The grant management lifecycle is made up of multiple, interconnected stages that require diligent data monitoring, tracking and analysis.
If managed manually or with disparate systems, bottlenecks are bound to ensue. These may include, but aren’t limited to: missing or disorganized data, lengthy approval processes, siloed information and content gatekeepers.
To remove bottlenecks, nonprofits and public sector organizations can turn to grant management software to organize, automate and streamline grant management processes. Follow along for standardization best practices to drive optimal performance.
Organize Data and Documents
The first step to banishing bottlenecks is to identify grant management challenges. Do you still use ad hoc systems—spreadsheets, email, word processing documents, etc.—to manage awards? If so, you’d benefit from better organizing data and documents in a centralized location to increase collaboration, process efficiency and workflows.
Get smart about how information is structured. Use consistent naming conventions and filing structures internally, and align this nomenclature with government-wide standards for easier, and quicker, compliance reporting. Clear internal identifiers can help you link expenditures to activities and tie grant funding to results.
Consider too a resource library with pre-approved templates, boilerplates and responses to common questions that can be re-purposed across grant proposals.
From competitive award management to post-award recipient reporting, effective collaboration is critical for program success.
To banish workflows, document each team member's role in the grant process and level of information access needed. Next, plot out necessary reviews and approvals. For example, does a supervisor need to approve timesheets or expenses?
Use thing information to set data permissions, assign project to-do lists, configure schedules and coordinate task reminders. Centralize these details for organization-wide visibility into roles, processes and responsible parties.
Automate Grant Processes
Changes in federal grant reporting requirements demand increased transparency and accountability into spend and performance. However, many organizations lack the processes to truly sync performance data across departments and implementation partners. The result is inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses.
With grant management technology, award recipients can gather data in machine-readable formats to automate financial and programmatic reporting. In addition, responsibilities such as grant research, deadline and task reminders, and proposal tracking can also be automated. All of the above can cut administrative time to delegate more resources to mission-centric responsibilities.
What grant management bottlenecks are you facing? Share your comments below.
Ready to assess your organization’s grant management technology needs? If so, download our free Grant Management Software Purchase Evaluation Guide.
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