Transcript Episode 112

Transcript Episode 112- TPN 112 – Demystifying Federal Grants with Patrice Davis on The Prosperous Nonprofit

[00:00:00] Stephanie Skryzowski: Hey there. If you’re looking for the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast, you’re in the right place after a hundred amazing episodes, we’re changing things up to serve you the most inspiring content in a fresh new way. Thanks for being here and keep listening.

Welcome to the prosperous nonprofit, the podcast for leaders who are building financially sustainable and impactful nonprofits and changing the world. I’m Stephanie Kowski, a Chief financial Officer and founder and c e O of 100 Degrees Consulting. My personal mission is to empower leaders to better understand their.

To grow their impact and their income. On this show, we talk to people who are leading the nonprofit sector in new, innovative, disruptive, and entrepreneurial ways, creating organizations that fuel their lives, their hearts, and their communities. Let’s dive in.[00:01:00] 

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the show. Today I’m talking to my friend Patrice Davis, and I feel like I introduce everyone as my friend. Well, they are all my friends. Nobody I talk to on this show, nobody that I put in front of you all is a stranger to me. I know them in some way, shape or form. So they’re all my friends.

But Patrice Davis is a friend of mine and she. Forensic, a company called Grants Works, and they really specialize in government grants and helping nonprofit organizations manage government grants. And I know that government grants are a pain point for a lot of people. Either they’re like, too scary, so we’re not gonna go after them at all.

Or we happen to get one, but now we like, don’t know what to do with ourselves. Um, so it’s one of those things where it’s like, Yeah, I feel like we start talking about government grants and people’s eyes glaze over immediately. Well, Patrice breaks everything down for us in this episode and really shifts our thinking from.

You know, thinking that this is something that’s [00:02:00] very limited and there’s not many of them. I mean, there’s a lot of money out there, and she shares some interesting opportunities and some interesting ways to get some government grants on your plate. So this was a great episode. We’ve got lots of good resources for you, but let me just tell you a little bit about Patrice before we dive in.

Patrice Davis is a founder and c e o of Grants Works a government grant consulting company in Atlanta. She’s also the founder and lead trainer for grants. Academy, an online source of on demand federal grant management training. And just a little side note here, I checked out Grants Works Academy. There is a lodge in there.

She shares with us a link. If you just go to grants works, you’ll see you can get a free training from her. And then she’s got nine other programs available. So if you wanna think about government grants, definitely check. Okay. Patrice became adept at managing government grants in various positions at large in emerging nonprofits, and at a top research university.

She also reviewed grant continuation applications [00:03:00] as a federal employee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before launching Grants Works in 2020, she was a senior director of federal grants for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, where she managed an insured compliance for a $54 million federal grant portfolio.

Can you imagine managing 54 million in federal grants? Woo. She served as a fiscal consultant during site monitoring visits of state agencies, and conducted numerous training sessions and webinars on how to find and apply for federal grants, uniform guidance and laws at authorized grant funding. Over her career, she successfully acquired and managed over 131 million in primary and sub awards from several large found.

Corporations and 18 local, state, and federal agencies. Okay. Patrice, you did not mention this during our call that you’ve raised over 131 million in grants. Oh my goodness. Okay. This woman knows what she’s talking about. In 2021, she launched Grants Works [00:04:00] Academy to help nonprofits and businesses enhanced their capacity to.

Find, apply for and manage federal and other government grants. She enjoys spending time with her three children, reading international fiction and personal development books, watching foreign films, international travel resistance training, and practicing vinyasa yoga. So Patrice is very multifaceted, and you’ll find that in our conversation today.

It is awesome, and if you’ve ever thought about federal grants as a potential for your organization, I encourage you to jump in and listen to this episode.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m very excited to have my friend Patrice Davis on the show with me today. Welcome, pa. Hi. 

[00:04:47] Patrice Davis: Well, and thank you so much. Glad to be here. 

[00:04:49] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes, well, I am really excited to chat with you and actually to learn more about you. We’re in the Mastermind together and I feel like we haven’t really gotten a chance to kind of sit down and chat.

So I’m excited for [00:05:00] the opportunity today and I would love for you to tell me, I wanna hear about your journey, like how you got to where you are right now. But why don’t you tell us about your company and what your company. 

[00:05:12] Patrice Davis: Sure. So, um, to keep it really, um, short and sweet. So Grants Works is a consulting company that, uh, specializes in helping, um, nonprofits, um, government entities, educational institutions and businesses find, apply for, manage and comply with government grants.

