Higher Ed: How to Uncover Program Improvement Opportunities

Uncover_Program_Improvement_Opportunities-073048-edited.jpgGrants are often the lifeblood that help your educational institution deliver the tools, resources and knowledge your students and faculty deserve.

But, without proper fund allocation and management, certain programs (such as arts, music or trade studies) may suffer, funds may go unspent or resources may be squandered.

To avoid these setbacks, it is critical for your organization to understand how money is being spent compared to program performance. By doing so, your educational institution can determine how it can effectively invest in programs that are performing better than expected or remedy lackluster performance with increased funding.

Understand How Money is Being Spent

Starting May 2017, educational institutions will be required to increase grant-spending transparency to remain compliant with federal regulations. As a result of these new grant reporting standards, your organization and awarding agencies will be able to better determine whether grants are allocated and performing appropriately.

To truly understand where your money is going throughout your organization, consider collecting data in an organized tool, such as a grant management system:

  • Document each funded program.
  • Run internal financial activity and progress reports regularly.
  • Tie specific projects with associated resources (funds, staff and contracts).
  • Document time and costs spent on activities compared to budget estimates.
  • Narrate a description of activities taken for each milestone, deliverable or goal.

Utilize Historical Data to Evaluate Programs

Create detailed and accurate spending reports by tracking expenses and performance data in real time. Then, use historical data to evaluate program success. Answer questions, such as:

  • How much funding did a specific program utilize?
  • Was all allocated funding used as expected?
  • Were any program goals not met? If so, why?
  • Did certain programs need more funding? Less funding?
  • How was money distributed organization-wide?
  • Could funds be allocated differently for greater success across departments?
  • How could we grow programs with additional funding?
  • In what areas did we excel? Which areas could we improve?
  • Which programs utilize the most resources? Which are lacking resources?

Answers to these questions can help guide fund allocation decisions, ensuring money is spent wisely and educational goals met. Through increased transparency and a detail-oriented approach you can uncover setbacks or challenges, such as under or over spending, that may have gone unnoticed before.

Interested in learning more about how your educational institution can improve fund and performance management? Download our case study, AmpliFund Breaks Down Grant Silos for Florida Gateway College.

Download Case Study

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