This is a stark reminder of the high stakes—we all need a well-managed grant calendar.
This is where Instrumentl steps in, far surpassing the capabilities of manual spreadsheets, to ensure you'll never miss a deadline again.
This blog post will:
Discuss what a grant calendar is
Highlight why having a grant calendar is crucial for non-profits
Explain how to create and manage your grant calendar
Do You Need A Grant Calendar To Stay Organized?
A grant calendar is more than just a tool; it's an essential lifeline for nonprofits seeking funding. It is a meticulously organized schedule that:
Keeps track of grant opportunities
Monitors submission deadlines
Logs follow-up dates
A grant calendar is a strategic tool used by nonprofits and researchers to schedule and track their funding opportunities. It includes grant deadlines, application statuses, and award dates.
A well-curated grant calendar is a foolproof way to never miss a funding opportunity and always complete application processes punctually. The calendar typically includes essential details like:
The name of the grant
Expected decision date
Notes on the application process
Traditional methods of maintaining grant calendars involve manually updated spreadsheets. But, this system can often be time-consuming and error-prone.
This is where Instrumentl shines, offering a far superior alternative for managing your grant calendar. By automating the tedious tasks, Instrumentl ensures the grant management process is not only smooth and efficient but also highly effective
There Are 3 Methods You Can Use To Track Your Grant Deadlines
Let's look into the ways you can keep up with upcoming grant deadlines.
While spreadsheet templates like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets may seem like an easy solution, they often fall short of effectively managing grant timelines.
The process of updating these grant timeline templates is:
prone to human error.
A small mistake can lead to missed deadlines or inaccurate information, negatively impacting your funding.
Manually using sticky notes and to-do lists
Manually tracking deadlines with sticky notes and to-do lists can be a chaotic process.
Not only is it disorganized, but it's also unreliable. Sticky notes can be lost, and important deadlines can be overlooked amidst a sea of other tasks on your desk.
At first glance, to-do lists may seem like a viable option, but the time and effort required to manage individual lists for each grant can become overwhelming quickly. Plus, these methods do not provide a comprehensive overview of all grants and their deadlines.
Subscribing to email alerts from foundations and funders might also feel like a convenient solution, but it has its drawbacks. Your inbox can quickly become cluttered with alerts, making it easy to miss an important deadline.
Plus, it's not unusual for these alerts to go to your Spam folder. Moreover, this method doesn't provide a consolidated view of all your grant applications and deadlines.
Grant management software: The superior solution
Grant management software, like Instrumentl, presents the most effective and reliable way to manage your grant calendar. Here's why:
Automated Updates: No more manual entries. The software automatically tracks and updates the grant timeline for you.
Centralized Platform: All your grant information and deadlines are stored in one place, making it easy to monitor and manage.
Source Research: Instrumentl allows you to easily research and match your nonprofit with relevant funders.
Alerts and Reminders: Receive timely reminders for upcoming deadlines so you never miss an opportunity.
With Instrumentl, you can say goodbye to the inefficiencies of traditional methods and embrace a more efficient, organized approach to managing your grant calendar.
Click to find the best grants for your nonprofit from 12,000+ active opportunities.
For your grant calendar to be effective, here’s what it should include:
This is the title of the grant you're applying for.
The name of the organization or foundation offering the grant. This information allows for quick reference and contact.
LOI or Application Deadline
The cut-off date for submitting your letter of intent or application. It's crucial for ensuring timely submissions.
These are self-imposed deadlines for researching, writing, and reviewing applications ahead of the actual submission deadline. They help structure your work process effectively.
Amount You Plan to Request
The funding amount you intend to ask for. This allows for better financial planning and management.
Whether the funding is for a project or program, this clarifies what the grant money will be used for.
The person or team responsible for the grant application. It helps to assign responsibilities and accountability.
Primary Contact at the Funding Organization
The primary person of contact in the funding organization. This information allows for direct communication when necessary.
Link to Grant Page
The URL of the grant information page. Useful for quick access to detailed information and updates.
