How to Review a Grant

You have been asked to review a grant for a nonprofit. What might the review cover? Here are 11 suggestions:


1. First review “big picture.” Does this grant make sense? If funded, whom will the funds help? Does the concept work? Does it appeal to you? What might be added or removed to improve it?
2. Identify and share five strong points of the grant.
3. Using a copy of the grant review criteria, score the grant. Since simple additions often increase scores, note any information to add or delete that would result in a higher score.
4. The grant writer’s job is to describe the organization and project in the most flattering terms possible. Is there any place where the writer goes too far? For example, you may run a summer program for children interested in medicine. It’s fine to say you will help these children develop their careers and the medical field. It’s a little farfetched to announce that you will contribute to curing cancer.
5. Are there statements that need footnotes, third party verification or that you can improve by adding an expert’s quote?
6. Are any statements false? For example, one grant requested funds for a child therapist. The grant stated that child therapy was not available elsewhere in the community. In fact, the community had a number of child therapists. Redraft the statement to read: “No one else offers sliding scale fees for this service.”
7. Did the writer tell you who, what, when, where and why? As a reader, can you now describe the project in detail to someone else? If not, what is missing?
8. Are there any opportunities to translate narrative into graphics to provide visual interest?

Get the Details Right

To view errors, change the font, double space and print out the document and . . .

9. Mark spelling errors. Check the names of people and places. Focus on word endings as people often assume a word is correct if the first letters are right.
10. Check any numbers against earlier ones. In lists, check for sequencing errors.
11. Eliminate extraneous words, double spacing and double verbs (i.e., has experience becomes experienced.)

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit  CEO Library.

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