I’ve got my nice new planner, all clean with no appointments in it yet. (There are appointments on sticky notes but nothing is written on those beautiful, clean pages yet.)

I prefer a paper planner that I can doodle in, take notes in, and slap sticky notes on, as well as an online calendar or app. I use a Google Calendar and set alerts. That way, I have something to actually ding me if I forget to look at the paper calendar, but I have the paper calendar to entertain myself and keep notes.

Have you got your planning done for 2017 yet? What’s that you say? ALL of 2017 already planned?

Yes, if you are a grant writer, you should be planning your year out right now. If you wait, you’ll risk missing important deadlines. We all know how the emergencies and urgent tasks often overtake the really important ones.

Here are 3 things you can do right now to get started on your grant planning for 2017:

  1. Think about the fun stuff.
  2. Review 2016.
  3. Make a plan to do better in 2017.

1. Think about the fun stuff.
I was writing a grant for an organization I volunteer for. I needed a way to tell their success stories, but no one on staff had kept any kind of file or records of successes. So, I went to their Facebook page and there it was.

All kinds of feel-good stories, photos, everything I needed. I didn’t have to wait for someone to find the photos and stories for me, and since it was all out there on Facebook, I felt pretty safe in using it in my reports and proposals. You should look over the Facebook posts your organization made in 2016 and pull out stories, facts, and photos you can use.

2. Review 2016.
Look back over your files and records to make notes on all the grants you applied for and all the ones you missed in 2017. Make a list of those you plan to apply for again in 2017, and note any outstanding reports you need to finish. Track down everything you can on those grants and organize your files. (I always have to fight the urge to throw things in piles and sort later, but that gets me in trouble if I don’t follow through with the sorting part.)

3. Make a plan to do better in 2017.
Decide right now that you are going to be more organized and keep better records in 2017. Being more organized means starting right now to decide what grants you are going to apply for and make a plan of attack. Don’t wait until you suddenly have that head/desk moment when you realize the deadline is next week and you haven’t even started on the proposal.

There, now you have 3 things you can start on right now to make 2017 your best grant year ever.

BONUS THING TO DO NOW!   Join the Challenge!
I’ve got it all organized for you. Just join my FREE 14-day Make 2017 Your Best Grant Year EVER Challenge. I’m organizing a few of the processes and practices I have learned and used over the years to help you Make 2017 Your Best Grant Year EVER.

The Challenge will consist of 14 emails with helpful hints and challenges to help you get organized for 2017. Yes, all of 2017.

You’ll get some suggestions for how to find your best projects, get your colleagues on board with you, track your efforts, and be ready to start each day knowing what you need to do to bring in the money.

If you want to join the fun, here’s the link: Make 2017 Your Best Grant Year EVER! It’s FREE, but the deadline to join is January 9. The Challenge begins on January 10. Hurry over today and sign up.

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