With the usually narrow application window for federal grants, applicants can save some time by having an “Evergreen Folder” packed with pre-competition application material. Grant Advisors Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko have previously talked about the necessity of keeping an evergreen folder.
It is called an evergreen folder because the material is always fresh and can be used year round. The folder will serve as a checklist of material that normally go into an application package and will help improve the chances of getting funded.
However, grantseekers can’t just place this information in the evergreen folder and forget it. They need to be proactive in keeping it updated and accurate. For instance, if an organization changes its name or relocates the information needs to be changed. A minor change should even be relayed accurately through this information, or issues may arise during the submission and review process.
On the tax-exempt issue, grantseekers must make sure they have a copy of the actual letter on file. Many applicants mistakenly assume the tax-free number is all that is needed, but funders want an actual copy of the letter from the IRS as proof. includes a DUNS number, checking account number and employer ID number. Having this information readily available will keep a nonprofit from running around at the last minute to secure it.
Who’s in Charge
All grantmakers want to know who is at the helm and running any organization they fund. Those with in-depth bios of staff and board members readily available and updated regularly can save time as they prepare their application packages.
The goal should be to hit all the highlights, and to simply tweak the bios when opportunities arise to play up the components that will improve funding chances. Updates can include inserting a new certification or other accolade to staff or board bios.
Those interested in discussing additional fundraising concerns can contact Sweeney and Klimko at (410) 934-7652.