For nonprofit organizations who receive the bulk of their funding through grants, proper grant management is crucial. Missed deadlines or failure to meet financial reporting requirements could prevent your organization from receiving additional funding in the future and hinder your grant reputation. We hear stories all the time from nonprofits excited to receive funding only to find that they have not implemented the correct systems and procedures to properly manage those funds. Not having the proper systems and procedures can do more harm than good, as many nonprofits have already discovered.
The actual management of grant dollars is one of the weakest components in the grant management process. While organizations typically have a very organized and systematic process when it comes to developing grant proposals, they often struggle in the actual management of the funds. We’ve created a few crucial tips designed to help you improve your grant management strategy and increase your chances for receiving funding in the future. Keep the following tips in mind as you evaluate your grant management strategy with your nonprofit staff:
1. Commit to contacting your funding sources quarterly. Occasional contact with your funders is always a good idea. It not only ensures that you stay on their radar, but it also keeps the grant fresh in your memory so you don’t miss important deadlines.
2. Utilize your calendar. When it comes to grant management, your calendar is your best friend. Set reminders at least six weeks prior to any reporting or proposal deadlines. This will give you ample time to gather your requirements and create accurate reports for your funders. Many grant management systems even have calendars built into the system to help you keep track of grant-related to-dos. Make sure to include the following in your calendar: grant proposal due dates, evaluation report deadlines, scheduled interviews and appointments, and follow-up phone calls or letters.
3. Use grant management software to track each funding source. When your organization receives funding from multiple funders, keeping track of each funding source can become confusing and time-consuming. Grant management software, such as AccuFund Grants Management, can help you track individual grants so you can adequately measure the progress against goals set by the funder. The software even allows you to create a variety of reports guaranteed to make every funder happy.
4. Track, use, and report on funds exactly as grant funders have specified. Track your expenses accurately and make sure you are using the funds correctly. Always contact the funder if you need to change or adjust the way you are using the funds.
5. 60 days before the end of your grant cycle, contact the grant funder. Ask if they will allow you to submit a new proposal for the upcoming cycle. If you’ve adequately met their expectations, they’ll most likely say yes!
Nonprofit grant management can be challenging, especially if you’re not utilizing the many grant management tools available for nonprofits. If you aren’t currently using grant management software to track and measure your nonprofit’s grants, you really should consider it. Grant management software for nonprofits can help you meet important grant deadlines and strengthen your grant reporting, boosting your chances of winning more grants in the future. Our featured grant management software, AccuFund Grants Management, can provide you with the transparency and seamless reporting you need to secure funding and win more grants. Contact us today for more information.