we have data on the individuals we serve?
  6. How do we measure success?
  7. Do we have the resources in place to measure success?
  8. Do we have an operating budget?
  9. Are our bookkeeping systems set up to accurately track grant funds?
  10. Are we able to deliver on what we will promise in our proposal?
  11. Do we have qualified staff to deliver our programs?
  12. Do we know the actual cost of our programs?
  13. Do we know how much we need to raise?
  14. Will board members, volunteers or stakeholders champion our grant?
  15. Is the opportunity right for us?



 Happy grant seeking!

“She is passionate about serving vulnerable populations. Alisa follows both her passion and nonprofit best practice to help organizations grow.”

—April Jones, Vice Chair

         Daring Adventures

“I certainly appreciate Alisa's willingness and efforts.”

—Mark Publow,
Chief Development Officer

         Children's Defense Fund

“Interim EDs are not simply board members or staff who sit in the executive director’s seat for a few weeks or months until a new director is found. Interim EDs are highly skilled managers who temporarily take the helm of an organization (four to eight months on average), help the board and staff address important systems and capacity issues, and lay the groundwork for the permanent leader’s success…”

© 2005, The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Annie E Casey Foundation

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Executive Transitions Monograph Series, Vol. 2

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—Nora Hannah, CEO

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