|"Christmas Pears," John Drew.|
The first thing to do to have a great 2019 is to ask all your management level staff fill out the project innovator form. This is their chance to define a specific project they would like to see funded. It is a terrific exercise for this time of year. It allows your staff to dream about the future. It also helps everyone make those dreams come real by committing them to paper.
The second thing you absolutely have to do is schedule your grant writing chores for the year ahead. This means noting the exact due dates for the funders that set due dates. It also means spreading out the grant application chores over the rest of the months in order to make sure you cover a lot of ground by pacing yourself. In that spreadsheet, I like to include the name of the funder, the name and phone number of the primary contact, the due date, and any comments which are appropriate including notes about past wins with that funder. In general, I prefer to put this information into a spreadsheet. I know there are software tools out there that help you organize grant funders, including the Foundation Center's On Line Directory. Nevertheless, I haven't found anything easier to use or easier to share than a simple spreadsheet.
Third, make sure that your grantsmanship library is up to date. As a refresher, remember that your grant library has the following items.
- How to Books
- IRS Determination Letter
- State of California Determination Letter
- Project Innovator Forms
- IRS 990 Tax Forms
- Annual Budget
- Program Budgets
- Audited Financial Statement
It is important to have all these items updated and ready to go so that you don't have to slow down in 2019 trying to find them. As I like to say, if you can't get hold of a document in 10 seconds, it is useless to you.