The current standing of your grant application or project. This helps monitor and track the progress of your grant applications.
Any additional comments, reminders, or important details related to the grant. These provide extra context and reminders when necessary.
How to Create a Grant Calendar in 5 Steps
Creating a grant calendar might seem like a daunting task, but with a step-by-step approach and the right tool, it becomes a breeze.
Creating a grant calendar with Instrumentl is a game-changer. It streamlines the grant management process with automated updates, a centralized platform, and timely reminders, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.
Here, we'll walk you through the process of setting up your grant calendar.
The first step is to create a free trial on Instrumentl. This will allow you to start searching for grants suited to your cause.
This process takes a couple of days, depending on the number of grants you're importing. But you also have the option to add each grant individually.
Download The Grant Spreadsheet Upload Template
First, navigate to the “Tracker” tab of your project.
On the right-hand side of your screen, select “Add new.” From the drop-down menu, click on “Import your grants spreadsheet.”
Add Your Grants To The Spreadsheet Template
Follow the prompts to upload your desired spreadsheet. Be sure to copy any and all rows from your current grant spreadsheet into our template.
Upload Your Spreadsheet of Grants
Select “Finish upload,” and sit back and relax while Instrumentl formats your spreadsheet.
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Step 3: View Your Grants Calendar
Once you've uploaded your grants, you can view them in the Calendar view within Instrumentl.
Here, you'll see all your grant deadlines and work within Instrumentl’s calendar view.
Review Your Calendar
To see the calendar, select “Calendar” from the dashboard.
Here, you’ll find all of your upcoming grants formatted in a nice, easy-to-read calendar.
You can see deadlines, add tasks, and use filters such as by status (e.g., Researching vs Application Submitted).
Edit Grant Details
You can edit details on individual grants by clicking on them.
From there, all the applicable grants will be shown on your calendar.
Step 4: Grow Your Grant Opportunities By Enabling Matches
To expand your grant opportunities, you’ll want to allow matches. Using Instrumentl’s matching feature will allow you to quickly find grants that are a good fit for your organization. This action saves you countless hours of internet digging.
Find Matches for Your Project
First, select “Edit” from the “Project Actions” button.
This time, instead of choosing “Tracking,” you’ll want to click “Matches & Tracking.”
Next, you will be prompted to provide details about your nonprofit to help find the most suitable grant options.
After you’ve filled out this form, click “Save and Exit” to see your matches.
Step 5: Save Grants to Your Grant Calendar
Finally, you can review your matched grants and save them to your grant calendar. With Instrumentl, you can sift through potential grants in a format similar to an email inbox.
You can quickly analyze each grant's relevancy and save the ones you're interested in, which will then be reflected in your calendar.
Save Your Grant Projects
To save your grants, simply click on the "Save" button located at the bottom of the screen.
Once clicked, a pop-up window will appear where you can write any notes about the grant that you would like to revisit later.
With Instrumentl, you can organize your saved grants by marking them with tags like "Researching."
This feature helps to segment your grant opportunities according to your progress and makes it easier for you to keep track of your research.
Leverage Your Grant Tracker To Stay Organized
Once you have saved various grants to your grant calendar, they all get stored in a dedicated tracker section. You can easily access this by navigating to the "Tracker" tab in your dashboard.
Here, each grant is listed with all its essential details — from deadlines to the stage of application. The tracker also displays any notes or tags you've added, making it a one-stop shop for managing your grant progress.
Better Manage Your Grants with a Grant Calendar
Instrumentl helps you stay on top of your grant deadlines, track project status, and even grow your grant opportunities –all in one user-friendly platform, far superior to manual spreadsheet updates.
But the process of grants management doesn't stop here. To truly master this art, it's crucial to keep learning and adapting.
Continue your journey towards grant management excellence by reading our comprehensive guide, How to Manage Grants. Packed with insights, tips, and strategies, this blog post will equip you with the knowledge and tools to effectively manage your grants and maximize your nonprofit's funding potential.