Grant programs across the country are used to doing incredible things with fewer resources than they need, but right now there is more federal funding available than ever before. Suddenly, grants teams are finding that they may be able to get the funding they need for the projects they've previously had to put on the back burner.
Prioritizing a project “wish list” can help you focus on the most important or impactful projects first and use the resources available to you to get them off the ground.
We want to provide you with a few useful tips for determining which projects to focus on.
1. Make your initial funded project “wish list.”
To get started, make a list of all the projects that you’ve just never had funding or resources to support. Ask your team for their input as well! There may be someone with institutional knowledge who can tell you more about precisely why interesting or beneficial projects may not have been tackled in the past.
Don’t forget to search for notes from former meetings, or historical projects your organization may have attempted before anyone on your team was there.
Tip: A grant management system like AmpliFund enables you to quickly search your past project history with unlimited document storage which provides you with a permanent record of the grant program. This allows you to have access to institutional knowledge in spite of turnover.
2. Align projects with the organization's mission and strategic plan.
Prioritize projects that align with your organization's overall mission and/or goals. These are likely to be the most impactful and successful projects since your organization is already set up to support projects like them.
3. Evaluate the potential impact of each project.
Consider and discuss which projects have the potential to have the greatest impact on your target population or community and readjust their position on the list if necessary. When you are distributing federal recovery funding and infrastructure funding this is especially important because these funding streams were created with equitable outcomes in mind.
If you want help determining if a project has the potential to make an equitable impact, just use our Equity Assessment Tool.
4. Assess the potential for sustainability.
Look through the list to readjust the ranking of the projects that have the potential to be sustained after the initial grant funding ends. If projects are more likely to be funded through additional means, you have a greater chance of making the impact you want in the long term.
You can also interpret a sustainable project as one that is intended to make a positive environmental impact, which is increasingly being prioritized for federal funding.
5. Assess the capacity needed for each project.
Consider the resources, time, and expertise required for each project, and reprioritize those that are the most feasible given your current capacity.
Tip: If creating capacity is frequently a roadblock to spearheading projects for your organization, grants management software like AmpliFund can help create capacity for your team by streamlining your processes to save you time. It can send automatic reminders, generate reports with the click of a button, and make auditing a smoother process.
Once you’ve got your wish list in order, you can start gathering the data you need to start the application process. Just remember to be flexible and be ready to adjust. Even the best-laid plans can change, and having a strategy in place for how you will realign your organization’s goals with your list can keep you on track.
If you want help prioritizing your project wish list, resources for application materials, or even just talk through how these projects align with your program objectives, our team is here to help.
AmpliFund is more than just software. We’re your partner committed to delivering the exceptional support and tools you need to realize the full potential of your grants.