nonprofit grant readiness

Four red flags in nonprofit grant readiness

So much of grant writing is about more than just great writing. Grant success truly hinges on a perfectly packaged grant from a perfectly poised organizationone that has mastered grant readiness.


In our organizational assessments, we often see the same red flags with regard to grant readiness. Here are four ways to tell a nonprofit is not ready to apply for a grant:

  • No other fundraising plan: If a nonprofit doesn’t have other revenue streams (or at least a solid plan for putting those in place), they’re not grant-ready. Funders look at their grant award as an investment and won’t make that investment unless they know the organization stands on solid financial footing.


  • Few or no program details: If an organization is asking the grant writer (who is not a program director) to make up program details, that’s a telltale sign of disaster. This organization is not scoring high on the grant readiness scale.


  • A weak board of directors: If the board is small and does not include relevant experts, that can spell trouble. The board should also contribute their own donations and help connect the organization to other donors and funders.


  • A shifting mission: A nonprofit should never change its programs or its mission to fit a grant opportunity. Nor should a nonprofit create a program to fit a specific grant. It’s just not best practice and shows a lack of grant savvy.


It’s important for organizations to understand that grant readiness is not a one-time achievement, but an ongoing process. It requires consistent attention to financial management, program development, and board engagement. Additionally, staying up-to-date on current funding trends and maintaining strong relationships with funders can also increase an organization’s grant readiness. By making grant readiness a priority, nonprofits can position themselves for success in securing the resources they need to achieve their mission and make a positive impact in their community.


There are many more red flags that come up during organizational assessments. Fortunately, there are also many ways to avoid or fix these issues with grant readiness. If your nonprofit needs help, get in touch. Learn more about our grant writing services here.

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