And so that’s local government grants, state government grants, and of course federal government grants. And we provide services on both the pre-award side and the post-award side. I’ll be more than happy to jump into our, uh, services a little bit more if you’d like, but that is really the gist of 

[00:05:46] Stephanie Skryzowski: what we.

Awesome. And I remember you sharing at one of our mastermind retreats, like people just don’t understand how much money is out there when it comes to government grants. Um, and so I love that you [00:06:00] have made this your, your job. It’s to help connect the people, the organizations with the money. Mm-hmm. How did you get to, like, where did the company come from?

What did your journey look like to get you to this point where you’re running this amazing. Sure. 

[00:06:13] Patrice Davis: So, um, so Grants Works came out of, um, so I worked, um, as a senior director of federal grants for a very, very large organization, boys and Girls Clubs of America, and they received multi multimillion dollars of federal grants each year.

And I was responsible, my team and I for ensuring, you know, making sure they were compliant. And then, but before, before then, of course I’d worked in other grant management roles and I decided, um, you know, why don’t I use the expertise that I have to launch a consulting company that focuses on grant management.

So many of us are aware about, you know, of what grant writers do. For those of you who aren’t aware, a grant writer are the folks that focus on the pre-award side. Grant managers can work with grant writers and do a lot of things, but we really focus on making sure you keep your [00:07:00] grant once you get it.

And so that’s what I did. I decided to use the expertise I’d had working at the C D C as a public health analyst reviewing grants working. You know, organizations like the Carter Center, um, being their first grant compliance, um, official, and just using all of that experience in those different environments to, you know, service, uh, provide services to large and emerging organizations.

We love what we’re doing and. We’re very bold about the fact that we are federal grant specialists. We’re not trying to be like others. We are, you know, strictly in the, um, government, uh, grant space. But of course we do provide services for foundation grants as well. I do. It is really interesting. I actually come from marketing.

I used to be a marketing manager. Wow. 

[00:07:42] Stephanie Skryzowski:

[00:07:42] Patrice Davis: didn’t know that. Yeah. Yeah, I used to manage my, um, international marketing campaigns and um, uh, you know, when my, when one of my kids was getting up, you know, going to middle school, I said, you know what? I need to find part-time work. And at the time, nonprofits were the place where I could find part-time work, and that’s how I fell into grant management.[00:08:00] 

[00:08:00] Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh my gosh, I totally didn’t know that. Wow. That’s so interesting. How would you say your experience in marketing has served the work that you do now? 

[00:08:11] Patrice Davis: You know, it’s so interesting. That’s an excellent question. I think it’s helped me in number one, being very, very clear about the way I communicate about our services and about myself into like, you know, out in the world.

So many of us know that when we have a company, of course, you have to promote, right? But. I am very, very aware of how we promote, really, really keen on establishing our company as, um, you know, experts. We all do, but just really being clear about the messaging and understanding that, you know, the way you present yourself externally can attract clients.

And thankfully that’s worked to our benefit. And so, yeah, I definitely think that marketing background, um, has been helpful in, you know, again, attract clients now. One of the things that we did when we. When I started the business, what I immediately started doing was [00:09:00] writing. Um, I’m pretty good at writing.

Um, and so I decided to start writing blogs, write blogs about things like the American Rescue Plan Act so people know what it is, right? But I know how to write it in a way that it’s, you know, easily digestible. Um, so that folks aren’t, like, your eyes aren’t rolling in the back of their heads trying to figure it out.

But the fact of the matter is we really wanna make sure we’re writing in a way that people understand the grant funding that come from some of these laws. Mm-hmm. 

[00:09:26] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, that’s, I mean, yeah, what a huge skill. I just think about like anybody else, anyone who’s listening that is, you know, thinking about making a leap or has made a leap.

Um, there’s always that like connective, that connective tissue between one, you know, one sort of work that you’ve done to the next. So I love how you’ve been able to, um, to carry that with you. Okay. When we’re talking about federal grants mm-hmm. People like don’t want, like their eyes glaze over. It’s a very difficult like thing to comprehend.

I get that with finance all the time [00:10:00] and I, I have had two conversations sort of recently with one client who was like, Yeah, we wanna like, prepare ourselves so that maybe in a few years we’d be ready for federal grants. And I sort of pushed back like, well, why aren’t you ready now? Yeah. Like we, uh, you could get a federal grant right now.

There’s nothing that says you need three years of runway to prepare yourself. Mm-hmm. And then I’ve also had other clients that are like, oh, we, we’ll never do federal grants. We don’t, we don’t want to. It’s too complicated. It’s too complex. Mm-hmm. And, I’ve worked in a lot of federal grants on the, you know, finance side of nonprofits and it’s doozy, but I know that you can make it really easy to understand.

