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Grant Analysis: Details vs. Assumptions


When it’s essential discover a grant-maker, or a set of grant-makers, to fund a selected program or challenge, step one is to undertake main analysis. You determine an inventory of potential grant-makers utilizing an internet database, similar to GrantStation. This main analysis, whereas extremely vital, is admittedly solely step one when beginning your analysis course of, and the secondary analysis ends in discovering the perfect grant-makers to method. 

The best grant analysis is fact-based. As an alternative of throwing requests at your listing of potential funders, it’s important to dig deeper. This secondary analysis, which comes on the heels of main analysis, is the method of figuring out which potential funders are your finest wager. The data you uncover would be the groundwork for pondering via your strategic method.

Your total method to every grant-maker is a mix of details and assumptions. You make assumptions about who can provide you what and when, however these assumptions are based mostly on details.

What Is Major Analysis?

Major analysis consists of utilizing key search phrases to determine an preliminary listing of doable funders. This may embrace all forms of funders, ensuring you meet their standards and producing an inventory of funders to pursue. For instance, if you happen to’re a regional meals financial institution and wish to begin a neighborhood backyard, your key search phrases would possibly embrace starvation, vitamin, gardening, agriculture, and so on. Let’s say it’s essential elevate $25,000 to get the neighborhood backyard off the bottom this coming summer season. 

To start your main analysis, you need to evaluation every grant-maker’s profile to see if their mission aligns along with your neighborhood backyard challenge. You’re additionally seeking to see if the monetary help they provide is smart in your given challenge. In the event that they solely give $1,000 grant awards, is submitting an utility to them actually the perfect use of your time? Nevertheless, if they supply awards of as much as $25,000, is it clever to ask them for the whole quantity in case you have no current relationship with the funder? These are points to think about.

In fact, you might be additionally eligibility. Maybe they offer in your county however seldom give in your neighborhood. That could possibly be a pink flag. However, possibly your neighborhood is their fundamental focus — bingo, we’ve a winner!

And at last, try their deadline for proposals.  In the event that they settle for proposals each quarter, this could match into your challenge calendar. If their deadline simply handed, and it’s an annual deadline, you could wish to set that funder apart.

Secondary Grant Analysis

Upon getting reviewed all of this data, you need to have a great working listing of potential funders. Now could be the time to start your secondary analysis as you wish to slim that listing to these funders which can be the perfect match in your challenge.

Secondary analysis consists of trying extra carefully at every funder you’ve recognized so you find yourself with an inventory of the absolute best sources. The sources you collected will likely be woven into your total funding technique. You now must evaluation every funder’s:

  • utility pointers;
  • annual report;
  • grants awarded; and,
  • IRS 990 (for nonprofit sources).

Utility Pointers

Reviewing the funder’s utility pointers is essential since you could verify that your challenge suits these pointers. For instance, the rules could require matching funds, which may be inconceivable so that you can safe earlier than the deadline, so you need to drop that individual funder out of your listing. Or you could discover that they solely fund collaborative initiatives, and although you don’t have a accomplice at current, you would develop a partnership to fulfill their pointers.

The appliance course of typically isn’t too difficult with personal funders, however it might get time-consuming with authorities grant-makers. When you evaluation the applying pointers, you’ll higher perceive how every funder suits into your total timeline and technique.

Annual Report

If a personal grant-maker publishes an annual report, take a couple of minutes to look it over. Once you evaluation the annual report, concentrate on the Government Director’s or CEO’s opening assertion as a result of it should usually offer you a really feel for what they’ve completed up to now yr and the place they are going to be within the subsequent yr. This data can present a greater thought of how your challenge suits their goals. Pay attention to the language they use of their report, as you could wish to mirror it in your utility. Within the case of firms, you’ll usually discover a listing of grantees of their company annual report posted on their web site.

Grants Awarded

Some funders have a particular part on their web site that lists lately awarded grants. This listing provides you a great indication of the forms of organizations they’re funding, the organizations’ places, and the quantity of the grant awards. You’ll glean loads of data from reviewing this data. This may show you how to craft your personal request. It can be useful to speak to 1 or two of their grantees that work in your area to get a way of the “dos and don’ts” when working with a selected funder.

IRS Kind 990 for Grant Analysis

IRS Kind 990s can be found on the IRS web site. Entry is free. You possibly can seek for particular funders and charities by both their identify or EIN (employer identification quantity). As soon as you discover the group you might be in search of, you will notice copies of the filed IRS Kind 990s. Another choice to accumulate the knowledge is to straight ask the funder to electronic mail you a replica of their newest IRS Kind 990.

The IRS Kind 990 supplies detailed monetary data similar to sources of income, a abstract of a company’s expenditures, and adjustments in internet belongings or fund balances. The IRS Kind 990 additionally contains direct and oblique public help a company receives. It would additionally define the variety of contributions it receives from federal, state, and native governments.

Most funders embrace particulars on their charitable giving for the earlier yr. Chances are you’ll discover particulars similar to their complete annual giving and an inventory of grantees, their location, the quantity given, and for what purpose (e.g., common help, constructing funds, challenge help, and so on.). That is in Half XV of the 990 and is often on web page 11. Nevertheless, it may be later within the doc or included as an addendum.

Test to see if the grants given match your funding priorities. This listing could assist decide if you happen to ought to embrace a grant-maker in your funding technique. Remember the fact that a company’s monetary data is extra helpful if examined over a extra prolonged interval. One yr’s IRS Kind 990 presents solely a restricted quantity of information. We suggest reviewing the three most up-to-date 990s to totally perceive the funder’s priorities and packages.

Extra Web site Evaluation

If a funder nonetheless looks as if a possible match after reviewing their utility pointers, annual report and grants awarded listing, then go searching their web site to get a way of their mission, goals, and so on. 

The web site may also present an eligibility quiz to take or a pre-application kind to fill out earlier than making use of for funding. Both of those might be useful as a pre-screening device. 

If the grant-maker publishes a weblog, scan the subjects they centered on up to now six months. Consequently, you’ll point out what they think about their prime priorities. When you discover a related submit to your work, you would possibly even embrace a quote from it in your proposal.

Keep Versatile!


All through the analysis course of, it’s important to remain versatile in your pondering and consider these search suggestions. You wish to think about a number of alternate options and entertain a variety of situations. Your total method ought to be adaptable. You have got to have the ability to make revisions as you go ahead. A denial of a request could shift your method, simply as receiving an award will. And ensure you give as a lot thought when adjusting the technique as it’s important to the preliminary improvement. For instance, if you happen to get a bigger award than anticipated upfront, you have to to re-think your method. You’ll have the perfect probability of success in your grant-seeking by staying versatile.

This spotlighted weblog submit is courtesy of Grant Station.



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