Tips for Making Your Charitable Organization Grant Ready
Once you have established a nonprofit organization you might encounter the lack of financial help needed to operate on a day to day basis. Organizations usually receive their income by donations and fundraising, which leaves out revenue by not applying for grants. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. In comparison, 80,000 foundations, corporations and individuals are contributing to nonprofit organizations. Taking into consideration the numbers up to date we can see that there is a ratio of 1 in every 18 nonprofit organizations that are able to receive a grant. This is mainly the reason why competition is very high, as a nonprofit organization you have to make sure you have everything in line to be a top candidate to receive a grant. What will make you stand out from the others? Why should you be granted and not the organization next to you with the same charitable cause? These are questions that you should ask yourself to ensure that your nonprofit is granted and can financially sustain for the years to come. Grants can be a great source of revenue that can be attained by having all the requirements necessary to assure foundations, corporations, and individual financial donors that their money will go to a great cause.
Promote Your Board of Directors on Your Website
The board of directors ensures that your organization has a governing body that discusses and votes on the highest priority issues, organizes policies, and is in charge of hiring qualified staff. Most of the work the board does is accomplished through its committees and task forces created for a specific purpose. Common standing committees include:
- Governance Committee
- Audit Committee
- Finance Committee
- Executive Committee
Create a Credible Charitable Website
It is imperative to have a website for your nonprofit organization, and is an undeniable element for your organization to thrive in this competitive market. Your website should include the following to create credibility for your nonprofit organization:
- Donors Page: Have a “Donations Page” with multiple options of ways the public can give to your organization, this helps establish trust and ensures foundations that you have a variety of income generating strategies.
- Board of Directors: Ensure that your board of directors is also included in your website stating their title and significance to the organization; this builds credibility of a structured and financially stable organization.
- Success Stories: Include a page that speaks solemnly of the organizations cause, and the many recipients that have benefited from the organizations help.
For Donors, Include Your Annual Report
By including your annual report you allow foundations, corporations and individuals know exactly where your revenue is going, and how you’ve structured your organization. Common annual reports include:
- Annual Federal forms, including 990 and Schedule A; State Reports
- Draft financial statements for year: Statement of Activities; Statement of Position; Income Statement for each program.
- Audited financial statements for the entire organization, including Statement of Position, Statement of Activities, Statement of Cash Flows, Statement of Functional Expenses
- Management letter from the auditor
In a small startup nonprofit, the board treasurer or outside accountant/bookkeeper might prepare the financial information for all in-house financial statements, and work with the executive director to prepare the narrative with financial highlights to be presented to the board. The executive director should review all reports prior to presenting them to board members to ensure that the information makes sense and can be translated into issues and opportunities facing the organization. When the board is large enough to include a finance committee, that committee reviews all financial statements and reports on financial activity to the full board. In a smaller nonprofit, the executive director might report first to the board treasurer, who can then keep the full board appraised of the organization’s financial status. We hope this article helps your organization stand out amongst all the applicants who are looking for grants. CharityNet USA is a nonprofit and charity resource center providing over 30 essential start-up and growth solutions, including grant writing.