So how are you sort of shifting the narrative around federal grants for nonprofits? 

[00:10:48] Patrice Davis: Oh, great. Another great question, Stephanie. So the way that I shift the narrative is to focus on training. So I always. Start out by explaining that federal grants, um, [00:11:00] yes, they do require, you know, more administrative, um, work.

But if your organization of the people that are responsible for managing that grant have the appropriate training, then it’s, and it’s a doozy. Now, I won’t say a doozy that’s, I should never use that term when we were talking about federal grants, but it’s just definitely easier to comprehend. So if an organization is interested in pursuing a federal, They absolutely can, uh, pursue the grant and then work as, you know, once they’re rewarded towards making sure that they can, of course, meet the requirements.

Um, they’re of course gonna be, you know, program requirements that any Grant w are gonna, um, ask you to adhere to. But it’s really the financial and the organizational structure, things that kind of, uh, intimidate folks. Um, but if you have, uh, an appropriate financial management system, and if you work with Stephanie, I’m sure you do, your financial management system is really gonna be the crux of, uh, where the, the compliance elements kind of come in.

Can you record four or [00:12:00] five different grants and then basically apply the expenses to the right. That’s, you know, that’s, uh, that’s a part of it. And of course you need to have certain, uh, policies and procedures. I don’t wanna bore folks, but these are standard policies and procedures that you’re gonna need anyway.

Many of them are. Mm-hmm. And you know, I always say that when you ramp up your organizational processes to align with any government grant, then you’re, you know, really good place, um, for any kind of funding. So, That’s the really, really the way I, I approach it. Really focus on training, making sure you get the information upfront.

Don’t assume that the grant writer can manage the grant. Just making sure that you have, you know, uh, resources in place to really keep an eye on, on your requirements. 

[00:12:43] Stephanie Skryzowski: I love how you simplified that because it really doesn’t have to be that difficult. It doesn’t, and it feels scary. And I know I’ve gotten lost in some of the, you know, grant agreements and rules and policies and things, but like, it doesn’t have to be that [00:13:00] hard.

And like I said, I know that you mentioned during our mastermind that mm-hmm there’s a lot of money out there that people and organizations are simply not taking advantage of. Mm-hmm. So, Tell me more about these giant pots of money. Like where are they, how do we find them? Who are they for? Like what types of organizations?

Um, yeah, tell, tell us more about that. 

[00:13:22] Patrice Davis: Yeah, so free money. That’s what grants our guys. Let’s remember that. And so, There was a lot of quote, unquote free bunny that has been released from the federal government. Um, a lot of it of course, happened during the pandemic and a good amount of it was, uh, part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

And. I can’t emphasize enough how much money was, uh, released from that law to, uh, local city and county governments and state governments around the country. Guys, they have so much money that they’re, they’re basically trying to [00:14:00] extend what we call sub-awards as quickly as they can. Of course, they’re gonna be diligent about it, but are there, um, application processes are gonna be, are they gonna be as challenging or I won’t say challenging?

Are there government, their application. He’s gonna be the same as they were maybe four or five years ago. No, I’ve seen, uh, grant funding, you know, where they’re like, please fill out this like, six question, um, survey almost. And they of course wanna make sure that you have the. You know that you’re not, that you’re, you know, a legitimate organization in whatever ways that they’re assessing the strength of the organization, but they really are extending these awards because they are flushed with, with funding.

Um, some county and city governments are getting, uh, Funds that are way above and beyond even their annual budgets. So it’s really a lot of money. So we also have the bipartisan infrastructure law. People think it’s just about, you know, bridges, roads, you know, uh, things of that nature. Actually, there is so much grant funding for a lot of green infrastructure projects, [00:15:00] um, EV infrastructure projects, anything in the green infrastructure space.

Uh, the bipartisan infrastructure law has a ton of funding for that. Environmental re remediation, environmental justice, uh, programs. A lot of those programs are getting the funding that they, some would say they, they have needed for many, many years. And of course, that’s now being funded through that law.

The Inflation Reduction Act is a really crafty name that politicians used to get the law passed, but in fact it actually has a ton of funding, again for green infrastructure, climate change. Matters. A lot of the things that, uh, fall under sort of, you know, sustainability and, and some of those other projects are being funded by those laws.

So just remember that a lot of the grants are, are basically authorized by laws. And that’s part of the reason why I like to write about them because I hope to kind of break it down so people can see the connection between the law and the grant. And then of course, the funding on the. 

[00:15:59] Stephanie Skryzowski: Mm-hmm. [00:16:00] Yeah. That’s amazing.

