Start From The Beginning
Solving post-award activities (all the things you are required to do after you accept or award a grant) is important, but if you don't address the steps that lead up to this stage you won't see sustained improvement. The organizations that sustain high levels of performance attack grant management comprehensively. They start at the beginning and address three important needs along the way:
After collecting data from tens of thousands of individuals across the public sector we discovered what really makes grant management so difficult. Lack of training. The less training you provide the more risk you introduce into your grant process.
Here is data from one common example - finding and applying for a grant - and how lack of training impacts both the applicant and funder.
- 213 different position titles research grants
- 167 different position titles create grant applications, including the grant budget
- 69% not trained before taking on grant activities
What does this mean? It means there is lack of training and consistent process ownership early in the grant life cycle among organizations pursuing grants. This leads to overly complex processes and disparate systems, and a lack of standardization around common grant activities, which in turn, drives poor downstream performance. For many organizations this translates into high administrative costs, poor program performance and audit findings. If you are the funder it means that the purpose of the grant program might not be achieved.
Organizations often miss addressing training at the start of the grant process. Use the free resources on this page to help you address your training needs, or check out our expert training tool. If you would like helpful grant information emailed to you directly subscribe to our blog.
Resource: Uniform Guidance Training Videos
The Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) represents the most sweeping federal grant reform in 50 years. Learn what that means for all federal grant recipients.
- VIDEOS: The Uniform Guidance Simplified
- VIDEOS: The Uniform Guidance Fundamentals
- VIDEOS: Question & Answers about Indirect Costs
- VIDEOS: Uniform Guidance Training
- VIDEOS: Uniform Guidance Indirect Cost Training
- VIDEOS: COFAR Promising Practices
2. Standardize Your Process
The more grants an organization manages the more it needs to standardize its process. Unfortunately, that has not been the trend. Grant management today is a mix of disparate systems and complex processes across departments and stages of the grant life cycle.
This lack of standardization has made it difficult for many organizations to access information, provide support and make informed decisions. Even the most basic of information, such as federal grant awards by department, cannot be produced without significant, disruptive effort to an organization. When turnover occurs these processes breakdown even more.
The more standardization you create within your organization the better your performance will become. Use the resources below to help get the training and perspective you need to successfully improve your grant management process.
Resource: The 3 Keys To Better Grant Management
Download our guide to an effective grant funding strategy to learn how to develop the 3 key characteristics every successful government entity shares.
We've provided you a library of resources to help improve your grant management process. Download them for free.
For the Beginner - Defining the Basics
Learn about competitive, formula, continuation, and pass-through grants to help you search for sources of grant revenue.
Become familiar with the acronyms most frequently used by grantor agencies.
While there are many other myths out there, the following resource should be a good start to setting the record straight.
"Dr. Bev" talks about building your nonprofit organization’s capacity to apply for grants. This is a must read.
For the Administrator - How to Think About Process
Focus on finding the right grant funding opportunities and better proposal development.
In today’s digital, connected world the consumption of data simply exceeds the capabilities of spreadsheets.
"Dr. Bev" discusses how to expand your realm of potential funders to meet some of those smaller line item needs.
Forms and Handouts - Support Your Process
An internal form to track key grant information for state and federal grants you intend to pursue.
A free internal risk assessment form to determine if you should pursue a grant.
Create an internal system of application approval, accounting, financial administration and reporting of grants.
For more resources download our papers.
Case Studies About Getting Started
Here are some examples of organzations that have taken steps to improve their grant management process.
Learn how the City of Goodyear, AZ, created organizational transparency leading to better financial performance.
Centralized Grants Office
Learn how Osage Nation's Office of Strategic Planning & Grants Management centralized their support services to drive success.
Learn how Madison, WV executed a strategy to help transform the local economy and bring together the mayor, city council, and business leaders.