Thursday, July 28, 2011

Questions about Proposals

I'm hearing from a variety of staff that questions are floating around, and I would once again encourage everyone to post their questions here on the blog. I will respond directly and everyone else will get the benefit of the information. I cannot respond to 31 groups via personal e-mails and the risk you take if you are asking other Trust or Arts & Business Council staff is that responses will not be the same, depending on who you ask. THIS BLOG IS THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE, so don't be shy about asking questions.

Re. how many management areas can/should be addressed?
The smaller your organization, the more important it is to focus on a realistic approach. It's better to create outcomes in one management area during Year 1 and achieve them than to set up several outcomes in multiple management areas and then fall short and have to keep working on the same lagging areas in Year 2-3. The goal is to tackle 1-2 per year and achieve the desired improvements so that you can move on. Ideally, by Year 3, your organization may have brought its 2 (for example) lagging areas up to par and may opt to focus on a management area that is ripe for growth.

Re. Are there any restrictions on grant funds?
This is a general operating grant. It cannot be used to pay past debt. You may develop your budget however you wish; however, you will need to show how it helps you address the lagging management areas and achieve the outcome(s) you've identified in the grant. For example, if your lagging management area is Financial Management, it makes sense to include the cost of a PT bookkeeper; if it's Audience Development/Marketing, you may want to allocate your resources there. We would really be concerned if you were working on the lagging area of Financial Management and we saw in your budget that there was a new hire that was a Development Director because this position is associated with Income Generation.

Remember that the budget required is your organization's FULL OPERATING BUDGET for your upcoming fiscal year - 2012 - not a budget that adds up to the grant amount you're requesting.

Since this is designed to build the management capacity of your organization, we strongly encourage you to include a little money in the line item that says "Board and Staff Development". This way you can have the resources to find workshops, conferences, or consultants/facilitators to help you, your staff, volunteers, and Board members broaden their knowledge in the management areas you've identified.

1 comment:

  1. Small question- on the participant profile section (breaking down the org into percentages) are you asking just for staff or for staff + board?


    Justine Nagan
    Kartemquin Films


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