The Grant Geek Blog

Grant Audit Prep: Don’t Stress, Learn from the Best

July 11th, 2017

An audited financial statement prepared by a qualified CPA is an integral part of administering a nonprofit organization, and can have a profound effect on the future of your organization. Any organization that receives $750,000 in Federal funds is required to have a Single Audit performed, and foundations often require an audited financial statement as part of a grant application. Federal funders need to make sure the organizations are spending the funds with high integrity and honesty as they are responsible for making sure tax payers’ money is being spent in compliance with regulations. Your auditor will review your Federal programs application, Federal Notice of Grant Awards, Contract, Budget and be sure you have spent the funds in compliance with not only these items, but also in compliance with 2 CFR 200. The goal is to have the scrutiny of your finances and programs result in an “unqualified” audit without any “findings”. A “qualified” audit or an “unqualified” audit with several “findings” could result in Federal payments being delayed due to increased review of your payment documentation prior to payment, payment(s) being returned to the funder, and/or your foundation grant application being denied.


5 Secrets to a Successful Capital Campaign

June 22nd, 2017

creating funding sustainability

A Capital Campaign can be a daunting undertaking, especially after you realize how many thousands or millions of dollars are needed to reach your goal. Take a deep breath, you are not alone. People who have gone before you have found the following “secrets” to be helpful to their success.


Three Tips for Creating an Awesome Budget (Example Included!)

June 8th, 2017

Have you ever read the last page of a novel first? Not ideal when reading a thriller – but brilliant if you’re a grant writer. Many reviewers will approach a grant proposal “backward,” by reading the budget and logic model first. This offers a snapshot of your project before they dive into the bones of the narrative, which leads us to:

Tip #1: Your Budget Should Stand on Its Own.

​When a reviewer reads the budget for your project, they should be able to understand Who, When, Where and How. This is accomplished by creating a tight, descriptive, easy-to-follow narrative alongside your figures to explain the details. Just as an abstract is a synopsis of your project, your budget should be as well. Your budget should tell a story.


3 Ways to Get Money for Your District or School

May 24th, 2017

Nearly every type of school is eligible to receive grant funding. Yes, even private schools! Many schools, however, don’t pursue the funding that is available. With teachers bogged down with oversized classrooms and administrators working after hours to ensure compliance with testing and state and local achievement goals, educators often do not have the time or energy to write grants. Developing a grant proposal can take anywhere from 10 to more than several hundred hours. At the college level, professors often seek sabbaticals just to focus on grant proposal writing.


Is “Free Grant Money” a Myth?

May 2nd, 2017

Grant funding for businesses

A small (very small!) portion of the commercial advertising you see about grants on TV and the internet is true. There are billions of dollars available in the form of grants for all different types of organizations and entities. Unfortunately, when it comes to most companies trying to sell grant services, this is where the truth ends.

Coming from a professional grant writing company that was one of the first of such companies in the United States and that has been in business for more than 22 years …

Here is the Real Truth

Despite the fact that grant money does exist, the truth is that it is very difficult for small businesses and individuals to receive any of it.


Keep the Cash Flowing: Creating Funding Sustainability for Your Nonprofit

April 24th, 2017

creating funding sustainability

Creating a sustainability funnel for your nonprofit is vital to your success. As a grant writer, the immediate response to creating sustainability is aggressive grant research and grant writing. However, as a nonprofit there are a number of ways to further your sustainability, including varying grant funding sources, enterprise,and products. Sustainability is an executive and board responsibility a should be part of a solid comprehensive plan for your organization. The plan should include detailed strategic planning to execute the endeavor which in turn should include implementation plans for each sustainability endeavor. Let’s take a look at three options to create funding sustainability.


5 Reasons Why Grant Review is Just as Important as Grant Writing (Maybe Even More So)

April 11th, 2017

grant review gives your proposals a better chance of winning fundingWriting a grant proposal is far more challenging than most people realize. As any professional grant writer would agree, writing even the smallest of proposals requires much more time and effort than just jotting down a few ideas and numbers in a word document. Here, at Resource Associates, we often compare it to birthing a baby. Just like a new mother-to-be, one must dedicate extraordinary resources in preparing an award winning grant. Often times, this requires working around the clock for months just to ensure every “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed. There are some grants that are so technically difficult to write that it requires more than 6 months’ time to complete. It is not unusual for a Resource Associates’ grant expert to prepare a proposal that – when printed – is over a foot thick (luckily we transitioned into a paperless system years ago).


Update: What We Know About Federal Programs/Grant Funding Under the Trump Administration

March 30th, 2017

The Trump administration released its first official federal budget “blueprint” the third week of March and it slashes many federal programs and completely eliminates others. The administration states that the slashes are meant to offset increased defense spending. This “blueprint” will act as a guide for the official budget, which will be negotiated and then later approved by congress. The $54 billion dollars in federal cuts means major changes are inevitable for grant funded programs and grant writing professionals.

The administration is claiming that many federal programs are simply not effective or duplicate efforts that are already being funded. Some of the departments and programs that could be cut include; The National Endowment for the Arts (includes ArtWorks), The National Endowment for the Humanities (includes Summer Seminars and Institutes), Community Services Block Grants, Community Development Block Grants, Community Development Financial Institutions, Corporation of Community and National Services (includes AmeriCorps programs), Institute of Museum and Library Services, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.


What We Know About Federal Programs/Grant Funding Under the Trump Administration

March 9th, 2017

What to expect under the Trump Administration

“Unpresedented” seems to be the word most use to describe both the presidential campaign and the new administration – and no other word can better describe what we’re dealing with when it comes to federal and state grant programs in 2017. It’s a Brave New World. We’ve all heard the rumors about federal departments having their funding stripped away or — even more unnerving — being abolished altogether (see list below). It’s easy to get wrapped up in the whirlwind of fear and uncertainty, especially when everything is happening so fast and we’re all trying to make plans for the programs and projects that help those we serve. So, what should you expect?


5 Reasons Why Hiring a Grant Writer is No-Brainer

February 28th, 2017

grant writing helpWhether you are new to grant writing and fund raising or whether it is “old hat” for you, there are lots of reasons that hiring additional capacity to assist you with applying for and winning grant applications can really make sense. Here are our top 5 reasons:

1. The cost

In almost every practical application, it is less expensive to hire a grant writer or grant writing firm on a case-by-case basis then it is to pay a talented writer a salary and benefits on an ongoing basis. When you outsource, you only pay a grant writer when that person is working. Also, a lot of similar grants are due around the same time … sometimes exactly the same time. It is very difficult for one person to write multiple proposals at the same time or even within a few weeks of one another. If you outsource this work to a company with multiple writers, they can typically handle multiple proposals at once so that you don’t miss opportunities or aren’t forced to choose only one opportunity when there are two or more that you should be applying for.


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