And I feel like how in the world would people know about this? I’m like, I work with nonprofits all the time and I, I work with a lot of organizations that have federal grants. Mm-hmm. But it’s like that, um, if they’re like, yeah. How do, how do organizations go about finding what money might be available to them?

Is this the point where, They need to invest in either a company like yours or potentially a grant writer or something to help identify that funding. Like how do they figure out where it is and how they get it? 

[00:16:32] Patrice Davis: Yeah, so they would basically invest in a grant writer or a company like mine. Even though that, even though, uh, we specialize in grant management, we also, we really specialize in everything having to do with government grants.

So, You would, you know, find a grant writer and ask them to prepare what’s called a grant prospect research report. And they are basically going to, you know, scan the funding, um, landscape to find out what government grants, assuming you only were interested in government grants, or sometimes they can do a combination of the two.

Maybe [00:17:00] you want them to do a repo, a report of all the foundation grants and maybe. State government grants that are available, maybe foundation grants and maybe federal grants, and have them really understand what the funding landscape is and prepare the report. You guys can use that to plan out your grant seeking for like the next year or two years.

Um, that’s typically what we do. We actually prepare a report, um, And it’s pretty in depth. It’s an executive summary. It’s the chart, it’s everything that you would expect from, um, a report like that. And, and our clients really, really love it because they’re able, again, to plan out their grant seeking not just this year, but if sometimes, um, into the next year as well.

[00:17:40] Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh yeah, I love that. And I feel like, you know, grant funding, while there are definitely strings attached mm-hmm. A lot of times you can’t just spend every penny the way that you want. Um, it does provide that like longevity and sustainability of your organization. Cuz a lot of times these grants are multi-year.

Um, I work with [00:18:00] one client who has a lot of grants. They’re not government grants. Most of them are foundation and, you know, grants like that, but they’re usually like, To sometimes three, four years. Mm-hmm. So it’s like they already are going into the next year with a pipeline of revenue in place versus like January 1st.

Okay. We’re starting from zero. Mm-hmm. Yet again. Mm-hmm. Um, so I feel like that’s a huge advantage. And so I love that as you’re doing that prospect research, you’ve got, you know, you’re helping kind of put together that potential pipeline for. Future years And are, are there, I mean, I’m, there’s like a ton of advantages, but is that something that you talk about that sort of, you know, sustainability and multi-year funding mm-hmm.

In terms of one of the advantages of grants? 

[00:18:45] Patrice Davis: Absolutely. And that’s, I’m so glad you brought that up too. So that is one of the se quote unquote selling points, if you wanna use that term, um, of federal grants or, or, or any government grants, um, is typically, uh, many of them are gonna be multi-year as Stephanie.

Um, so [00:19:00] they’re gonna be two years, even up to five years actually, we submitted an application for a university that was a 10 year grant up to 150 million. Wow. Um, for one grant. And the reason. Wow. Yeah. So, so imagine applying for a grant. Um, You are not having to apply again the next year, um, because you’ve already been funded for, let’s say, a three year award, a four year award, a five year award.

However, what they’re gonna probably want you to do is submit a report, basically demonstrating how you’ve been successful with the first, um, um, amount. And then they would, you know, um, Extend the second year. Um, and that’s, you know, so these multi-year awards really, really help organizations think through, um, how they can enhance their impact, how they can expand on programs, just so many things that they can do because they can think far into the future and aren’t really just kind of planning on a year by year basis.

[00:19:53] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. That’s so good. That’s such a challenge for so many organizations, is that January 1st we’re [00:20:00] starting over, we’re starting from zero, and we gotta like get to that 3 million or whatever. Mm-hmm. Um, so I love that it sounds like. Getting some of these grants requires a bit of an investment on the organization side to get the right expertise to help you to identify the opportunities potentially to write the grant.

Because I know that grant writing, especially for, I mean grant writing in general, is this. Specialized, you know, specialized expertise as well as federal grants, probably even more specialized. So there’s an investment upfront. Um, do you often encounter nonprofits who are. So cost conscious, like probably to a fault a lot of times.

Um, is there pushback on that investment or do you find you often have to convince them, listen, if you spend like X amount with us, we can, there’s a potential to like 10 x this if we get the grant. Like, do you encounter that pushback on the initial investment? 

[00:20:57] Patrice Davis: Um, you know, I do, and that’s part of the reason why I [00:21:00] created Grants Fors Academy because I realize that sometimes organizations may not be able to take on our services.

Um, and so why not create training that they can consume on their time, you know, it’s gonna cost less, but still have, you know, obviously a huge return on investment because they’re able to get the information and then when they are ready to work with us, they are or may maybe are already on their path to becoming government grant.

