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A Grant Team of We, Not Me

Team of WeWhen you read “grant team” do you look around and wonder who we mean?

Do you feel like a grant team of one?

Or, conversely, do you have an idea of who your grant team should be, but have a difficult time actively engaging them?

After analyzing hundreds of grant ready organizations and their data through the GRASP Tool, one of the most common areas for improvement in grantseeking organizations of all focus areas, communities served, and organization size appears to be the lack of a grant team.

That being said, we know that grant teams do not all sound and act the same. Successful grant teams come in many shapes and sizes. In fact, grant teams are often not even formally titled as such, and what your organization’s or client’s grant team looks like will likely ebb and flow as different members of the organization come and go.

Those differences aside, there are some common traits and activities across successful grant teams. They include:

  • A group of specific individuals that draft and agree upon a proactive grant strategy for the operating year ahead;
  • A group of specific individuals (potentially the same group mentioned above) that vet new grant opportunities for the organization and decide whether or not they are a strategic fit or not during an operating year;
  • A team of individuals who willingly delegate relationship interaction with grantmakers based on background, collaborative interaction, or other elements that make one colleague the best connection point with a grantmaker;
  • The ability to break down into sub grant teams for specific applications to help get the real application work done;
  • A clear centralized location for all grant team members to be able to access and check-in on upcoming report and application deadlines and next steps; and
  • Defined goals and metrics for success beyond only award percentage or dollars raised.

Please join me and the GrantHub team to discuss more about grant team best practices and hear about some successful examples during our upcoming free webinar – Identifying and Maximizing Your Grant Team for Great Results

This blog is an original work of the attributed author and is shared with permission via Foundant Technologies' website for informative purposes only as part of our educational content in the philanthropic sector. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect Foundant's stance on this topic. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to our team.

About the Author

Diane H. Leonard, GPC, RST, is a Grant Professional Certified (GPC) and Approved Trainer of the Grant Professionals Association. Diane is also a Registered Scrum Trainer and Scrum Master and is Scrum Product credentialed by the Agile Education Program powered by Scrum Inc. Diane began her career as a program officer for a statewide grantmaking organization. She continues to serve as a reviewer for a variety of grantmaking organizations. Since 2006, when she formed DH Leonard Consulting, Diane and her team have secured more than $92 million in competitive grant awards for their clients. She is an active member of the Grant Professionals Association. When not working with her team on clients’ grant applications, Diane can be found in the 1000 Islands, out for a run, or drinking a strong cup of coffee.

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