Here’s my not-so-secret confession: I love The Container Store and the possibility of the perfect, color-coded organizational system. The Container Store exemplifies the power of organizing by offering an array of organizing solutions and creating 360-degree custom spaces.
Being organized and even color-coded can positively impact your grant writing success and reduce your stress.
The first step of your Container Store solution is to acknowledge what works best for you. Are you a paper person or totally digital using task management software? Even though Dropbox, SharePoint and other cloud-based storage platforms have been around for a good while, the pandemic and working from home made cloud-based document sharing and collaboration much more common place. Grant Hub is an example of one platform specifically for grant proposals.
Having an accessible location for all the pertinent documents makes grant proposals and applications so much easier to complete, review and approve. Budgets, program descriptions, board rosters and other information can be updated periodically. You will want to consider who has access to your cloud-based platform and editing privileges.
As the primary grant writer or supervisor, 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. For example, red could signify a hard deadline, blue a rolling deadline, and yellow could be a report due deadline.
Suggested Grant Filing System
What to Save
Correspondence from funder
Notes on how you created the program or project budget
Attachments if customized for the grant
I also recommend having a generic grants email for your organization. This way if the grant writer leaves, there is access to the grant email notifications.
In addition to the documents needed to complete a proposal or application you will also want to create a system to save your passwords and your work for each foundation and each fiscal year. I suggest having a primary list of your passwords in a secure location as well as keeping the login details in the specific grant folder for easy access.
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.