In order to make the best funding decision, grantmakers work extremely hard to put the application questions together in order to gain as much information from grantseekers as possible before making any funding decisions. Although the application process will be long for grantseekers, there are ways in which grantmakers can make this application process easier  for grantseekers.

As a grantmaker, you should know exactly what your requirements are and know what information to ask for from grantseekers when they are filling in an application form. Knowing what you want and knowing what you should ask is the first step to being a better grantmaker and next best practices follows.  


 

GO DIGITAL

Since we live in a digital age, it has made our lives easier with anything and everything from going digital being convenience, accessibility, and simplicity, we can forever say goodbye to paper. As grantseekers have to provide a lot of information and track the progress of their application, going digital with applications will help the process in many ways. The advantage of this is also to ensure that they have provided all the information that you have asked for and also avoid files being lost if they were on paper. Digital keeps a copy of everything, one thing that can only go wrong is when applications aren’t submitted properly and by making it online, this is to ensure that you, as a grantmaker have requested all the information you require from each applicant and if they fail to give you the information then it is not on you as a grantmaker to forget to request for some information as they are online for the grantseekers to provide information for their own application.

 

IMPLEMENT A SCREENING STAGE

Implement a screening stage aka an online quiz to see whether the applicant is eligible for the grant is a very useful process as this will not waste the applicant’s time nor will it waste your time looking through an application and later finding out that this application isn’t eligible. You can then spend more time focusing on applications that are eligible and fund the application that should be funded and spending time on that.

 

REQUIREMENTS BY STAGE

By having requirement by stages, it will only benefit both parties. If the applicant doesn’t pass one stage then they cannot move on to the next stage of the application and same for other stages until the final, This is to ensure that you will not be wasting your time reviewing applications that does not meet the requirement.

 

USE SMARTER APPLICATION FORMS

  • As mentioned before how digital grant application forms allows you to request all the information you require, ensure you ask exactly for what you need in order to see if the application meet your requirements.
  • Allow applicants to reuse information that they previously used in another application helping them avoid redundant data entry.
  • Allow applicants to save and continue their application later on. They may have to search for more information which is required in the application. It may put people off applying again if they cannot save where they are at and have to restart the application.

 

COMMUNICATION

There is nothing worst than taking so much time in completing an application and not hearing anything back. In this day and age, there is no excuse to not being able to communicate. Send out an e-mail once an application has been completed, send out an email regarding the process of their application throughout, this will allow applicants to track their progress, and finally send out whether the application is successful or not or more information is required above what has been asked for due to not having enough information on each document.

 

There you have it, some tips on the best practices for being a better grantmaker. Notice going digital will help you save time and ensure that you will have all information required.


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Source

Article: Peak Grantmaking

Image: Information Age

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