From a very early age, we are taught to multitask. It seems embedded in the American culture of go-go-go and do-do-do. You may be eating lunch and socializing with friends, or watching a sporting event while taking a business call, or cooking dinner while helping your kids with homework. You probably do not even catch yourself multitasking, because it happens so frequently.

With increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in recent years, more funders are asking for the specific demographics of the populations served by nonprofits. Funders want to know, for example, how many Black individuals or Hispanic families will benefit from the program. While there are many challenges in reporting demographic data, understanding and communicating the differences in race, ethnicity, and nationality is the first step.

Grant writing evaluation is the systematic process of assessing the effectiveness and impact of your project or organization. Evaluation is not merely a formality but a critical aspect of the grant application process. Funders want to know that their investment will lead to positive outcomes and measurable results. Grantmaking organizations want assurance that their funds will be used wisely. A well-planned evaluation strategy showcases your commitment to being accountable for the resources you receive. While quantifiable metrics such as the number of people served are essential, they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to grant evaluation.

In the realm of program planning, evaluation, and development, two widely used tools are logic models and theories of change. While both are valuable for understanding and guiding interventions, they differ significantly in their approaches and purposes. Let’s examine the main distinctions between a logic model and a theory of change by exploring their characteristics and providing practical examples to illustrate their applications.

What about January makes us habitually declare resolutions that will result in a new and improved version of ourselves? It could be that following a season of holiday parties and socks filled with candy, we need a hard reset. Or the accountability en-mass as like-minded individuals dredge out of their homes to the gym. Research shows goal-setters have a higher success rate when starting the commitment to pursue a goal after a temporal landmark (e.g., a new week, month, birthday, or holiday); this is called the “fresh start effect.” This phenomenon of New Year’s resolutions is more common in the United States. A poll conducted for the last three years reports that 44% of U.S. participants set a new goal, while only 12-18% of Swedish residents make a resolution.

Are you laboring too much over grants? Grants are great to have, and they’re often crucial to an organization’s mission, but there are only so many hours in the day to apply for and manage those grants. Grant professionals are susceptible to burn out from the heavy responsibility and high-pressure, deadline-driven work, which continues day in and day out in our profession. Grant applications and management can even get in the way of your organization’s mission. I was recently on a call with a client who was looking for help managing their grant portfolio. When I asked why they were seeking support, the client shared a striking comment: “We are so busy trying to get the money that we struggle to actually carry out the work.” I understood completely because I’ve seen this state of affairs before.

In our April blog series, we are focusing on “Helping Hands.” Last week, we explained how to track volunteer time and efforts and how to include these figures in grant budgets (click to read the blog). Volunteers can add significant value to your project budgets and your agency’s bottom line, but did you know they can also leverage additional grant dollars for your organization? Let’s explore some of the strategies you can use to successfully in pursue volunteer grants.

As a grant professional and GPC holder who has spent the majority of my career in youth development, I cannot help but consider how earning my GPC has shaped my ability to impact this sector. Sure, having a GPC raises ethical standards and increases knowledge and skill sets in key areas like research, project design, and writing to improve quality and efficiency, but what about a deeper level of impact? I truly believe having a GPC can significantly advance a grant professional’s ability to drive meaningful change, not only within their organizations but also within their broader sector. I have experienced this firsthand in my work with youth-serving organizations.

Grant proposals consist of a variety of components depending on each grant’s requirements. Most require some form of a budget, whether that is a simple project budget or a complex organizational budget, or both. Some will also include a budget narrative or justification and any number of other attachments. But in any grant proposal, the narrative is where you will likely spend most of your time. Fortunately, the proposal’s narrative is the fun part! This is where you get to put your storytelling skills to work. So how do you get started? Much like an author would begin a novel, start with an outline.

As grant writers, we help secure much-needed funding so projects or programs can fulfill their objectives. As our society evolves, more and more funders are including cultural competency questions in their grant applications. Funders want to know that investing in your organization’s project or program helps a vast array of people and that your organization is cognizant of serving people in a way that is inclusive, respectful of diversity, and equitable. However, much like the for-profit world, the non-profit sector is not always diverse or culturally competent.