Archive | November 2015

Lesson #48 – Grants Committee Job Description

Greetings from GrantLessons!

You may have heard on the national news about Reno’s winter storm. Many of us (including me) lost our electricity. Last week we looked at the criteria for hiring an application writer. This week GrantLessons is sharing a sample job description for a Grants Committee. You can find a downloadable copy at  Scroll all the way down for the Sample Job Description.

Shall research and make application for foundation grants and corporate contribution for the chapter/auxiliary (as directed/approved by the Board)

1. Be familiar with chapter bylaws, standing rules, Board policies and National Assistance League policies as appropriate to position
2. Include the President, Vice President and Vice President Resource Development (if Grants Committee reports to VP) in each call for committee members
3. Appoint a Vice Chair and a Secretary to serve on the committee
4. Include auxiliary member as part of committee
5. As a leader, encourage shared responsibility among committee members
6. Oversees the committee member’s work as defined under committee
7. Provide a general orientation to the committee and the committee process to any new member
8. Complete an annual evaluation of job description and procedures
9. Submit all grant or corporate agreements negotiated by the Grants Committee to the President as required for signature and distributes same
10. Meet with the Treasurer as needed to ensure that all grants and contributions are booked properly; attends the Budget and Finance Committee meetings
11. Prepare and submit a monthly report to the Vice-President of Resource Development (assuming Grants Committee reports to VP) to be shared with the Board
12. Submit an annual report to the Vice President of Resource Development (assuming Grants Committee reports to VP) one month prior to the annual meeting

Vice Chair
1. Is knowledgeable about workings of the committee and is able to step in as necessary during an absence by the chair.

1. Take minutes of meetings
2. File minutes in an online file management system, i.e. Dropbox
3. Provide copies of minutes at meeting
4. Submit a list of funded grants and corporation contributions to Marketing Committee twice a year to be used in chapter marketing activities
5. Prepare articles for chapter newsletter as needed
6. Review applications for accuracy of program information and grammatical and spelling issues

Researcher/Information Technology
1. Maintain Chapter’s GuideStar Profile
2. Head the Grant’s Development Subcommittee:
a. Identify potential funders through review of newspaper announcements, local nonprofit organizations and referrals from membership
b. Conduct searches to identify potential funders on search databases, such as, GrantStation and Foundation Directory Online
c. Review funder profiles, Form 990s, and websites against criteria to determine appropriateness to complete a grant or a corporate contribution application
d. Make recommendations to committee to complete applications
e. Maintain a list of potential grant and corporate applications for further research and application completion by grant writers
f. Distribute list of potential grant and corporate applications to the
3. Maintain Dropbox folders and files
4. Maintain committee email address
5. Assist other members with computer issues, i.e. importing documents to applications, saving files to Dropbox folders, learning how to develop answers in a Word document and transfer by “cutting and pasting” into an application
6. Maintain the chapter grants list that identifies all completed applications made; their status – decision, date and amount received; and date any reports are required
7. Ensure that President, Vice-President of Resource Development, Treasurer, Budget and Finance Chair, and Vice President of Philanthropic Programs receive a monthly update to the chapter grants list
8. Provide ongoing training to grant committee members on the grant writing process and answers questions related to doing online applications
9. Ensure that all grant deadlines are met

Grant Writer
1. Evaluate potential grantor’s guidelines for applications, Form 990, website and other material as available and ensures that there is a fit between funder and chapter for potential funding
2. Identify application deadline and completes application prior to deadline with enough time for a review by the Secretary or another member prior to submission
3. Make appropriate contact with potential grant and corporate contribution staff to establish a rapport and offers to show the potential funder to visit chapter
4. Gain any necessary signatures for application
5. Ensure the mailing or online submission of the application
6. Make a copy of the application and sees that a copy is placed in the hard files and Dropbox

1. One month after an application is filed, reviews file to ensure that a copy of application is present in both the hard files and Dropbox
2. Report any discrepancies to the committee members at the next meeting
3. Complete a complete audit of the files annually to ensure all appropriate documents are present

It is getting cold out, this is a good time to think about one think you can do to improve your process.

Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon! And stay warm out there! Sandie


Lesson #46 – Annual Evaluation and Lesson #47 Hiring an Application Writer

Greetings from GrantLessons!

The weather is definitely chilling down.

Lesson #46 – Annual Evaluation

It is coming to the end of the fiscal year and it is time to summarize the work of the committee. Taking the tracking form that shows all the applications completed it is easy to summarize the total number of applications completed for each program, with the number funded and the number denied. Additionally, the tracking form will demonstrate the total amount received by program against the chapter’s budget for the Grants Committee.

The Annual Evaluation should acknowledge the members of the committee who have done a lot of work behind the scene.

What can you do with this information? Provide a copy to the Board of Directors and to the Budget and Finance Committee to assist in planning what the Grant Committee can do next year. Also, be sure to note if you do not expect to get a grant next year because the funder does not make donation for consecutive years to an organization, they are closing, or they have told you that the application criteria or time for submittal is changing.

Lesson #47 – Hiring Application Writers
After the Board of Directors does its assessment it may decide that hiring an application writer for foundation grants and corporate contributions is what needs to happen for their organization.
Here are a few questions to ask potential candidates:
• What strategies do you use to find a funder for our programs?
• Do you have access to a funder search database, such as, GrantStation or Foundation Directory Online? How long have you used this search database?
• Have you written foundation grants?
• When was the last grant you wrote actually funded?
• What is the dollar value of the grants you have received over the last two years?
• Have you obtained any corporate donations in the last two years?
• Are you familiar with our philanthropic programs?
• What has been the main focus of your applications, i.e., education, human services, i. e., programs for children?
• What kind of relationships do you have with funders in our community?
• Are you able to complete an online application for funding?
• How long does it take you to complete an application?
• Do you use an online file management system like Dropbox?
Lastly, how you pay a grant writer should not be based on a commission nor should you pay anyone to find a funder for your Chapter. Additionally, compensation should not be written into a grant.