The GIFT Center Charitable Grants Hub offers rich resources on charitable grantseeking. Find information and tips for charitable grantwriting and information on grant budgeting and post-award coordinating at the University of Arizona. GIFT Center staff can help you with both specific charitable grant applications and general questions.
Learn more about each of these areas below or visit the resource hub directly to explore the tipsheets, tools, and templates available.
Getting started can be the hardest part of pursuing charitable grant support. Understanding the culture of grants and doing effective planning and research improves the probability that your project will be awarded charitable grant funding. Keep in mind that not every campus project and program is a good fit for private grant support. GIFT Center staff are well-versed on general fundraising best practices along with other campus resources that are available for faculty and staff, and they can guide you if foundations are not your best fundraising fit.
The GIFT Center has tools available to help identify funders, who may take an interest in your project, and we can advise on how to make the best approach. We also maintain relationships with a number of grantmakers who have past, ongoing, or potential partnerships with the UA.
Remember—be sure to obtain clearance through your unit's development office, business office, and the GIFT Center prior to submitting charitable grant requests, and to also run your budget through your business office for approval.
The following resources will familiarize you with the grant world, pre-proposal planning, and they will help get you started on funder research and relationship building:
Additional links and resources for program planning:
- The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension - Hosts an array of resources related to program planning including a needs assessment, logic model program planning, funding resources, and evaluation methods and planning.
- Point K Learning Center - Available through the Innovation Network, Point K is designed to assist nonprofit executives and grant writers in creating strategic plans and program maps.
- Building a Performance Measurement System - A free downloadable how-to guide and templates on building a performance measurement system via Root Cause.
Budget planning is an integral part of your overall program planning. Your proposal budget is an extremely important component of your proposal package. Grantmakers emphasize time and again that program budgets are often the first proposal item reviewed. Consider the budget as a financial expression of the proposal narrative, with figures that reflect proposed activities and include an estimate of every real cost associated with your program. In other words, the budget provides another chance to tell your story to a prospective funder.
The following resources contain information to help you through the budget creation process:
Proposals range in complexity and detail, from a two-three page letter of inquiry, to 25+ page narratives with multiple attachments. Grantmakers typically provide some guidance regarding their preferences, such as coversheet forms and online applications, through detailed proposal guidelines. Grantseekers should closely follow funder guidelines, application processes, and proposal requirements—except in rare cases for which such guidance is not available. Funder guidelines, requirements, and instructions are your roadmap. The majority of the time, creating the basics of a proposal is simply a matter of following directions.
The following PDFs discuss aspects of the grantseeking and proposal writing process in more detail:
Additional helpful links for proposal writing:
- GrantCraft- Free and practical resources for fundraisers via Candid (Formerly the Foundation Center)
- Introduction to Proposal Writing - GrantSpace
- Full Proposal Components - Non-profit Guides’ completely comprehensive anatomy of a proposal.
- Writing a Successful Grant Proposal - Minnesota Council of Foundations
- Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal - Compiled by S. Joseph Levine, Ph.D., Michigan State University
- The Grantsmanship Center
- Arizona Grantmakers Forum
What is stewardship?
Stewardship means a responsibility to take good care. As grantees, we need to take good care of a grantmaker’s investment. We also need to make every effort to achie the shared mission that motivates the gift. Proper stewardship encompasses following the legal requirements of the grant agreement as well as the implied moral responsibility to take good care. Faculty and staff are responsible for formal stewardship and post-award reporting for charitable grants. Business offices and the GIFT Center are ready to assist and are your best resources for accurate grant reporting, of which communicates both the impact of your program and responsible management of a grantmaker’s investments. Note that the GIFT Center does have a courtesy reminder system to help with reporting deadlines.
Why does stewardship matter?
Mistakes in stewardship, such as not communicating promptly when problems arise, affect the entire organization, not just one unit or department. Some organizational funders have relationships with the University that stretch back decades and, we hope, will continue for decades more. Careful attention to stewardship builds a legacy of trust, performance, and positive relationships with people involved in grantmaking. This improves the reputation of the University as a whole and makes future proposals more competitive.
The following resource documents contain best practices when it comes to Post-award coordination and Stewardship: