What is grant ready? Being grant ready means having everything in place to compete for grants and handle them when they come in. The 9 Steps Action Guide gives you a direction to build your new nonprofit with the end result of being a stable organization ready and able to get funding from donors and grants. I have also done a series on getting grant ready. Today, we will talk about the nine most common documents grants applications request.

Current Strategic Plan (Step 2 of 9 Steps Action Guide)

A strategic plan is a document that gives a three to five-year vision of where the organization is going. A simple strategic plan includes:

  • Mission and Vision statements
  • Outline of Goals, Objectives, and activities
  • SWOT analysis
  • Strategic Analysis
IRS tax-exempt letter 

This is the letter the IRS sent when you received your 501 c 3 status.


Listing of the Board of Directors and their professional affiliates 

This will be a list with the Board of Directors’ names and any personal affiliations.


Current Financial Statements

These statements include a 990 or 990-EZ and an audit or independent accounting review. The 990 or 990-EZ is the tax form you file every year.  An audit is done through an accounting firm and is expensive. However, audits are not required if you have an income of less than $200,000. In that case, an Independent Accounting Review will be needed.


Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws

These were created when you created the organization.

Current Organizational Budget (Step 3 of 9 Step Action Guide)

If you are following the nine steps, this is part of Step 3.  A simple operational budget shows all income and expenses. The operational budget includes a line item of the program you are requesting funding for. An Operational Budget is different from a Project or Program Budget. A project budget is part of your grant proposal and is a detailed income and expenses report of what you are requesting in the grant. A Program Budget is what you put together when you are creating or administering your program.


Resumes of Current Staff

If you are using volunteers in your key positions and do not have staff, then use the volunteer’s resumes.


Marketing Collateral

Marketing collateral is the items you use to attract clients and donors and provide transparency. Examples would be newsletters, brochures, and annual report.


Public Relations (PR) Materials

They are documents which are publicly distributed by the organization in the form of newspaper clippings, videos, social media post or website links.


If you have these documents, then you are one step closer to being grant ready. If not, you have some work to do. Download the checklist to help you make sure you are a grant ready.

Related Links

Grant Ready Series- Part 1, Part 2

I Have My 501(c)3! Now What?!?

Grant Resource

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