As the year draws to a close, it is time to take stock of your grants portfolio, your achievements in 2023 and prepare a grantseeking checklist for the upcoming year. Not just patting yourself on the back; critically evaluating the year that was and getting all your ducks in a row to ensure that you are ready to hit the ground running in 2024.
1: REFLECT ON THE YEAR’S SUCCESSES AND LEARNINGS
Before diving into the preparations for 2024, take a moment to reflect on the past year. What were your major successes? Which areas need improvement? Write out a list of five for each. Maybe your big success wasn’t a million-dollar grant, but just getting a few applications in on time, or contacting a funder to discuss a project. Your areas of improvement could be refining your grantseeking strategy to be more proactive and less reactive in 2024, so you have ample time to prepare quality applications.
2: THANK YOUR DONORS AND SPONSORS
The end of the year is an ideal time to thank your funders, particularly any Foundations or individuals who have supported you throughout the year. Personalised thank-you messages, impact reports, and thoughtful gestures can go a long way in maintaining and nurturing these crucial relationships.
3: ORGANISE ACQUITTAL MATERIAL
Ensure that all your acquittal reports and documentation are up-to-date and in order. This includes financial reports, project updates, and any other requirements that your grant providers specify (like photos or acknowledgements on social media). Being organised in this area demonstrates your accountability and increases the likelihood of future funding.
4: KEEP PROJECTS ON TRACK
While the festive season is filled with distractions, it is important to keep your projects on track. This might involve setting clear goals for the holiday period, scheduling work in advance, or delegating tasks effectively. Leave as few hangovers for 2024 as possible.
5. REVIEW AND UPDATE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Ensure that all your grant-related policies and procedures and filing conventions are up to date. This can include reviewing your organisation’s grant management and your record-keeping systems. Clean up folders, emails, documents, etc; a good, oldfashioned house clean!
6: PLAN FOR THE NEW YEAR
Use this time to plan your grant-seeking activities for the next year. This includes identifying potential grant opportunities, setting goals, and creating a calendar of grant application deadlines.
7. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
Plan for any grants-related training or professional development opportunities for you and your team in the upcoming year. Staying updated with the latest trends and best practices in grant seeking and administration can enhance your team’s effectiveness.
8: SELF -CARE AND TEAM APPRECIA TION
Do not forget the importance of self-care and team appreciation. The end of the year is a perfect time to acknowledge your hard work and the hard work of your team!
The end of the year is a bustling time, but with proper planning and organisation, you can ensure that your grant-seeking activities are well-prepared to withstand festive distractions. By following this practical grantseeking checklist, you can wrap up your year on a positive note and set the stage for a prosperous 2024. Be sure to collaborate with colleagues to ensure all bases are covered and feedback is incorporated as you create your own list. In the coming months, be sure to udate your checklist as needed throughout the process to reflect any changes or new information.
Remember, a grantseeking checklist is a dynamic tool to streamline your application process and increase your chances of securing funding. For more details on best grantseeking practices in 2024 and beyond, checkout out Grants Office’s guide for building a grants calendar for the coming year.