Has your non-profit organization been receiving funds lately or are you struggling to secure sufficient funds to enable you to advance your work? You are probably wondering why being awarded grants has not been an easy task to accomplish. Gaining admittance to the “fundable club” requires your non-profit organization to gain a competitive advantage by raising its credibility and enhancing its visibility in the funding landscape.
In this blog, we explore how both large and small non-profit organizations can enhance their competitiveness by improving and demonstrating their grant management capabilities through Certification to the international standard for Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP)
The notable red flags
Regardless of the growth stage of a non-profit organization, seeking grants, meeting the due-diligence requirements, demonstrating capabilities to manage funds effectively and gaining grant makers’ trust can be a daunting process. Amplifund's State of Grant Management Report shows that organizations are giving little attention to positioning themselves to meet the demands of the funding landscape/donor community. Some of the red flags associated with inefficient grant management capabilities in organizations include:
- Inability to demonstrate a proven track record of your organization’s grant management capabilities
- Difficulty in complying with grant requirements or mandates. Compliance requirements are difficult to implement, and your organization has issues with raising its bar to their standards
- A lot of paperwork and non-automated redundant methods e.g offline spreadsheets and unending email correspondence
- Lack of clearly documented and operational policies, processes, or procedures.
The green flags: how to be grant ready!
Grant ready organizations should anticipate a grant maker’s expectations and work towards getting funders to trust that they can manage grants efficiently in a transparent and accountable manner.
The National Center for Charitable Statistics reports that approximately 1.6 million non-profits are registered in the US alone showing the intense competition to access limited funds. In addition to ticking off a basic grant readiness checklist, it is essential for non-profits to build a solid base and increase their competitiveness. This can be done through:
- Assessing your organization’s capabilities to manage grants efficiently to ascertain that your organization is competitive in the grant seeking arena, prior to making grant applications.
- Identifying critical gaps to be filled and obtaining a pathway to improve grant management capabilities and a road map for capacity development
- Focusing on having documented and implemented policies, processes, or procedures. That way, with the consistent enforcement of policies, processes & procedures, the culture of your organization will be developed, and this will communicate behavioural expectations - and enable grant makers to trust you more.
Certification to GFGP standard: The solution to achieving your grant readiness status
Non-profit organizations need to determine their readiness before going on a mission to seek for grants. Through evaluating and improving your organization’s grant readiness status, your organization will be able to: enhance its visibility and credibility and maximize prospects to attract more funding. Subject to a successful audit, your organization will receive a GFGP Certificate of Compliance from a licenced GFGP Certification body as a mark of excellence; demonstrating that your organization has robust internal policies, processes and procedures embedded in daily operational activities, and is “ready to be funded”.
The GFGP standard is one of the three components of the Global Grant Community (GGC), which is a platform of the African Academy of Sciences that uses the disruptive power of technology to digitize, standardize and de-risk funding globally.
Through the simplified and digitized pre-certification assessment platform, your organization can:
- Assess its grant management capabilities to the requirements of the global standard on Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP).
- Use the Pre-certification assessment report to identify critical gaps to be filled, obtain a pathway to improve grant management capabilities and a road map for capacity development.
- Download templates of policies, processes and procedures from the platform, customize them and embed them in day to day operational activities of the organization.
- Boost your visibility and credibility by becoming certified to GFGP and having the GFGP certification status displayed not only on your promotional materials but also in the directory of GFGP Certified Non Profit Organizations which is used by donors seeking to fund organizations they know they can trust.
Getting ready to be funded is not a simple process but by following these guidelines, your organization will be better placed to be “grant-ready” and enhance its competitiveness in the funding landscape.
Blog written by Winfred Muasa, the Global Grant Community Program Officer at the African Academy of Sciences.