2 Grants 101 There’s really three parts to grants: Writing the proposalManaging the grantEvaluation and financial closeoutThis presentation is on grant writing, with a focus on the CPL programGeared towards non-profits
3 CPL Grant Writing: Get Organized Start a filing system for grantsPull together the information you’ll need to complete applications for most grant programs:Organization informationFinancial filesGrant program informationFunded/unfunded proposalsProject notes, ideas, etc.Have both paper and electronic versionsThis will get you ready for any grant program. Almost all will ask for at least some of this info.Helps get the necessary info all in one place so you can find it easily.Can be notebooks, if you are a notebook person.Need electronic for uploading, paper for attachments or meetings.Need to update yearly, or as things change.
4 Organization files Current Board of Directors Brief biographyAny other affiliationsList of current key staff, volunteersMay be asked for more information for those working on the grantPolicies and procedures:Conflict of Interest policyPurchasing policy/procedures
5 Why are you asked for this stuff? Board of Directors:Demonstrates the leadership of an organizationIndicates ability to successfully complete a grantStaff and volunteersWho they areWhat they will do on this grantWhat are their skills and experiencePolicies:How well you are organizedJoe Pyeweed works for XYZ corporation—he won’t let this grant fail!
6 Conflict of Interest Policy May be actual or perceivedOccurs when a person has an actual or apparent duty or loyalty to more than one organization or company, and the competing duties or loyalties may result in actions which are adverse or favorable to one or both partiesThe policy tells how your organization addresses this
7 Purchasing policy/procedure How will you purchase goods or services?Open competitionThree bids is best methodDocument if you can’t obtain 3 bidsAll are bidding on the same thingAll costs and prices are reasonableDon’t purchase unnecessary thingsDocument purchasing decisionsBids should be apples to apples—same specs for everyoneNo bids are ok—document that you couldn’t find a 3rd bidderMight want to write this out as a policy or procedure – can send it off to grantor if requested –demonstrates good mgmtBe sure to document this- more files!
8 Financial documents for CPL Grants Non-profit documentation- if awardedTax-exempt documentation- if awardedIRS Form 990- for applicationRecent financial audit- for applicationBoard-reviewed financial statementsAnnual budget- may be requestedCheck with your accountant on these! Also have MN Revenue ST-3 to give to vendors. Is proof of tax exempt status
9 What do these show? Your fiscal capacity Your fiscal skills Can you manage a $5,000 grant?How about $400,000?Do you have the necessary cash flow?Your fiscal skillsDo you follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles?Can you meet the grant reporting requirements?Non-profit statusPrevious grant experienceFiscal capacity = cash flowFiscal skills = money management, reporting, etc. Do you have an accountant or someone knowledgeable for questions?Do you follow generally accepted accounting principles? Can you pay invoices within 30 days? Do you need to take out a loan for cash flow for the grant?
10 Grant program files Have a file for each program, for each year Grant announcements or RFPsProgram Manuals, Payment ManualsAny other documents or instructionsEnabling legislation (for gov’t grants)Staff contact informationMore files to set up….Separate one for each program, possibly each year (things change)Electronic and paper
11 Other files Funded grants: Submitted but not funded applications Grant agreementPayment requests, invoices, etc.ReportsAny correspondenceSubmitted but not funded applicationsMight be able to resubmit or reuse parts in future grantsEvaluate why it wasn’t fundedFuture project ideas and detailsFunded grant files will get bigger as you do workSubmitted but not funded – parts may be usable again/elsewhere
12 Make a grant calendar CPL program timeline Deadlines for funded grants RFP release and deadline likely to remain the sameAnticipate the dates – plan ahead so you’re readyDeadlines for funded grantsAnnual reportsPayment requestsEnd dates – when must work be complete?Work backwards from these deadlines to avoid last-minute rushAsk for help early (DNR staff, reviewers, etc.)Do the same for other grant programsOther grant programs are also generally on a regular schedule – you can make a calendar for those tooIf you need input or info from someone else, ask for it early. They may be busy or out of town.Calendars can be paper, or Google—allows others to access it
13 Thinking about applying? What does your organization want to do?What are you good at?What are you currently capable of doing?Does someone have time to figure out the project, write the proposal, and manage it?What about all the requirements, deadlines, reports, etc?Your grant may last several years – can someone to work on it that long?
14 If you are new to grants… Start with a small grant that you can complete quicklyGets your feet wetHelps build a successful track recordTry enhancement or restorationAcquisition can be tricky and time consumingSo can Public Waters projects
15 Selecting a grant program Every program has a different mission/goalNeed to make sure your project matches the grant program’s goalsLegacy funds:Outdoor heritage –habitatClean water –clean waterParks and Trails – parks and trailsArts - artsSome programs may change focus from year to yearNow that you’ve got files set up, how do you start
16 Review past applications What has the program funded in the past?For CPL:Look at the FY 2010 pageShows all applicationsFundedUnfundedWhich ones do you think are good applications?Why?
17 Grant Applications: Paper or electronic submission? CPL is online only.No submission of applications or materials acceptedCan create account without starting application, and practiceDoes not follow traditional paper grant formats, but the elements are thereThe mapping tool creates equality in maps for all applicants
18 Completing CPL text boxes Can use CPL Application Template to draft your answersLocated on the How to Apply pageBelow Application system buttonShows text boxes only from Application SystemProof read, spell check, and character count each sectionCopy and paste into application
19 Other tips: Independent review Have someone read your proposalHave them tell you….What you are applying forWhy you are applyingHow you are going to manage the projectHow you are going to pay for itDoes the proposal make sense?
20 Submit earlyIf requested, CPL staff may have time to look at it and review requirementsYou might realize an error that you might be able to have correctedMight avoid electronic system overloadBuilds credibilityGive yourself a night to sleep on it before submittingDon’t have to worry about a storm taking out your power at 4 pm on the last day…..Builds credibility – shows you have a strategy, not just a last minute request
21 What makes a good proposal? Logical, clear, orderlyEasy to read, good grammar, proper spellingThe grant reviewer can determine what you are trying to accomplishMatch the funding sourceMeet all program requirementsMatch the funding source—as discussed earlier.
22 Didn’t score well? Not enough information to score based on criteria Project not thought out wellBudget didn’t line up with activitiesMissing Project Review and Approval FormsAgency didn’t agree with proposalQuestionable if it was really habitat workIs it water quality?Is it recreation?Based on last year’s CPL applications
23 After you’re funded: CPL grants Will need to update your application with any changesNeed to submit proof of insurance if working on DNR landNeed to get you into the state accounting systemNeed state and federal tax ID numbersContact informationNeed to draft the grant agreement
24 Grant signature process Encumber:Tying up the grant funds in the state accounting system. The first step in getting the grant agreement signed.Grantee signs and returns all copiesExecute:When the last signature is obtained. Work may not begin until all signatures are obtained.Working on electronic process to make this faster.
25 Payment and documentation Look at the FY 10 page to see what is required for paymentSee what is required for other documentationTimelines for payment and documentationFY11 will be similar
26 After the you get the grant… Now you need to manage the grant – get the work doneYou must also report on your workEvaluation:Did you do what you said you’d do?Did it work?Financial reportsAll bills paid?Everything spent properly?
27 Remember to… Keep good documentation Keep in touch with grant program staffAny problems or questionsGood news too!Any press releases, media coverage, etc.Meet deadlinesIf you can’t, let staff know why