Get Organized

Get Organized

It is almost pointless to write grants for a nonprofit who is disorganized.

It may seem unnecessary to a grant writer how organized a nonprofit is, but I discovered it is easier to know what to write when I understand the needs, assets, and liabilities. The nonprofit does not have to be completely organized, some disorganization works for many organizations. But they should at least be financially organized.

Organization means making the financial records easily accessible electronically. It also includes assigning account headings to income and expenses so they can be categorized. This may seem obvious, but I have seen financial records without these. Sometimes there is that one person keeping everything in a spreadsheet. A few years ago, I tried to work with a nonprofit who was like this. They did not want to change, so I did not write their grants.

It would be nice to have data showing how the nonprofit successfully accomplished mission objectives. Such as volunteer hours, how many non-monetary donations they received and from who, and the number of people helped. If there is too much to organize, the grant writer can suggest processes to bring organization to the nonprofit. Such as sign-in sheets for volunteers to record the hours they worked and/or a weigh station for food brought in (many nonprofits measure donated food by weight rather than quantity or item).

Organization within the nonprofit is critical to writing successful grants. The grant writer cannot know what to ask for if they do not know what is there already.

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