October 2007 Featured Article
Grant Management at Its Best
Arione Jordan, President of the New Jersey Chapter
American Association of Grant Professionals
The grants process in general can be a tedious and challenging task. Many think: “I have received the grant NOW WHAT?” Often times the “now what” can lead to frustration, discouragement and non-compliance. Prior to receiving any grants, the proper management, reporting tools and responsibilities should be established. Grants management and reporting can be ambiguous tasks to say the least, but the use of proper management tools and other resources will make it easier for all parties involved on different levels. Ensuring that reporting for fiscal, programmatic and statistical purposes to funders can determine how successful you will be for future funding from the same and or new sources. Having in place effective policies and procedures to follow for all of your grants will prove for positive growth and should ultimately give you more time to either secure new funding or increase current funding. Using tools such as submission calendars, grants schedules, report schedules, grant writing plans and etcetera will only help in the process.
Keys to Success:
- Take the lead in your organization’s management, reporting, program planning and proposal development process; whether formally or informally. Whether you are the organization’s primary grant writer or you provide assistance to a number of grant writers, direct and facilitate the process from beginning to end: from fleshing out ideas and assisting with program design, to identifying funding sources and writing proposals, all the way through to proposal submission.
- Know your role as the recipient of the grant award and explicitly communicate that role to all parties involved with the grant. Clearly defining what your grant person can and cannot do during the grants process is invaluable.
- Make compliance a priority. It’s one thing to scrutinize a grant proposal before submission to the funding agency to make sure that funding guidelines and RFP instructions are followed to the letter, it’s quite another to be just as meticulous and diligent in monitoring a grant-funded program after the grant has been awarded and funds received. The ethical and legal obligations required of recipients of grant funding must be taken very seriously. These requirements can be numerous and complicated, especially for those receiving federal funds. However, meeting these financial and administrative obligations are the responsibility of all organizations as good stewards of grant funds. A grants office must champion the culture of compliance within the organization.
- Develop a “Policy and Procedure Guide” for grant submissions and reporting.
- Communicate. Talk often to employees, program staff and administrators within your organization. Grants are often misunderstood. Sharing your knowledge will help you to manage the expectations of others, craft an institutional grants process that runs methodically and smoothly, and will help you succeed at procuring grant funding for your organization.
Whether managing 5 or 50 grants, a well-established grants process is the key to developing successful grant proposals and successfully administering grant-funded projects.
For more information about Grant Management contact the National Grants Management Association at (703) 648-9023, or online at www.ngma.org.