Who created the Common Grant Forms? The effort was led by an inclusive group of grantmakers, technical assistance organizations, and nonprofit leaders that represented a wide array of large and grassroots organizations across many funding areas. See
Acknowledgments for a complete list of participants. The process included surveys, focus groups, beta-testing, and other strategies to make sure the forms would be user-friendly and as comprehensive as possible.
Back to Top
Using the Common Grant Forms
How do the Common Grant Forms benefit me as a grantseeker?
- The Common Grant forms are cost effective: Grantseekers are able to complete one application or report that can be tailored to meet the reporting needs of multiple grantmakers, freeing up more time to focus on mission, instead of spending time complying with unique application and reporting requirements.
- The Common Grant Forms lead to better grant applications and reports: The teams that created the forms strove to eliminate repetitions between the application and the reporting document, creating more succinct and streamlined tools. The intention is to provide grantseekers the opportunity to tell their story fluidly and avoid redundancies.
- The existence of a centralized location for information: The Common Grant Applications, Common Grant Report, and Userís Guides are available on a stand alone website in an easy-to-use, fillable format.
- The Common Grant Forms come with supplemental materials: Userís Guides have been created to accompany the Common Grant Application and Report. These comprehensive documents provide clarity on the intention of each component of the forms and offer resources for further exploration and education.
Back to Top
If a grantmaker accepts one or all of the Common Grant Forms, does that imply they donít have special requirements of their own? No. While many grantmakers will use the Common Grant Forms as a stand alone tool, others will choose to adapt it to meet their own needs. This is why it is critical that each grantseeker research each grantmakerís application and reporting requirements.
Is it possible that grantmakers will accept the Common Grant Forms and also have their own format? Yes. Some grantmakers will only use a Common Grant Form for their application and/or reporting requirements. Others give grantseekers the choice of submitting a Common Grant Form OR an application or reporting format stipulated by the grantmaker.
Are the Common Grant Forms submitted to grantmakers online through this website? No. You are able to download the forms online, save them to your computer, but then you must submit them to a particular grantmaker. If a grantmaker has an online application and reporting process, they will provide you with specific instructions regarding their process.
Will you help me find a grant? No. Nonprofit grant guides and many other grant-writing resources are available in the community. This website is not staffed and as such it is unable to mail, e-mail, recommend, or distribute your CGAs or CGR to grantmakers.
Who do I contact if I have questions about the Common Grant Forms? There is no single person to contact regarding questions about the Common Grant Forms. Part of the reason for developing the Userís Guides was to provide clarity on the questions asked. It is always appropriate to contact specific grantmakers with questions that arise when applying or reporting to them.
How do I sign up to use the Common Grant Forms? You do not need to sign up or register with any organization or person to use the Common Grant Forms.
How can I control access to my information? You are in control of your information. This website does not store your information, nor does it distribute or forward your information on to others.
Back to Top
What are the benefits of the Common Grant Forms for grantmakers?
- The forms are designed to result in succinct and streamlined applications that avoid duplicative and meaningless responses.
- By accepting Common Grant Forms you allow grantseekers to spend more time focused on mission and less time complying with multiple grant applications and reporting requirements.
- The Userís Guides add clarity to the process and hopefully answer many of the questions that you and your staff had to field regarding application or report preparation. The Userís Guide is designed to mitigate fears many grantseekers have about the grantmaking process by being as transparent and articulate as possible about what grantmakers are looking for. The Userís Guides also provide a critical body of knowledge and reinforce the Colorado Nonprofit Associationís Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado. The beta-testing revealed that grantmakers and grantseekers found the Userís Guide extremely helpful in improving the clarity and quality of grant applications and reports.
- The stand alone website houses all of the Common Grant Forms and provides a ďone-stop shopĒ for grantmakers and grantseekers. Grantmakers are encouraged to create a link on their website to the Common Grant Forms website. The CGA and CGR
logos are available for your use and can be used as a hotlink button on your website. Be sure to specify on your website any modifications you have to the Common Grant Forms to ensure applicants comply with your requirements.
- The Summary Pages for each of the forms ease data management and entry.
Back to Top
Who can use the Common Grant Forms? All grantmakers are encouraged to use the Common Grant Forms. The benefit to our nonprofit partners increases considerably as the number of grantmakers accepting the Common Grant Forms increases. You need not be based in Colorado, or even do the majority of your funding in Colorado to use these materials.
How do I get our foundation included on the Common Grant Forms website to let nonprofits know that we are accepting one or all of the Common Grant Forms? Contact the
Community Resource Center. They will periodically update ďWho Accepts These Forms?Ē.
Can groups of grantmakers use the Common Grant Forms? Of course! There is no restriction on groups of grantmakers such as associations of grantmakers, interest groups, coalitions, alliances, etc. In addition, donor advised funds and private family foundations/trusts are encouraged to use the Common Grant Forms as well.
Are there tools to help me adopt the Common Grant Forms or assist me in making changes to my processes? On the website, grantmakers will find a
Toolkit that includes sample language for communicating to grantseekers about your use of the Common Grant Forms. Our intention is to help you adopt the Common Grant Forms easily and seamlessly.
What if we want to use a modified version of the Common Grant Forms? Most grantmakers will use the Common Grant Forms as a stand alone tool, while others will choose to adapt it to meet the needs of their organization. It is perfectly okay to adapt the Common Grant Forms to your needs and requirements. Grantseekers are instructed throughout this website, as well as in trainings to ďalways check your grantmakers website for specific instructions.Ē
Can I accept the CGA or CGR in addition to our own guidelines? Yes. Some grantmakers will only accept the CGA or CGR (i.e., it is the only application and reporting mechanism they use). Other foundations give nonprofits the choice of submitting a Common Grant Form OR an application or final report in a format specific to the grantmaker.
We have current application and/or reporting guidelines. How do we make the switch to the new CGA and/or CGR? We encourage you to consider providing a 6 Ė 12 month transition period during which you will accept either the CGA and/or CGR or the foundationís previous application or reporting requirements. It may be challenging for nonprofits to have to immediately prepare a new CGA/CGR. Many foundations will simply send an email, postcard or letter to their current and former grantees alerting them to the change. These communications generally include the first date on which the grantmaker will accept or require the CGA or CGR. The
Grantmaker Toolkit provides sample language for communicating with your nonprofit partners to make this step as easy as possible for you.
Are there Common Grant Forms logos and how do I use them? Yes, there are! The logos were created to help identify and brand the Common Grant Forms among grantmakers and nonprofits. We encourage you to use the logos on your website and in any print materials that you have. The
logo is available in the
Back to Top