Hooray, your organization has received a grant! Now what’s next? Asking yourselves this question is a good first step, as many organizations mistakenly believe that receiving a grant is the end of the process and the money is secured. However, in reality, it’s only the beginning of a lengthy and challenging journey, particularly if you lack experience in grant management.
Yes, it’s true that the process can be time-consuming and divert attention away from your project, but disregarding proper grant management is not something to take lightly. Lack of knowledge or experience with grants can lead to an underestimation of grant management, which can result in project delays, payment issues, financial losses, and even damage to an organization’s reputation. This is not what a grant is supposed to deliver!
So, how should you go about grant management? Let me help you with five practical tips to handle grants professionally.
Tip 1: Develop a solid plan
It’s important to have a clear understanding and overview of the project’s goals and objectives, timeline, budget, and the resources needed to complete the project. By taking time to create (and update!) a file where these points come together in 1 overview, you keep a comprehensive grant management overview to align with the funder’s priorities and expectations.
Tip 2: Communicate with your funder
Keep open lines of communication with your funder. Make sure you understand the funder’s guidelines and requirements, and regularly update them on your progress to build a good relation with the funders project manager. This will help ensure that you are meeting their expectations, can manage unforeseen events, and are on track to deliver your project goals.
Tip 3: Stay organized
I know that this sounds like an open-door, but keep track of all grant-related paperwork, including grant agreements, budgets, invoices, and reports. Use a project management system to stay organized and track progress, or at least save duplicates of all documents together in one dedicated place, in addition to your general administration. When doing this structurally from the start of the project, you will easily walk through the periodic and final reporting’s, save time and discussions, and provide insight during audits to meet the reporting requirements.
Tip 4: Monitor and evaluate
Regularly monitor your (scientific) progress with project goals, budget and objectives, and evaluate align your project activities with the promised timelines. This will help you make adjustments to your approach as needed, identify the requirement to request amendments in time, and ensure that you make the most of your grant funding (did you spend all money?).
Tip 5: Follow up
Once the project is complete, be sure to follow up with the funder to provide a final report (often this is an official requirement of a grant) that outlines the project’s outcomes and impact. This will not only ensure that the final payment of the grant is released, it also helps you build a strong relationship with the funder and position your organization for future funding opportunities.
Let our experts help
Are you happy with these tips, but still unsure if your organization is handling grant management properly? FFUND provides a comprehensive range of services in grant management, including preparing and monitoring project budgets and workplans, preparing reports, managing administration, and advising on compliance with the regulations. Our experts have extensive experience in managing both national and international subsidies and financings, and a proven track record in supporting organizations in managing their grant portfolio.
Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in our support!