Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 071620

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Organizations with no, or minimal, experience with federal grants often have unrealistic expectations re: how quickly they’ll receive funding. The feds operate on their own timetable. You can’t go from zero to “millions” in less than a year. The process doesn’t work that way. Federal grants are a long-term play, not a quick fix. If […]

Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 071520

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Here’s a simple truth: The more you write grant proposals, the better you get at developing them. For new proposal writers, there isn’t a magic bullet, or a secret formula, that helps you master the craft. You just have to do it over and over and over again. Repetition increases your speed and it improves […]

Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 071320

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Before you go after a grant, you need to have a well-developed idea (or a plan) for what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to do it—especially if you’re hiring a consultant to help prepare the application. If you start from a blank sheet of paper and group brainstorming, you’ll rack up a […]

Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 070920

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There have been a number of controversies with administration officials flying on private or charter flights while conducting government business. Don’t try this with your federal grants. If you want to fly on chartered aircraft, you can BUT your grant cannot pay for the entire cost. You can charge your grant up to the price […]

Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 070720

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Equipment for your federal grant might not be what you think it is. “Equipment” is defined by the Feds as “tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal […]

Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 070320

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Need a good way to verify if people are reading your proposal drafts? Place an Easter egg or two in the narrative. At a random point, insert a sentence that’s completely off topic. Examples: “My mother’s meatloaf had a little too much ketchup.” “The Giants will always be better than the Dodgers.” “I never read […]

Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 062720

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If your organization is going to hire a grants consultant, you should have a basic understanding of how proposals are prepared, how grants are managed, how consultants are paid, etc. This will help keep you from being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous consultant. You don’t need to know everything—just enough to prevent being suckered. […]

Best Practices

The Grant Doctors 365 / 061920

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Before your organization can apply for federal grants, you first need to register with the System for Award Management (also known as SAM). Pro tip: don’t register with your primary Email address. Create a new Email account exclusively for SAM notifications. Your SAM contact information is a public record and advertisers take advantage of it. […]

Best Practices

The case for internal controls

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Federal grantees are required to have written financial and management controls to safeguard public funds. Control systems are a good business practice in general regardless of whether an organization receives federal grants. These controls, or checks and balances, over expenses ensures funds aren’t misspent or embezzled. This case study, “ripped from the headlines,” illustrates the […]