Every funder has a different set of documents they require as part of the application process. Some will ask that you initially send just a simple LOI and will only send their full proposal once they have determined your organization is a good fit. Others will ask for a lot of documentation and program information up front. Nonprofits who have all this documentation in a centralized folder will have an easier time navigating the different requirements of the funders they come across.
Here are a few of the documents it is useful to have on hand when beginning the grant writing process:
- Copy of the organization’s registration with the state(s) where it operates. This will usually be provided by the state Division of Corporations or a similar entity, usually part of the office of the Secretary of State.
- Mission statement and/or organizational vision.
- Most recent federal tax return and/or audit forms from the Internal Revenue Service (only organizations with larger operating budgets are regularly audited by the IRS).
- Most recent annual operating budget or annual profit and loss (P&L) statement.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN), also sometimes referred to as Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
- Organization’s DUNS number (if you don’t have one, you can get one at here) – This number is used to provide potential funders with easy access to a basic profile of your organization.
- Articles of Incorporation and any documents about the organization’s corporate structure and bylaws.
- If you are pursuing federal grants, you will also have to be registered with the federal System for Award Management (SAM). Some non-federal grants will require a Unique Entity ID from SAM, which you can obtain without fully registering with the system. SAM registration is a time-consuming process with a lot of paperwork, but it is necessary to receive federal funds of any type.
- Vision, mission, goals and yes….objectives!
- A basic LOI template, the process for which is explained in the next blog post.
If you’d like a full copy of the list (hint: it’s over 28 different documents) hit us up and we’d be happy to share!