So yes, we do work with some, um, organizations that sometimes are really focused on the costs on the front end, but I always remind them if you get the training that you need on the front end, um, number one, you avoid, um, you know, the additional cost of hiring a consultant, number one. Number two, if you’re ever audited, and guys, this goes for either a foundation grant or a government grant.

If you’re audited, um, you avoid a lot of. Really large expenses that comes with having to develop, you know, corrective action plans and some of these other things because you do the training on the front end. So pay for, [00:22:00] uh, 1500 to, you know, $2,000 training to avoid a $20,000, uh, fix on on the backend. So that’s how we typically present it, to make sure that they focus on being proactive and less on reacting to situations as they.

[00:22:17] Stephanie Skryzowski: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I love that. Mm-hmm. I just feel like, um, in the sector, we’re not investing in ourselves as leaders and in the, our organizations enough. Mm-hmm. And this is an investment that could potentially like, get a 10 x or a hundred x return, that it’s so important. And I just feel like we don’t, like, there’s just not enough investment.

We’re just, we’re trying to pinch our pennies too much. And I wanna change that because it’s, it’s important. 

[00:22:45] Patrice Davis: So if I can quickly add to that, you know, I think it’s so interesting when I, my first job, as I said, I started in marketing, my first job at a nonprofit was working for a small nonprofit here in Atlanta.

By the way, guys, I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, and I only worked 20 hours a week. Again, I was trying to make [00:23:00] sure I was available for my family. And they knew, okay, 85% of our revenue comes from, uh, different kinds of government grants. Now, I won’t debate whether 85% of you know, an organization’s revenue coming from different kind of, you know, from one source, whether that’s a good thing or not.

But they understood that 85% comes from government grants. And so they made sure that I received the training I needed, um, and they, you know, created a position for, you know, to be, to have someone that was gonna be a steward of their, uh, government grant. So I always think about just the vision of that executive director understanding that she needed to have someone in place that was going to be taking care of.

You know, managing the budgets, making sure that we submitted reports on time. A lot of organizations want to operate, um, as they always have, and sometimes that’s not gonna be enough to be able to, you know, take on larger sources of funding. You have to change, you have to be willing to invest in [00:24:00] training.

And, um, yeah. So I’ll leave it, I’ll leave it there for. 

[00:24:04] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, I do think that’s super forward thinking of that leader. Mm-hmm. Um, and it totally makes sense. Like, hey, where does most of our money come from? Great. Let’s pour some more resources into that to make sure that that doesn’t change and that we don’t lose that.

So I think that’s super smart and I just feel like sometimes we are. Thinking in too much of a shortsighted way, like we’re trying to save a dollar now. Mm-hmm. Um, but it’s really going to cost us like a thousand dollars down the line.

Do you feel a bit clueless when it comes to your nonprofit’s financial health? Numbers aren’t your strong suit and you feel in the dark as to whether or not your organization has the financial foundation to be around for the long haul. Financial health and sustainability is about more than just how much cash you have in the bank.

It could be confusing to know which numbers mean what, so I’ve created the financial health checkup for you. [00:25:00] This simple spreadsheet will walk you through five important financial. That will give you a crystal clear picture of how your organization stacks up, and the best part is no math required. Head over to 100 degrees to get your financial health checkup.

So, how would you say, I feel like a lot of times in the nonprofit sector we’re like kind of old school and we, but like, not in a good way. Like we’re sl we’re slow to like pick up on, you know, on different trends and ideas and innovations and things like that. So what are you seeing, um, you know, either the way that you work with organizations or maybe some of the organizations that you work with, what are some like new or innovative or.

Disruptive things that you are seeing happen in the grant space right now? 

[00:25:55] Patrice Davis: You know, um, in the grant space. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you, I, I’m so excited [00:26:00] with all your questions. Stephanie. You know what I’m seeing a lot of, and I’m so glad, and this really kind of leans, this kind of touches on some of the things we talked about, about some organizations feeling intimidated, um, uh, about federal and other government grants.

So what’s been happening is the federal government understands that there is. Whole sector of grassroots and sometimes emerging organizations, sometimes even mid-size organizations and rural governments that cannot tap into this huge amount of federal funding. So what they’re actually doing now is they’re starting to fund technical assistance centers.

So what they’re doing is literally releasing grants for organizations that have the capacity. To create technical assistance centers and those technical assistance centers will find, uh, you know, companies like mine that will provide that, you know, one-on-one technical assistance for organizations, um, or find grant writers that can help them prepare grant competitive grant proposals or find again [00:27:00] organizations like mine that can actually train them once they receive the award.

