A shift in the federal reporting landscape is driving the need for more sophisticated grant systems and processes—specifically for grantors managing multiple recipients. With grant management software, grantors can:
- Manage the award process from application creation to grantee review and selection.
- Collaborate with recipients on budget and performance plans.
- Assign and monitor recipient financial and programmatic performance goals.
- Provide recipients program management guidance.
Yet, despite the benefits, our 2017 State of Grant Management Report unveiled that 87% of lead grant recipients still rely on in-house solutions (spreadsheets, email and word processing documents) to manage sub-recipient communication. Below, we outline three ways grantors can better manage recipients with software.
1. Consistent Processes
Effective collaboration between internal and external teams is critical to ensure proper management, monitoring and reporting of the full grants lifecycle. If your organization still uses ad hoc systems to manage recipients, it can be difficult to keep processes consistent across teams. Not to mention, disorganized data and documents can lead to siloed communication, and a lack of transparency into progress and performance.
With grant management software, grantors can record expected outcomes, outputs, milestones, activities, timelines and deliverables for all parties involved in a project. This gives recipients greater insight into their responsibilities, and a consistent way to report back on their financial and performance progress.
2. Centralized Information
From pre-award planning to reporting, each stage of the grant lifecycle requires diligent data monitoring and the successful transfer of information. If managed manually or with disparate systems, the grant process can be stressful, time-consuming and prone to error. Documents may need to get filtered through one individual or department; multiple file formats and versions may abound; and key stakeholders may be left wanting for the information they need to do their jobs better.
A centralized hub that consolidates data, documents, communications and task assignments helps teams stay on track and ensures everybody has the information they need. Grantors, lead recipients and sub-recipients no longer have to waste time requesting information from one another. Instead, they can focus on driving real performance results.
3. Automated Reporting
According to our findings, 57% of federal grant recipients have noticed federal grantors have made changes to grant reporting processes since the passage of the DATA Act. Of those, 68% said it is somewhat to very difficult to adapt to these changes.
Performance-based reporting is the crux of many of these federal changes. Yet to successfully report on outcomes, grantees must be able to effectively monitor their own activities, spend and performance in real-time, as well as that of their sub-recipients.
With grant management software, grantors can automate recipient data collection and reporting, making it possible to check in on status at any time. If recipient spend or performance isn’t trending inline with grant goals, the grantor can proactively address issues before they become a larger problem.
How does your grants team manage recipients amidst changing federal regulations? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
For more on the current state of grant management, download our report today!
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