There’s a lot to think about this time of year, from what you’re going to wear to the ugly sweater party to picking the best tree in the lot. If you work in fundraising, chances are you’re making a lot of year-end considerations around this time.
When it comes to grant writing, there are a few things you should consider. One is to send out year-end thank you notes to your funders, telling them about some of your organization’s accomplishments and thanking them for their contribution. It can be a generic letter, but if you load it up with photos, quotes, and compelling statistics, it will have a nice impact–and it’s a great way to remind these funders that you still exist.
Similarly, you may have to complete compulsory year-end reports to those foundations that gave you grants this year. Go through your list of funders and make sure you’re on top of that; forgetting to turn these in is a great way to ensure you aren’t eligible for a grant in the next cycle. And on the flip side, getting it done on time and thoroughly can help strengthen your case when you reapply.
You may be able to make a few last-minute grant requests, too. Typically funders don’t schedule deadlines for application submissions around this time of year, so you may find yourself with some down time. But foundations are compelled to gift a certain percentage of their funds or they face penalties from the IRS. So sometimes you’ll find foundations–particularly smaller, family foundations–rushing around this time of year.
Check the 990s of some of your prospects and see if their fiscal year ends on December 31. If so, contact the foundation and see if they’re still accepting applications for awards this year. They may have some extra funds lying around that they’re trying to part with, and they’ll be happy to hear from you.