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Grant Questions Every Executive Director Should Ask

October 10, 2014

Tools and tips for not-for-profit executive directors in assessing grants.

In efforts to avoid non-compliance issues and to encourage grant funding, executive directors of tax exempt organizations should be aware of the basics of pre and post grant award work and be mindful that data concerning grants must be monitored regularly.

Questions that every executive director should ask:

Look into the proposals that have been submitted.

  1. Which funders are they going to, and is there an appropriate budget?
  2. Does the organization have the organizational capacity?
  3. What is the status of each proposal?
  4. Does the proposal have realistic goals and outcomes?
  5. Is there a sustainability plan?
  6. When and why was it denied or approved?
  7. Was it fully funded if approved?
  8. If it is pending, when do you expect to hear from them?

Look into the status of the grant opportunities

  1. What is the status of each active grant?
  2. What are the basics of the award?
  3. What is the status of report submissions and budget adjustments?
  4. Is the organization applying for appropriate opportunities?
  5. If not, is there a way the organization can improve this?
  6. Are you keeping track of grant spending and reviewing each grant’s monthly accounting statement?

Make sure you have progress and evaluation reports.

  1. Is program delivery on track?
  2. Is the program reaching desired goals?

Senior staff members will monitor these steps and report back to the executive director, however when it comes to small non-profit organizations, all responsibility rests on the executive director. It is vitally important that executive directors pay close attention to grant acquisition, and the management duties that go along with it.

For more information or guidance for executive directors, please contact any member of KLR’s Not-For-Profit Services Team.

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