What do you say to the potential funder to prove your good intentions to continue the project? After all, you cannot tell what is going to happen in three years. In fact, it is hard to predict what will happen one year from now. So how do you convince the funder, if you do not have a disaster, you will continue the project?
First of all, get your managers on board. Management must agree that the project is important for it to be successful. Most projects that don't continue do not have management buy-in. The project should have a prominent place in your organizational structure. It should not be a side issue where management is concerned.
Second, you should develop a plan to continue the project after grant funding runs out—which it inevitably will. Plan to ask for grant funds for things that will help accomplish the goals of the project, but whose costs are onetime expenses. Itemize all the needs for the project. If you have trouble with figuring project costs, our Grant Seeker's Budget Toolkit and Grantseeker's Toolkit2 have directions on how to figure out expenses for the project goals and objectives.
Third, your project should be important enough for it to be institutionalized. This means that if your project is successful, it is important enough to your organization to be continued. Institutionalization means the project becomes an integral part of the overall operation of your organization. Grant makers look for signs that the project is important to your mission.
2 Cheryl Carter New and James Aaron Quick, Grantseeker's Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding Funding and Grant Seeker's Budget Toolkit, both published by John Wiley & Sons.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.