Analyzing Completed Grant Applications
Once you have accessed the Grant Applications for your finalists, the first of several challenging decisions come into play as you are forced to ask important questions.
Which agency proposals do we like best?
Which programs should we support?
Which appear to be the most excited about working with us?
Which proposals seem to have the best "bang for the buck"?
These are challenging questions and part of the learning process! You have to make difficult decisions.
Once you are narrowed your choices down to a manageable number of agencies, you should go deeper and learn more about the agencies you are considering for your grant.
Learning about the People behind the Non-Profit Organizations
It is highly encourage that, if all possible, students schedule a visit to one or more agencies that have submitted Grant Applications. Our survey results indicate that students have found their site visit to be one of their favorite parts of the program. Developing personal connections helps students become more passionate about their cause, and may inspire them to volunteer at that organization. Click HERE (Mount Notre Dame) and HERE (Boston University Philanthropy Program) for some tips for making a successful site visit.
AGENCY REP MEETING
Sometimes it is impossible for students to visit an agency. In that case, we strongly recommend that a limited number of agency reps be asked to meet with your group to discuss the grant and to teach the students about the mission of the organization and how their request will help them with their mission.
In either case, students should develop a list of questions they would like to ask the agency representatives during the visit. If a site visit is made, it is also wise to take photos or video (ask permission of the agency reps first) which can be used during for a future presentation to a larger group of students.
RESPECT THE AGENCY'S TIME
People employed by non-profits most often work very hard and wear many hats. They are often a one-man or one-woman show, with very little administrative support. Please don't expect an agency to come out to your school for a few hours, only to find out they have a 1 in 10 chance of getting a $1000 grant - it may not be a great use of their time. Instead, be realistic and invite a smaller number of agencies to come visit at the final step. Remember, if you fundraise $250, Magnified Giving will match $250, so you could give two prizes - a $1000 grant and $500 grant. Note: This year the minimum grant amount is $250.