A small to medium side nonprofit organization may submit somewhere between 12 and 50
proposals a year. As an executive director role development director or even the fundraising committee chair, how do you keep track of all of the information? What do you need to track?
Keeping on top of grants information is critical. But it so rarely receives the attention needed. This can mean missed grant deadlines, new priorities for funders and important conversations your organization may have had with the funders. A grants tracker in Excel or Google sheets is a simple way to organize your grant writing work. Some very simple rules to follow:
Set up the first sheet as a monthly calendar overview. Each foundation is listed with the grant deadline marked by month and date. You can add as much or as little extra information as you need. For example clients like to allocate “A” priority funders to designated board members to develop relationships.
You might consider a column that shows who is responsible for writing the grant. Is it an
internal staff member, a board member or an external grant writer? The general rule: keep the first sheet as a simple overview.
The second sheet is where I recommend keeping detailed information on funders. You can
track funder contact information, type of grant request, specific funder requirements, and
average grant size.
You might consider an additional sheet to keep track of grant submitted and information on interim or final reports and the dates required.
This three page format is the best I have found to meet everyone’s needs. The development director can allocate resources internally or externally in a timely manner to meet all grant writing requirements. The financial director can easily access dates for grant reports due with financial ramifications on sheet three. The fundraising committee and executive director have access to as much or as little information as they need.
A little organizational work upfront saves a lot of time! Especially if you also use the tracker to track your online sign in and password information since most grants these days are submitted online.