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Best Grant Hacks

“To hack:” to carry out or manage something successfully.

Writing grant proposals and submitting grant applications on an ongoing basis can be daunting. Having a list of hacks can really help the grant process.

Click HERE for my tips on getting your grant work organized.

Be Organized

Being organized can reduce your stress and positively impact your grant writing success. Using a cloud-based storage document sharing platform can expedite reviews and approvals of completed grants. Additionally, all relevant documents such as budgets, board rosters, and program descriptions can be easily stored. Have all your narratives in one document. Grant Hub is one platform specifically for grant proposals.

I encourage you to color code your grants calendar. This may sound overly simplistic, but it really works and helps keep the procrastinator on task. With a quick glance you and your colleagues can see what’s urgent and what is not.

More Hacks

Have Goals

Having goals, keeping your eye on the prize, will motivate you. Even if it’s not part of your job review, set these goals for yourself.

  • Number of new prospective foundations to research and identify

  • Number of proposals and applications to submit

  • Number of new foundations to add to your pipeline

  • Keep your own personal list of all grants you’ve written and been awarded

Create a Comprehensive grants ecosystem

Don’t work in a silo. A healthy ecosystem is interdependent, there is constant interaction, everything depends on everything else. In a nonprofit ecosystem programs cannot function without funding and fundraisers cannot raise money when they don’t know what the programs are doing.

Here are some components of a healthy internal ecosystem:

  • A data system or CRM to track program information, including outcomes.

  • Bookkeeping and accounting systems to support financial management and reporting.

  • Keystone documents in place such as bylaws, board policies, and your IRS letter.

  • Current program information including well-developed narratives, demographics of populations served, documented outputs, and outcomes.

Use a Generic Email

Using a generic email such as keeps communications open when a new grant writer joins your organization. This also helps with setting up logins to various grant portals so more than one person can have access to the funder’s communications.

While these are basic hacks, having a system and staying organized is always a great way to stay focused on your grant work. Good luck!


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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