Whether you submit five grant proposals a year or five hundred, you need a good way to keep everything straight. There are many grant tracking applications out there. You might even have the option to track grants in your donor database. But sometimes you just want something simple and easy to access.
I use a two-pronged approach:
Yep, I print and keep a paper copy of everything that gets’s sent out. Every foundation or grantor gets a folder. I keep a copy of each proposal that is sent in, as well as any responses, a copy of any checks received, and any reports sent. Everything gets date stamped so I know exactly when a proposal was sent or a check received. Could I go paperless? Probably, but I think it would be more hassle than it’s worth. And honestly, I’m not afraid of using paper. It’s a renewable resource, and I’m a direct mail fundraiser, so a few folders are minuscule compared to the amount of paper I send out via US mail.
I’ve tried databases. I’ve even built my own. But what I’ve ultimately settled on, for now, is my handy spreadsheet. It doesn’t do anything fancy, but it has all my data in an easy to scan list. It doesn’t require any additional subscriptions or services and costs nothing outside my Microsoft Office cost. If you collaborate on your proposals you could easily use Google Sheets to share the sheet between a few people.
Download a free copy of my grant tracking spreadsheet
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