Winning a grant is great news and an opportunity to celebrate, but it’s only one piece of the whole process. Just as important is the grant report that most funders require at the end of the granting period.
People think of reports as being kind of dry, but yours doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are many ways you can make your report engaging, interesting and easy to read.
Design, Color & Bullets – Highlighting words in italic; emphasizing goals met in a different color; underlining headings and using bullet points make reading reports easier on the eyes and more interesting. These design elements also give you the opportunity to emphasize successes and accomplishments.
2017: Average number of weeks to complete the GED
- 2017 Goal = 16 weeks or less
- 2017 Actual = 6 weeks – goal exceeded
Stories, Quotes & Photos – Here’s where you can put a face to your organization and make your organization come to life. Ultimately, funders fund people not programs, and weaving in quotes, powerful stories – or even a photo – show the funder that they’re making someone’s life better. For example:
Chantia came to Hope House with a 7th grade education, and she was told by many that she couldn’t succeed at school. They were wrong! Chantia earned her GED at Hope House and took our Healthy Relationships and Parenting courses, too. She continued in our College and Career Program and graduated college with a 3.0! Today Chantia has a job and her own apartment. “I had to push myself really hard and Hope House helped me realize my self-confidence. The staff just knows that something as basic as a hug goes a long way. Hope House does everything they can, the rest was up to me.”
Grant reports can be limiting because funders often restrict the number of pages, the font size and even the margins. Including important metrics, numbers and accomplishments can leave little room – if any — for a photo or a short vignette like the one above.
If there’s no room in the report for these elements, we often add a story or quote with a corresponding photo to the cover letter as a sidebar. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words!
Of course, what you report back to the funder and if you made every effort to reach your goals are critical pieces of information. But if you can do this in an appealing way that makes the funder feel they’re part of improving someone’s life and that their investment was worthwhile, your chances of repeat funding will increase.