There are many necessary steps to consider when developing grant applications, selecting grantees, and closing the grant cycle. From developing eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria to reviewing and selecting proposals, grantmakers have a laundry list of internal protocols to follow, and they must think strategically about managing their workflow. Creating a process that is practical, yet effective, can benefit both the funder and the grant seeker from the pre-award through post-award phases. And it can help anticipate and eliminate any pain points ahead of time. Here are a few best practices and benefits to consider for solving grantmaking challenges and streamlining your workflow.

  1. Define the purpose of the grant: An organization’s mission can evolve, expand, and shift over time as the needs of the core community it serves change.
  2. Develop clear and transparent guidelines: Establishing clear guidelines in your applications, especially eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria, guides grant seekers in their proposal development, creates a smoother application experience, and assists program staff in the application review process.
  3. Simplify the submission process: A user-friendly application process will result in stress-free applicants and happy grant reviewers.
  4. Be a responsive grantmaker: Navigating the grant application process can be a daunting experience for both novice and skilled grant seekers.
  5. Accommodate your selection committee: Selection committee members are crucial to the review process. In addition to assembling a team that reflects the diversity of the community you serve and has the experience and expertise needed to objectively score applications, you need to provide your team with the tools and sufficient time needed for a successful review process.
  6. Support your grantees: After grantees are selected and awards are made, don’t assume your grantees have all the tools and resources they need to meet your expectations and succeed. During the grant period, check in with your grantees.
  7. Analyze the entire grant cycle: After a grant cycle is finally complete, review the details of the grantmaking process and determine what needs improvement in your workflow.

Read the full article about grantmaking challenges at Fluxx.