Four ways funders can help grant applicants

The document also includes a checklist of questions that applicants can ask themselves before applying for a grant.

Recently, I read an article that answered several questions I’ve had about grant makers for a long time. Not only that, but the article also addressed several questions that I often get from participants when I’m presenting my grants workshops.

The article is titled “Right-sizing the Grantmaking Process,” and it’s one in a series from a collaborative initiative of the Grants Managers Network. The network is made up of small family foundations, prominent national foundations, grant-making public charities, and socially responsible corporations. The documents were created by a group of individuals known as Project Streamline, which is an effort of funders and nonprofits to improve grant application, monitoring, and reporting practices.

The purpose of “Right-sizing the Grantmaking Process” is to help funders understand that one size might not fit all when it comes to grant applications and reporting requirements for grantees. Funders are encouraged to look at four core recommendations:

1. Know the net grant amount, and keep it as high as possible. The authors define the term “net grant” as “a grant received minus the cost of seeking, getting, managing, and reporting on a grant.” Seasoned grant writers have probably experienced expectations for grant proposals that seem out of balance in relationship to the amount of a grant award. In other words, is a 50-page proposal package really necessary when the maximum award amount is $5,000? The authors state that grant makers have a responsibility to keep their net grants high.

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