Key Questions to Ask When Forming Your Own Grants Review Committee

Why create a grants review committee for your organization?

All too often, one person at a nonprofit is tasked with conducting prospect research, building relationships with grant makers, and writing and submitting the grant proposals. When those proposals come back declined, it’s easy to point fingers, place blame and walk away from the experience without really learning anything.

Amanda Johnston

Amanda Johnston

By creating a Grants Review Committee, people with different roles in an organization come together to build collaboration and accountability for their grant seeking process and gain deeper insight into the issues that are working for and against the organization. Below are some key questions to ask when setting up a new committee.

1. Which staff members, board members and/or volunteers will serve on your grants review committee?

2. Why were these individuals chosen and what unique skill sets/connections/knowledge do they bring to the table?

3. How can you best utilize board members on the committee?

4. How often will the committee meet to review awards and declines and discuss upcoming deadlines?

5. What progress do you hope will be made after having a grants committee in place for 6 months? 12 months? Identify 2 to 3 goals.

The preceding is a guest post by Amanda Johnston, owner and principal of Amanda Johnston Consulting. Amanda Johnston Consulting provides grant writing and grants management services to local, national and international nonprofits, and has raised over $12 million in grants nationwide.

Amanda has 17 years of experience in nonprofit development. Her work has resulted in hundreds of grant awards from entities including the National Institute of Health, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Susan G. Komen, the New York Community Trust, the Denver Foundation, Fidelity Charitable Trust, Verizon Wireless, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the Body Shop, and the World Bank. Amanda has an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and has traveled or lived in over 30 countries. She lives in Denver with her husband Will and their dog Charlie.


One response to “Key Questions to Ask When Forming Your Own Grants Review Committee

  1. Hi Amanda, I have found having a review team to be very effective with the nonprofit that I help with their grant writing activities. We are an all volunteer nonprofit of 350 women. Someone always has another lead for our grants committee. We have determined a process to ensure that we don’t have someone writing for something with review we don’t think we will get. I firmly believe a small team of the major committee should review every opportunity before it is handed over to someone to complete the application.


Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s