Top 5 Tips for Grants Management
16 October 2013 at 5:29 pm
Effective grants management is crucial to the grants process and must be implemented by an organisation if it wants to succeed with future grants says expert consultant Tammy King.
King offers her top tips to get Not for Profit organisations, local governments and businesses organised with grants.
In a 2012 survey conducted by Grants Empire, more than 75 per cent of respondents did not maintain corporate records of grants and 26 per cent wanted additional information on how to develop a grants management system.
1. Maintain a database:
It might sound like a no-brainer but so many organisations struggle with this area. Every time the organisation submits a grant, keep an excel spreadsheet of:
What date you submitted it;
How much you requested;
What the outcome was;
If it was successful, how much for;
If it wasn’t successful, why not.
This process will assist the organisation as a whole and maintain due diligence. It will also show grant providers that your organisation can efficiently manage grants.
2. Delegate the grants role:
Have one person in your organisation coordinate the grant applications and maintain the database.
Some grant providers will only accept one application from an organisation with multiple projects.
Therefore you don’t want to be the organisation that submits five different applications as this shows lack of organisational communication and no application will be accepted. This role may fall to either the Secretary or the Treasurer.
3. Standing agenda item:
Have ‘Grants/Funding’ as a standing item on your agenda. This will ensure that all committee/board members will know what is going on with successful grants and any new grants that may be available.
This duty may fall to your delegated person from point 2 above however the whole organisation will benefit.
Often grant providers will ask you to submit copies of Minutes where the application has been discussed – this top tip will meet the criteria. Additionally, having it as a standing agenda item will provoke discussion amongst your committee about project priorities.
4. Allocate a separate GL code:
Give each project a unique general ledger account code. When a grant is successful for the project, all income and expenditure will come in and out of this account, ensuring that reporting and acquitting the grant are exceptionally easy as it’s all in one place. Simply print off the income and expenditure statement, collate the receipts and it’s done – easy!
5. Use reminders:
Lastly, when you have been notified of your application’s success, make sure you note down the reporting and acquittal dates, even if they are 12 months in advance!
You can use the Outlook calendar, write it in an appointment book, stick post-it notes to your computer or write it on an office whiteboard.
These dates should also be noted in the standing agenda item so that everyone knows when it is due and that someone is responsible for it.
It could be that your usual grants person is away sick which means someone else will know that the deadline is coming up and the report/acquittal must be done.
This will ensure you don’t jeopardise future chances of grants by having an outstanding report/acquittal.
About the author: Tammy King has been involved in the grants industry for over seven years working with local government authorities, Not for Profit organisations and businesses to obtain additional income through grants. King is a member of the Australian Institute of Grants Management and Fundraising Institute of Australia.