This forced hiatus from the office is an anxiety-filled nightmare of handwringing and handwashing. “The worries are real, but we can’t get frozen in place,” said Barbara Floersch of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “We’ve got to discipline ourselves to be productive and prepare to rebound.”
Floersch advises grant professionals to keep their minds and hands busy. In addition to meeting proposal deadlines, keeping up with reporting, and participating in crisis planning, spend time preparing to reboot.
- Research federal, state, and local emergency financial assistance available to nonprofits. Communicate with administrators, make decisions, and prepare agreed upon proposals.
- Track the support now rolling out from private foundations and apply when appropriate. Google searches can be helpful and Candid has established a COVID-19 response webpage.
- Review your organization’s funding needs. Has the crisis resulted in changed priorities?
- Begin gathering data and developing language to use in post-pandemic proposals. The combination of changed priorities and community circumstances will likely require rewrites of existing case statements or new narratives for emerging needs.
- Review your annual grant proposal development calendar and update it as needed.
- Conduct funder research to find good prospects for new and emerging community problems.
- As newly defined needs come into sharp focus, reach out to partner organizations and begin planning a collaborative response.
- Dig up the facts and figures you’ll need to make your case. Gather anecdotes and testimonials to ensure your narratives include the voices of those affected.
“We don’t know how long this will last,” said Floersch. “But we do know that our constituents and communities need us more than ever. We all have a role to play in crisis management and planning for the future and grant professionals will make a huge contribution.” © Copyright 2020 The Grantsmanship Center.