Are You Ready to Apply for a Federal Grant? – A Checklist

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    Once you have decided to apply for a federal grant, you must focus your nonprofit organization’s people and resources on the application process, which is likely to take at least a month. However, first you should determine whether you have all the requirements in place to apply.

    This financial checklist will define (suggest) the steps you need to take before you can apply for a federal grant.

    □  Is your organization incorporated?

    □  Has the Internal Revenue Service classified your organization as a tax-exempt entity?

    □  Has your Board of Directors formally decided that it is appropriate for you to seek and accept government grants?

    □  Is your Board of Directors aware that you intend to apply for a specific federal grant?

    □  Are your organization’s financial records audited annually by an independent outside public accountant? Was the most recent auditor’s report a “qualified” report?

    □  Have you reviewed the grant guidelines to determine the financial requirements? Can your organization meet them?

    □  Is there someone in your organization who can put together the financial components of the grant application – the budget and budget narrative?

    □  Is your organization aware of current federal grant policies and procedures that relate to the use of government funds?

    □  Do you have the organizational financial policies, procedures, and practices in place to use government grant funds legally and ethically?

    □  Is your organization prepared to be audited by a federal agency before a grant is awarded or at the conclusion of the grant period?

    There are two basic components of any federal grant. One is programmatic and the other is budgetary. Before you apply for a federal grant, you should ensure that you have the ability to properly manage and disperse federal grant funds.
    Dr. Jayme Sokolow, founder and president of The Development Source, Inc., helps nonprofit organizations develop successful proposals to government agencies. Contact Jayme Sokolow.
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