The grant management process can be daunting at first, especially for a small organization or team. However, with just a bit of time and effort, the process of furthering the work your organization believes in can be easily handled. Financial consultants Bramble and Associates break the grant management process down into seven steps, which makes implementation far more manageable.
1. Develop a Model
Everything has to start somewhere, and before you can give a grant, you have to determine who you will give it to and how. How will you have the money to fund a grant? Will a giant check be written or will the money be wired to them? What kind of work will you support? These questions and more must be answered before you can move forward.
2. Establish a Compliance System
Once you determine the purpose of your grant, you need to figure out what the recipient will have to do to keep the grant. Once the terms are decided, figure out how you’ll keep track of whether the grant recipient is keeping his or her end of the grant agreement.
3. Develop Goals
What are you helping the grant recipient to accomplish? This step is all about determining what the end goal is. As a grant manager, your goal is to connect your organization’s passion with individuals and organizations pursuing that same passion and provide funding to them. Choosing the best project can be tough. One passion has numerous variations.
What sort of project will your organization be linked to? Before you begin to hand out grants, it’s important to determine what exactly you’ll be funding. Are you a human or animal rights group? Perhaps you’re working to help the environment in some way. Your goals should be clearly defined before proceeding.
4. Create Implementation and Action Plans
Once you know what the ultimate goal is, you have to figure out how you’re going to achieve it. This is the longest step because there are so many decisions to be made up front.
- How are people going to apply, by paper or through a grant management system?
- How are you going to get people to apply to your grant? Will you start a campaign or will you reach out to people and organizations directly?
- Is there going to be a grant review committee?
- How many review rounds will there be?
- What does a qualified applicant look like?
- How will the grant recipient be notified?
Each one of these questions requires careful review and consideration to be done properly. It is best to document the exact flow of the grantee journey with a flow chart. This makes sure there is a smooth grant management process for everyone involved. The better the process, the more quickly and effectively the grant money can be put to use.
5. Maintain Finances
It is crucial to determine the source of the grant money you will be giving. Income can come in many different ways, such as fundraisers and donors. You need to have that income 100% established prior to interviewing potential grant recipients and giving them stacks of cash. All too often grant managers are caught off guard when the wire transfer doesn’t go through. Get verified proof financing is ready.
6. Establish Reporting and Communication Process
How will your grant recipients report on their progress? This will depend on the logistics and the situation of your organization and your grant recipient. Setting up check-ins with the grantee prior to giving them the money is most effective. They can come in after a set period and give a presentation, or they can simply send in some photos and a description of how the project is going. Getting updates on how your grant money is being used can be crucial to donors or for making case studies. It ultimately is up to you to determine what fits the needs of your organization.
7. Monitor Performance
The final step simply involves making sure the grant recipient is fulfilling his or her end of the agreement, and doing what the recipient said would be done with the funding. This step should also include the final follow-up when the project is complete and everything needs to be wrapped up.
While there is a lot involved in the grant management process, you aren’t alone in making things happen. There is grant management software available to help streamline the process and make it easier to handle. No matter which step of the process you find yourself in, the software can help your organization be more personable and keep in better touch with your clients, as well as provide multiple avenues for continued communication.
Looking to improve your own grants process? Explore Submittable’s grant management software and schedule a free demo.