This is being funded by the federal government. Uh, Bloomberg Philanthropies also has a, like a national TA kind of support system that they’re developing. So this is happening. I’m, I’m actually a part of something similar called the Justice 40 Accelerator. They actually receive funding from, Let’s say a consortia of private foundations that exists to ensure that a lot of grassroots and other organizations can access TA from companies like mine.

So this is happening around the country, and again, this is also in place to make sure rural governments, um, who are sometimes um, understaffed, um, it may not have the in-house expertise to apply for the government funding they sorely need. That’s something that’s innovative. I’m really excited about that because the need is there and um, it’s just having that additional resource will be helpful.

[00:27:58] Stephanie Skryzowski: That’s really interesting. So [00:28:00] basically the federal government is funding this other organization that pays you to then help other, like smaller organizations that otherwise. Be able to figure out how to access the funds or whatever. I see. Exactly. Mm-hmm. 

[00:28:15] Patrice Davis: That’s cool. It is really cool. Um, so, uh, that’s something that I’m seeing more and more of.

Um, and actually I helped an organization, one of the services we provide is, you know, grant writing, of course in, in application support. And that’s one of the, uh, grants we applied for. It was a 10 million e p a grant, um, that this organization applied for. We’re hoping to hear very soon that they receive the funding.

You know, I’m, I’m really, really happy that this is happening because too many organizations are intimidated by federal grants. They’re missing out on huge amounts of money, um, that could really, really, um, expand their impact. Mm-hmm. 

[00:28:52] Stephanie Skryzowski: And is like, so the grant management work that you do, is that the expense for that?

Is that built into the grant [00:29:00] budget? 

[00:29:00] Patrice Davis: Um, actually, you know what? That’s a great question. You’re good, Stephanie. No, no. So it’s built into, so what they do is that yes, they do build into the grant. The grantee, if they receive it, say they receive a 10 million award, they insert it into the grant budget. A number of, um, experts, um, they of course can’t identify who they are because, and this is where it gets wonky.

There’s certain procurement processes. Yes. Right. There’s been ways that they have to procure services, um, in a really, in a, in a certain way. And so you can’t say, okay. We’re gonna hire Grants Works, we’re gonna hire a a B C company. You have to basically identify the cost overall. And then, you know, once the organization receives the funds, then they have to go through like this little process to select, uh, a vendor the, the right way.

[00:29:48] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes. Right, exactly. Yeah. So they go through their procurement, where they’re sourcing bids, and then you’re choosing which one based on certain criteria and you’re documenting it all. Mm-hmm. Um, but [00:30:00] basically the cost of mm-hmm. The grant manager, whoever it might end up being, whether it’s you or whether, you know, it’s, it’s somebody else that’s built into the grant budget.

It is, it is. Mm-hmm. That’s, that’s really interesting cuz I feel like nonprofits might be thinking Okay. I can’t afford somebody to manage this grant, so why even get it? It’s not really free money, but actually the cost of that grant management is built into the grant. So like, it is, it is, you don’t have the cost unless you get the grant.

Um, so I think that’s just a huge shift in thinking that nonprofits, so if you’re listening nonprofit leaders, something to think about is mm-hmm. You’re not gonna pay, you know, 50 grand or whatever it is for a grant manager unless you actually get the money. Um, so. That’s interesting. Do you, do you talk, I mean, I’m sure you do.

I’m sure you talk about that with, with any prospective clients. 

[00:30:51] Patrice Davis: Yeah. And so, yeah, absolutely. Now, one of the great things, um, about, you know, our services and maybe others that, you know, do the work that we do is, there are a [00:31:00] couple things. Number one, sometimes when a companies. Hire us. We provide the service that they ask for.

Of course, we provide anything above and beyond. But we also, we, we believe so much in training that we always advocate that we will train them so that they’re not, you know, reliant on our services. We don’t want them to, we want them to have the added capacity of managing their grant. We want them to eventually hire a part-time grant manager if that’s where they need to start, or hire a grant management team.

Um, so one of our clients is, uh, a large organization in the northeast. 18 government grants, and that’s grants from the local government, the state government, and the federal government and no grant manager. Right. And so we are working with them. We love working with them, but our goal is to make sure that they receive the training or their new grant manager receives a training so that we are there to provide additional support, but not be their only support and.

Something that’s really important, um, to do, just, you know, think ahead and, and do like that executive director I told you [00:32:00] about that had that great vision, she hired a part-time grant manager and that was me. And, um, they always were able to get their grants renewed every year. 

