Grant ready and grant capable are two terms often used in the nonprofit sector when it comes to securing funding through grants. While they may sound similar, there are distinct differences between the two concepts.
Grant ready refers to the state of an organization that has all the necessary materials and systems in place to effectively apply for and manage grant funding. When an organization is grant ready, it means that they have thoroughly prepared themselves to seek and secure grants. This preparation includes having a clear mission and goals, a well-defined strategic plan, a strong financial management system, and a track record of successful program implementation.
Being grant ready also means having the necessary organizational capacity to manage and report on grant funds. This includes having qualified staff and volunteers to oversee grant projects, a well-documented and transparent system for tracking expenses, and the ability to generate timely and accurate reports for funders.
Grant-ready organizations have gone through a thorough process of self-assessment and have taken the necessary steps to ensure they meet the requirements of potential grantors. They have developed strong relationships with key stakeholders, including funders, board members, and community partners, and have cultivated a positive reputation within the philanthropic community.
On the other hand, grant capability refers to an organization's potential or capacity to become grant ready. Grant capability is the foundation upon which grant readiness is built. An organization may be considered grant capable if it has certain key elements in place, such as a clear mission and vision, a dedicated staff and board, and a solid understanding of their target audience and community needs.
Grant capability focuses on the organization's potential for growth and development, including the ability to attract resources and build partnerships. While a grant-capable organization may not yet have all the necessary systems and infrastructure in place to be grant ready, it has the potential to develop and strengthen these areas through training, capacity building, and strategic planning.
Grant capability is about recognizing an organization's strengths and areas for improvement, and actively working towards becoming grant ready. This may involve investing in staff development and training, engaging in strategic partnerships, or seeking technical assistance to strengthen organizational capacity.
It is important to note that grant readiness and grant capability are not mutually exclusive. Grant readiness is the ultimate goal, but an organization's journey towards becoming grant ready often starts with developing its grant capability. Organizations that are grant ready are inherently grant capable, but those that are grant capable may still have some work to do to reach full grant readiness.
Both concepts highlight the importance of organizational strength and capacity building in order to successfully secure and utilize grant funds. If you have any doubts about whether your organization is grant-capable, pick up a copy of our Quick Start Guide to Strategic Planning today.