I going to show you how to build a master calendar to keep you organized when writing grants.
So, you’ve finally found a funding agency for the organization you represent. Good job! But what now?
Well, now comes the task of putting everything you know about grant writing down on paper. Or, in most cases today, filling in the blanks online. You’ve got this.
The first thing you need to do is build a master calendar to schedule your time and stay on track.
The best case scenario is you have 30 or 45 days before you submit the final proposal. But that’s the best case. For some, you may have fewer days, depending on when you discovered the grant. Maybe you found it three weeks before the deadline, in that case, you need to work fast but, efficient.
Evaluate your time carefully when accepting a job. It’s better to do three grants and do them well, than squeeze in one more and not have enough time to do your best work.
Don’t compromise your credibility as a grant writer and submit a sloppy proposal. If you feel you don’t have enough time to do a thorough job – pass on it.
Use a spreadsheet or a table; whichever works best for you. I use a table format with three columns, activity, days to complete, and date. The number of rows depends on the number of days you have to complete the proposal and get it to the funder.
For example, if you are doing a 30-day calendar and your grant package is due at the funder on January 30, your start date is January 1. So, your first activity may be January 1 through January 5. Calculate the number days it will take to complete the other activities and fill in the rest of the blanks. When you reach the bottom, you have the date your proposal will be due at the funding agency.
You can also work backward by filling in the proposal deadline date at the bottom and work your way up the calendar to the date you need to begin.
Below is an example of a 30-day schedule I am currently using for a grant proposal. This method works for me, but you may have a different idea.
Design your calendar, be creative and find what works best for you. The important thing to do is schedule your time. Allow extra days, if possible, to deal with any unexpected issues that may occur…and they usually do.
Let me know how you build your calendar or how you schedule your time. Leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading this post.