[00:32:08] Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that. And I think that’s also encouraging that this is something that can be learned with the appropriate training.

Like the work that you put out, Patrice in your company, um, with that training. You don’t have to, you know, have a doctorate in something specific to be able to manage these grants. Like there’s training available, there are things that you can learn to be able to manage grants effectively. Mm-hmm. Um, because I feel like that’s probably a scary point for some organiz.

To, well, there’s some expertise. I don’t have to degree in this, I dunno how to do this. Well, that’s exactly why you, you provide training. So do you have, so you’ve got the wor the grant management work that you actually do with your clients and then you also have a course. Is that right? Yeah, 

[00:32:51] Patrice Davis: we have, yeah, we have.

So Grants Works Academy is a, an entire site, uh, basically a suite of grant management training, not just grants. Some [00:33:00] of it is about grant read. So there are nine courses, actually, one is a three module course, um, that is very similar to one that we developed for federal agency. So it’s a three module course about federal grants.

The first module is federal Grants Basics. We go through the history and, you know, the difference between a grant and cooperative agreement, you know, different things. The second one is really, uh, the crux of what grant management is about. And we go into managing your award budget, um, understanding the terms of your award.

And then the third part is really. Uh, some of the other things as it relates to grant management. So nine courses. The great thing about it is that we decided to put it all into a membership plan that you can access and train your, our, your team. So one of the things that we typically do when we communicate to our audience is get the training.

Maybe have a, you know, a luncheon learn every month you and your team train, and then, you know, you’re just increasing your. Old staff or whatever, whatever team needs to get this increased knowledge over time. [00:34:00] No one’s expecting you to learn this immediately. Um, just, you know, get the training and then enhance your, your knowledge so that you feel more confident, um, you know, applying for a government grant.

Or managing the one you already have. I do wanna point out there are a lot of organizations that received their first federal grant and did not realize how, what, you know, what the responsibilities are. And they’re shocked. They’re like, oh my god, they’re, some of them are freaking out. No need to freak out.

If you get the training, um, then you’ll have all the information you need to be able to manage it, um, appropriately. 

[00:34:31] Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that so much. I have, um, one organization that I work with right now that I’m like, I think I need to connect you with them. Cause they’ve got probably like 10 or 12 million in federal grants right now.

Like two or two or three big ones. Mm-hmm. And you know, they’ve got a handful of people who. Serve other roles in the organization. Also sort of managing the grant at the same time. But I just, I could just imagine like how much smoother it would all go if there’s one grant manager that is like managing the [00:35:00] actual grant, not just all of the programs and all of the things.

So, yeah. Um, Yeah. So one of the things connect you. 

[00:35:07] Patrice Davis: Yeah. That’s one thing I did wanna, I’m so glad you brought that up. So the grant, for those of you who aren’t aware, okay, what does a grant manager do? I’m not gonna go through all of that, but a grant manager really does serve as that central point. Your grant manager’s gonna work with your program team, your finance or accounting folks.

They’re gonna work with, um, you know, maybe the data. Person that the team that’s responsible for data, they’re that middle, that person that’s sort of helps, um, ensure that everyone’s working and collaborating to be able to meet the requirements of the grant. Um, and that’s why it’s such an, an important position to have when, especially when you have government grants, um, don’t, uh, I recommend that organizations not piece mill it in, give it, you know, give the responsibilities of four people because that causes more confusion.

Just go ahead, invest in a part-time grant manager, ramp it up to full-time when you’re available, when, when possible. Um, and of course, make sure everyone gets the training they need. Mm-hmm. 

[00:35:59] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, I love [00:36:00] that. So for anybody who’s listening and they are like, okay, I think we can do this. I think our nonprofit, we could go for a federal grant.

What is their, like what are their first couple steps? What do they need to do to start, um, yeah. To figure out like, okay, where’s the money and how do we get it? Okay, 

[00:36:18] Patrice Davis: that’s a great point. So one of the things you wanna do, as I said, you, you know, unless you have the capacity in-house, so maybe, you know, maybe there’s a development team or an advancement team.

Um, if you don’t have that capacity in-house, you definitely wanna find out what are the, um, agencies that are aligned with our services. So, for example, if you work in youth development, then maybe the grants are gonna come from maybe the US Department of UM Education, or maybe the US Department of Labor.

If you do workforce development, you first wanna find. What are the federal agencies that award grants that are aligned with our work? And then you can even do the same thing at the state level and the, and the local to government level. So at the state level, maybe there’s a, a, you know, X, Y, Z State Department of [00:37:00] Youth Services.

