Grants Readiness Checkup and Scorecard

Complete below or download the scorecard here

(items with * are most critical)

Prerequisites (You will need to address all prerequisites before seeking grant funding)
❏ Do you have 501c3 nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service? *
❏ Do you have an annual budget? *
❏ Have you raised funds from sources besides grants over the past year? *
❏ Do you have an active board of directors with at least three members? *
Question for existing nonprofits only: ❏ Do you have year-end financial statements? *

Total boxes checked:     Minimum needed: 4 (new orgs), 5 (existing orgs)           


1) Program description and evaluation

For the project you would like to pursue grant funds, are you prepared to outline or verbally describe:
❏ Methods, curriculum, and key tasks and timelines for delivering intended services *
❏ Unique/innovative strategies, including research or rationale to substantiate the approach
❏ Clear delineation of staff responsibilities
❏ Can you name at least two tools you plan to use to track outcomes and objectively measure success? *
❏ Do you have evaluation data that objectively demonstrates that your project has been successful?

Total boxes checked:           Minimum needed to pursue grants:  2       

2) Collaboration/uniqueness/niche

❏ Does your organization share resources or integrate services with at least two other agencies? *
❏ Can you name two reasons why a grantor would award a grant to your organization rather than to an organization that provides similar services?

Prior to establishing your organization, did you conduct market research to:
new organizations only: ❏ contact at least three community leaders and leaders from other nonprofits who confirmed the gap and need for new services *
new organizations only: ❏ use at least two sources of data, such as planning reports, research studies, census data, health department reports, to substantiate the need for your program.

Total boxes checked:        Min. needed to pursue grants: 2 (new orgs), 1 (existing orgs)           

3) Financial management and other fundraising

❏ Can you create financial reports and budgets to respond to grant requirements? *
❏ Do you have cash reserves that can support your expenses for three to six months?
❏ In addition to grants, do you plan to raise at least 50% of your budget from non-grant funds? *
Existing organizations only: ❏ Did the nonprofit receive more money last year than it spent? *
Existing organizations only: ❏ Are your financial statements professionally prepared by an accountant? *

Total boxes checked:      Min. needed to pursue grants: 1 (new orgs), 3 (existing orgs)           

4) Grants history and relationships with funders

❏ Have you previously been successful applying for grants? *
❏ Have you ever contacted a foundation to discuss your organization and ideas for a grant request? *
❏ When receiving a grant denial, did you contact the funder to learn the reasons for the denial?
Total boxes checked:        Minimum needed to pursue grants:   1