Grant Geek

How COVID Changed Grants

by Resource Associates @ grantwriters.net

Grant Questions? Let’s talk. info@grantwriters.net 505-326-4245

It has been a year to remember. What started as a hopeful outlook going into 2020 quickly changed gears in mid-march, motivating many nonprofits to change their focus and work to provide and operate to the best of their capacity due to COVID restrictions. Although it was challenging, millions of dollars were made available in grant funding for nonprofits to provide the exceptional services they offer. With shutdowns in place in many states across the country, we saw the first change in the form of deadline extensions given for many of the grants due during the first shutdown. These extensions were a blessing and a curse, as now all of the grants due were within the same few weeks to make time for the review and award process ahead of the Federal Fiscal Year’s end on September 30th. Many of our clients took advantage of utilizing our services as a resource during this troubling time.   

There were no considerable decreases in Federal funding from last year for the most lucrative program grants, which is a good thing. The second change we saw was a different focus for many foundation funders, as they worked to address the needs related to COVID in local communities. Because we are still experiencing the effects of the pandemic shutdown, the sustainability of programs and organizations is more critical than ever before. While budgeting for virtual technology licenses and cleaning supplies was never a high priority, it should be considered in all program designs moving forward. Millions were made available from the Federal government to help offset the effects of a shutdown across states. Each state was given the responsibility of distributing funding and designing the application process, which, for the most part, was a straightforward process.  

While this last year has been challenging, we are entering a new virtual era allowing for planning and preparation for grants in this next season. Now is the time to determine which initiatives you want your organization to prioritize. Start collecting data, identifying new gaps that exist due to COVID, identifying new or old costs, updating resumes and job descriptions, policies and procedures, and making sure your financial records are in order for all reporting required at the end of the year.  

Resource Associates offers customized services to help with all of your planning and preparation needs coming into 2021. One of our valuable services includes: 

Strategic Grant Program Design  

Suppose your organization has identified at least one grant program or initiative it would like to pursue. In that case, you shouldn’t wait until the day the request for proposal is released to start developing your program and building partnerships. We will use proven planning techniques to increase an organization’s likelihood of getting funded through this service. During the Strategic Grant Program Design process, we will work collaboratively with your organization’s team to determine: 

  • What is the vision for your program?  We will help you design a program with the activities, staff, and equipment you want and need. 
  • What results do you want to see?  We will help you determine what goals, objectives, and activities are reasonable and attainable and identify those most likely to be funded based on previous award patterns. 
  • How will you effectively create change?  We will help you identify an evidence-based program or help you define the threshold of evidence existing for the program you are proposing. 
  • Who is going to run your program?  We will help you identify the most appropriate people to run your program. If you don’t already have them on staff, we will guide you in recruiting talent. 
  • How will your program be sustainable?  We will help you identify which grant costs will exist after the grant funding has expired. We will suggest ways to secure additional funding so you can continue operating your program. 
  • Who are your stakeholders?  What other community entities will contribute to the program? What services or resources do stakeholders have to offer that will make the program as strong as it can be? We will show you how to secure partners using Letters of Support and Memorandums of Understanding. 
  • How will you measure your success?  We will help you create a comprehensive evaluation plan outlining tools, timelines, and resources for meeting any and all reporting required by the funder. 
  • How much money do you need?  We will help you design a budget consistent with the program you are designing and include all the elements necessary to implement it. This service includes advising financial/other staff and stakeholders on strategies for securing commitments of in-kind and cash matches. 

Our grant experts will also: 

  • Review previously awarded proposals to determine what the funder tends to award, programmatically. 
  • Identify and articulate the specific needs of your organization, including current programming as well as administrative, social, economic, and educational gaps and needs. 
  • Identify baseline measures to be used in program evaluation. 

Contact one of our account managers today at (505)326-4245 or Development@grantwriters.net to become familiar with our services resulting in tangible outputs that can be used for years to come. A small investment in planning can have a significant impact on your success in implementation.  

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