How to Organize Your Grant Application's Attachments
8 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Finding and Applying for a Grant
The attachments to your grant application go in a specific order. For most government grant applications, the attachments are compiled in the order that you refer to them in the narrative you construct.
Read through the narrative from beginning to end and put your attachments in that order. Also in the narrative, you should have numbered each attachment when you referenced it — for example, Attachment 1, Attachment 2, and so on. Make sure you type the attachment number on each attachment.
A funding agency may request lengthy information on your organization’s structure and administration processes. If you don’t have sufficient space in your grant application or contract bid narrative, you can refer the grant reader to the attachments.
In your attachments, you should include a brief description of how your organization works, including responses to the following questions:
What are the responsibilities of the board, staff, volunteers, and (if a membership organization) the members? Write a brief paragraph giving the reader a one- or two-sentence description of each group’s responsibilities. For a new, nonprofit organization, you may want to insert a copy of the bylaws to fulfill this attachment requirement.
How are these groups (the board, the staff, and so on) representative of the communities with which you work? What are the general demographics of the organization? For this attachment requirement, you can provide a board roster that includes each board member’s name, address, occupation, gender, ethnicity, and term on the board. You can also attach a list of key staff members and give gender and ethnicity information for each individual.
Who will be involved in carrying out the plans outlined in this request? Include a brief paragraph summarizing the qualifications of key individuals involved. For this attachment requirement, you can put in one-page résumés for each key staff person.
How will the project be organized? Include an organizational chart showing the decision-making structure. Make sure the chart is up-to-date and includes a box for volunteers (if your organization uses any).
Titles are more important than names, especially given that the staff could change over the duration of the grant’s funding period.
The attachments in the finance section should cover or include
The organization’s current annual operating budget.
The current project budget.
A list of other funding sources for this request. Include the name of each funder, the amount requested, the date you sent the grant proposal, and the status of your request (whether funds have been received, committed, or are projected/pending). You can use a four-column table to present this information in an easy-to-read format, as illustrated in this figure.
The financial statement for the most recent complete year (expenses, revenue, and balance sheet). Use the audited version, if available.
If your organization has one of those 20-pound financial reports, pull out the comments and breakout budgets for each department and attach just the overall organization expenses and revenue along with the balance sheet.
A copy of your IRS 501 (c)(3) letter. If you don’t have 501 (c)(3) status, check with the funder to see whether it’s willing to fund through your fiscal sponsor. You may need to submit additional information and add information on your fiscal sponsor to the portion of your grant narrative that introduces your organization. The funder may also be willing to exercise expenditure responsibility.
Other supporting material for your grant app
Other miscellaneous materials that you include as attachments may be letters of support or commitment (up to three). It’s okay to have some handwritten letters of support from your constituency; handwritten letters have a lot of impact on the reader. And don’t correct spelling or grammar errors, which make the letters more authentic.
Additional relevant materials include your most recent annual report (an original, not a photocopy), recent newsletters sent out by your organization, newspaper clippings about your programs, and previous evaluations or reviews (up to three). But newspaper articles are useless if they aren’t dated.
Finally, this section is the one where you can include supporting documentation that you've referenced throughout the grant application narrative that doesn’t fit in any of the other attachment sections.