When Is The Best Time To Apply For Grants?
Is there such a thing as the “right time” to be applying for grants? Is one month better than another? We will be breaking this down and discussing when really is the best time to be applying for grants.
Make Sure You’re Grant Ready
First, before you even begin to search for grants, you’ll need to make sure your nonprofit is grant ready. So what does ‘grant ready’ mean? You should already have the following:
- A website
- DUNS number
- Employer/Tax Identification Number (EIN)
- 501(c)3 status letter and start date for nonprofit status
- Bylaws and other governing documents
- Diverse Board of Directors
- Annual budget for organization
- Business plan for organization
- Organization mission and goals, population served
- Organizational history & measured outcomes in impact on your community.
- Organizational chart and description of management structure, size of staff, number of volunteers
- Tax and financial data (for example: the most recent annual and quarterly financial/audit statements)
- Sufficient, skilled resources to devote to grant development, (either in-house or contracted, or a combination of these).
If you have all these these on-hand, you can consider yourself to be grant ready! Then you can move forward to the next step of searching for grants.
The Right Time to Apply for Grants
When is the right time to start applying for grants? The answer is always! New grants are constantly being released on a daily basis. Most of the time, finding the ideal grant comes down to timing and effort. Some grants are annually recurring, some grants are seasonal, other grants may be a once-off opportunity, while some are only available until the funding becomes exhausted and runs out.
As we previously mentioned, one of the important keys is having the resources available for grant development. Ideally, you want to have a certain amount of time set aside each week to browse through potential grant opportunities.
3 Tips for Grant Searching
Grant programs may become available at any given time and grant rounds may close quickly. It is essential that you are fully prepared and organized so you can apply for opportunities as soon as they become available. Successful grant applications rely on several important elements. You must:
- Identify a large pool of possible opportunities that match your funding needs.
- Carefully review opportunities and select only those where you meet the grant eligibility criteria.
- Allow enough time to prepare, write and review your grant application well ahead of the closing date before lodging it.