Five Essential Elements of Grant Administration

While the exact duties of a grant administrator can vary based on the needs of the organization, there are a few expectations that remain consistent across the board. Someone hired to do grant administration can expect to play a large part in the design and management of grants, whether that involves obtaining them for the organization or overseeing the grants that have been given out.

Project design

Project design is the stage where the project begins. The person or department in charge of grants administration has to oversee the design of the project, as well as plan out its implementation and seek approval from the appropriate supervisor or organization. The design can include anything from brainstorming ideas, to making sure the proposed project meets all the various codes, policies, and procedures, to drafting the form, to guiding those preparing the project on drafting a budget.

The project design stage has many different facets, and it is usually the responsibility of a grant administrator to make sure each part goes smoothly.

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Project monitoring

Once the project has been designed and accepted, the project must be monitored. This aspect involves making sure the relevant codes, policies, and procedures are followed and correcting the situation if they are not. It can also involve purchasing materials for the project, obtaining necessary permissions, and anything else that would help the project run smoothly.

Project administration

This facet of grant administration involves reviewing paperwork and plans, as well as making sure the budget and other financial concerns are being taken care of. Particularly when working with grant money, it is imperative that every cent is accounted for and spent wisely. It is the job of an administrator to ensure that is the case.

It is important to keep in mind the grantee may be counting on the grant award to arrive on a certain date and time. Be sure to have everything in place to ensure this gets done. Proper project administration is crucial to the success of any project involving grants.


Another aspect of grants administration involves keeping in contact with the grantor/grantee and addressing any questions or concerns that may arise during the project.

One thing that can streamline this process is a good grant management software. You can keep all of an applicant’s contact information in one place and easily available anywhere there is an internet connection. Such a program can also help you communicate with applicants and send reminders. Moreover, it can keep all the relevant information of a project organized for easy access. These and other features can be useful at any stage of a project’s lifespan.


Almost anything else that affects the success of the project can also fall into the domain of the grant administrator. Organizing workshops and trainings when necessary, as well as project and performance reviews, are all just small pieces of the whole list of responsibilities that could be a grant administrator’s job description. Whether it involves paperwork, phone calls, or some other type of coordination, it’s up to the grant administrator to make sure it runs smoothly and benefits the final outcome of the project.

While it can seem like a daunting role to take on, the position of grant administrator is an invaluable one in the grant management process. They can make or break a project. At the end of a day, a grant administrator can look at a project and know they played a major part in something important.

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Sarah Aswell

Sarah Aswell is an editor and content strategist at Submittable. She’s also a writer and stand-up comedian who gets rejected via Submittable all the time. You can read her comedy criticism at Forbes, follow her on Twitter, or learn more about her creative work on her website.