Grant Applications 101: The Project Timeline
The grant application and decision-making process is not an overnight proposition. It takes time for an applicant to plan an effective project and write a complete grant application. It also takes time for the grant-making organization to evaluate all of the requests, complete the due-diligence process, conduct a Board meeting and process grant payments.
At the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), we must automatically decline a request if the proposed timeline of a project conflicts with the current review cycle. BTF grant funds are not awarded for past expenditures, so applicants are encouraged to leave a cushion of time between the complete grant application process and the start date of a proposed project. Depending on when the letter of inquiry and application are submitted, the BTF review process takes 3-6 months. If a grant is awarded for your project, the grant payment process is at least four weeks.
For example, if you plan to begin a project (i.e. a field renovation, purchase equipment, etc.) in April and plan to use a BTF grant to do so, you should not wait to apply for the January-March review cycle to apply because grant awards will not be determined until an unknown date in April. If your organization is awarded a grant, grant funds will not be disbursed until the end of May, at the earliest. This timeline is the same for all review cycles, noted below. (The following application deadlines are for BTF applications only. Letters of inquiry may be submitted at anytime; however, please allow four weeks for the review of a letter of inquiry.)
BTF Grant Review Process Timeline
|Review Cycle||Application Deadline||Grants Awarded||Grant Payments Disbursed|
Once you plan your project and determine the best review cycle to apply, you will need to develop a detailed, realistic timeline for the proposed project. Common delays such as inclement weather, a bid process, permit process, internal administrative processes, etc. should be taken into consideration and included in the timeline. If a Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant is awarded for your project, the deadline to use the grant funds will be based on the timeline in the application. Once a grant is awarded, requests for deadline extensions are rarely approved. Please note: in our experience, most projects take longer than expected.
Remember: develop a detailed project plan, assume delays and leave a cushion of time.
Check back here weekly for more advice regarding the BTF grant application process and other resource information related to youth baseball and softball programs and facilities. Also, follow BTF on Twitter @btftoday for daily updates and ideas from people and organizations in the world of sports and philanthropy.