I’m just using that as an example. And then you just wanna find out. When they release grant announcements, maybe take a look at the one from the previous year just to see what the requirements were or what the application was like. Um, and start planning on how you can make sure your organization is prepared to submit a, a grant.

Many organizations, um, the same grant writers that you use for your foundation grants can absolutely support you. With federal grants, um, it’s just that they’re gonna need to pay, you know, close attention to those requirements. Um, some of the I I dotting and the t crossing that mm, you may need to a little bit, do a little bit more of, um, for a government grant.

We also have something called making sure that you’re government grant ready. Just like a lot of nonprofits need to be generally grant ready before they, uh, pursue a grant or at least working towards it to be government grant ready. As I was mentioning in earlier, part of our discussion really centers around your financial management system.

And, um, just [00:38:00] having certain organizational, you know, structures in place. What’s your governance, what’s your overall organizational governance look like? And enhancing that over time. But I do always, uh, tell organizations, unless they really, really aren’t, aren’t ready, don’t, you know, at least, uh, apply and then work towards becoming government grant ready, um, by the time you were awarded or very soon thereafter.

[00:38:23] Stephanie Skryzowski: Mm-hmm. That’s great. Mm-hmm. That’s very good advice. Um, I love the idea of, okay, let’s make sure our foundation is really strong before we layer on like millions of dollars with, you know, requirements that we need to make sure we’re managing, so. Mm-hmm. I think that is excellent advice. And the last question that I like to ask everybody is, what does a prosperous nonprofit look like to.

[00:38:48] Patrice Davis: Wow. So a prosperous nonprofit is a nonprofit that has revenue from, um, a number of sources. So of course they have grants, they [00:39:00] have, you know, a healthy, um, donor base, whether that’s individual, Inc. Corporate, maybe they have program income, maybe they, their, their program generates revenue, which is fabulous.

Um, maybe they also have a lot of, um, in-kind, sort of support, um, from volunteers and maybe donated items. Um, that to me is also, of course, there’s certainly value in that and, uh, successful fundraising programs. So that is what a prosperous nonprofit looks like to me. Um, and of course a very active board that actually donates as well, you know, so, so that’s a prosperous nonprofit.

Um, I, yeah, so that’s, that’s great. But I did wanna point out, I do actually have free training too, that people can. Yes, can get. Um, and it is, I’ve actually gotten really good reviews on that free training. So if anyone wanted to kind of get, you know, better understanding of federal grants, it’s free training.

Like, you know, you can go to grants works [00:40:00] and it’s, you know, I think I almost, I almost feel like I put too much information in the free training, but That’s okay. I’d rather share the information than just kind of, you know, hold it and hoard. 

[00:40:10] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes. Well, yes, because then even you’re giving people a really big picture of like, okay, what, what all, what does this entail?

And then you’ve got those nine programs, nine other courses that mm-hmm. People can kind of dig into. So, That’s amazing. Um, so it looks like your free training is grants or, right? 

[00:40:31] Patrice Davis: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And it’s federal grants simplified. Yeah. It’s the federal grant simplified free masterclass and, um, great ratings.

Um, and as a matter of fact, the training we developed for that federal agency, four and a half outta five stars guys, over 300 people have taken that training around the country. So we know federal grants. We, we actually, you know, that’s, that’s our, that’s our. As we talk about in our MAs in our mastermind program.

[00:40:58] Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes. Yes. Put over [00:41:00] it. I love it. That is your secret sauce because I feel like this is an area where people just often feel very lost and overwhelmed and inadequate and confused, and you break it down and you make it so simple. And I love all of this education that you’ve got. So, um, Patrice, thank. So much for chatting with me today about all things grants.

Everyone go check out Patrice, she’s at grants works And then if people are like, okay, we already have federal grants, but Patrice, we desperately need you in our lives, where, where can they go to learn more about your services? 

[00:41:37] Patrice Davis: Absolutely. Grants, so that’s our consulting company site.

Grants You can just send us a quick note on the contact page or you can send me an email at. Info grants And I know it’s like Grants with an S, works with an S. It’s not, you know, correct. Subject ver agreement. I know, I know. But um, [00:42:00] I know, but it’s grants and you know, you’ll get, that will come directly to our team.

[00:42:05] Stephanie Skryzowski: Awesome. Okay. Thank you so much. Grants and grants works Definitely check out Patrice, and thank you so much for being here and sharing your wisdom with us. I appreciate you. 

[00:42:16] Patrice Davis: Thank you for having me. Thank you. 

[00:42:21] Stephanie Skryzowski: Before you go, I just wanna thank you for being here. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100 degrees

That’s 100 degrees, and I’ll see you next time.