What to Do after Submitting a Grant Request
Contrary to what you may think, your job as grant writer isn’t done after you click Submit to send an e-grant application on its way or mail off a hard copy of a grant application. You still need to organize all the information you gathered during the grant writing phase and determine how best to keep the organization’s stakeholders in the loop on the funding status of the grant request.
Following are the most critical post-submission action steps:
Obtain a receipt or confirmation from the funder that your grant application has been received.
This receipt will contain either an application control center application number (federal) or a stamped/dated receipt (state agency and foundation/corporate funders).
Scan or copy the confirmation receipt and save it to a cloud-based storage system file with the project’s name as the file folder name.
Options include Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive, and Cloud Drive. Just don’t rely on your computer’s hard drive — ever!
Scan or copy all paper documents you printed out for desktop reference when you were writing the grant application and save them to the same electronic file.
These documents may include research reports, best practices, and evaluation sources.
Contact all of your pre-submission stakeholders and schedule a debriefing meeting.
Stakeholders include partnering agencies, board of directors members, advisory council members, staff, volunteers, and even clients who had input into your grant application’s program design or statement of need.
At the meeting, hand out a copy of the complete grant application package.
This act of transparency is critical to garnering respect, trust, and collaboration among your stakeholders.
Warning: Don’t share copies of the actual finished grant application until the submission deadline has passed because you don’t want your hard work turning up in a competitor’s hands.
After you know the outcome of your funding request — funding or rejection — notify stakeholders.
If your request for funding was rejected, order a copy of the peer reviewer’s or program officer’s written feedback on the weaknesses in your funding request. Share the feedback with your stakeholders. Regroup, keep a stiff upper lip, and plan for correcting the document’s weaknesses and identifying additional potential funding sources. Note: If the funder doesn’t provide written feedback, then it’s okay to request telephone feedback.)
If your request was funded, do the following:
Meet with your financial person (treasurer, business manager, or finance director) to get her in the loop for grant-management duties for the incoming award.
This person should have been involved upfront in creating your grant application’s budget section.
Meet with the program staff to start the implementation tasks.
Meet with your stakeholder evaluation team or your third-party evaluator to start the accountability process for monitoring and reporting the implementation process and outcome measurements.
A stakeholder evaluation team is volunteer-based. A third-party evaluator is a contracted consultant paid from the grant-funded budget in most cases.
Start looking for new grant-funding opportunities and other sources of support to sustain your grant-funded programs.
Don’t wait until the money from this grant has been spent and then start looking; by then, it’s too late!