FUNdraising Good Times You Got the Grant. Now What? Part One

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By Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw Nonprofits love to hear the phrase “you got the grant!” With this column we share suggestions for things to consider once you receive a grant. Some may appear self-evident, and others may not. What’s most important is that your good news doesn’t turn into a bad situation. In most cases a grant notification includes a letter or document that you need to sign. This will typically lay out the terms and conditions of the grant. Read this carefully, as these are your obligations. Typically, the document will define what you can use the funds for, and what you can’t use them for. A “general operating” grant can usually be used to pay expenses related to operating your organization. A planning grant is often restricted to expenses related to planning for a program, event, or building. Program funding might be restricted to expenses directly related to your programs. The document will also include dates you need to be aware of. These could be the date you can start expending funds and the date by which you must have expended all the funds, as well dates for reports the funder may request. Some grants are...