Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 36

 Keep your program officer updated on important developments in your field and your community. That way your program officer will come to appreciate your expertise and see you as a go-to person for information. If the program officer comes to you with questions, wants information, or asks you to share contacts, respond quickly and be as helpful as you can. change tactics, they should let you know so you can keep the foundation informed. Schedule regular meetings (monthly or quarterly) with the entire program team (including the people responsible for fundraising and financial management) to review progress against the project plan and your funded proposals to make sure that you are meeting your goals and not forgetting any activities or outputs that you promised.  you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t lie If or make something up. Tell them you don’t have the answer right now, but that you will look into it and get back to them as soon as you can. Keep your metrics somewhere visible so you can regularly check your progress against them. First, you need to collect baseline data: that is, basic statistics on your program at the start of the grant period. Then, you need to regularly collect the data you need to track the work over the course of the grant period. For example, if you say in the proposal that you will give financial education to 200 women this year, then you need your program staff to keep information on how many women are participating on an ongoing basis. That way, you will be ready to report good information to the foundation at the end of the grant period, and your staff will understand early on how many people they need to enroll and graduate from the program during the year and plan accordingly.  Check in with the program officer at least two or three months before the next renewal proposal is due to give them a program update and ask whether you will be invited to submit a follow-up proposal for the next year.  Always be responsive when the foundation gets in touch with your organization. Don’t let their queries go unanswered for several days or weeks, and make sure your colleagues respond to any requests they receive. Check your grant award documents: make sure you keep the foundation informed of any changes they require during the grant period. Some foundations ask you to tell them right away if there are major staff changes or to let them know of any major developments that affect your project’s progress.  Don’t push too hard. Respect the staff’s professionalism and don’t get too personal with them. It’s okay to be friendly, but it’s not okay to try to push beyond professional boundaries or share all your personal problems with your program officer. Once you’ve established a good relationship with the foundation and your program officer, you may find that s/he can be a good source of information for other professional opportunities. For example, some grantmakers provide supplemental funding for their grantees to attend training courses or conferences or can let you know about other funding sources. Program officers may even be recommend your organization to other funders or introduce you to professional contacts or prospective donors. FINANCES Good financial management is crucial. If a foundation does not believe that you are using their money well, they may refuse to fund you in the future, even if they like your work. Make sure financial review is part of any program review: regularly check spending against the grant budget. If your spending needs to be different from what you originally proposed, then contact the funder as soon as possible to get their approval for changes. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is re-budgeting your grant without getting permission and waiting until the financial report is due to make the foundation aware of the changes. MANAGING YOUR GRANT Track your progress throughout the year toward meeting the goals stated in your proposal. Keep a spreadsheet or chart where you record your activities and a folder where you can put copies of relevant documents so you have them ready when it’s time to write your progress report. If your organization has the capacity to create monthly budget reports, do so. They are a great way to create fiscal discipline and hold everyone accountable for their spending. These reports can also reveal problems in the early stages when they can still be fixed. Make sure you regularly review progress with the people who are running the program: they should know what and how they are expected to deliver from the outset of the grant period. If activities change or they have to Many foundations require their grantees to notify them of any “substantial variances” in their budget and get 33