Overcoming Bureaucracy: Tips for Efficient Municipality Grant Management

Overcoming-Bureaucracy-588131-edited.jpgMunicipalities often face greater bureaucracy during the grant management process than their nonprofit counterparts.

With more oversight, paperwork and red tape, information gathering, approvals and reporting are often slowed.

How can your city avoid time-consuming holdups? Below are three tips.

 1. Effectively Manage Sub-Recipients

Municipalities are responsible for reporting on sub-recipient activities, performance and spend to ensure compliance with award parameters. To manage sub-recipients

  • Communicate often between all parties involved on expectations, project status, budgets and performance goals. This can eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth, and ensure projects are on track to perform as expected.
  • Encourage sub-recipients to standardize and record award identifiers. If both prime and sub-recipients use the same identifiers from the get go, then less time is needed later to structure data for federal reporting.
  • Set deadlines for deliverables. Plan for oversight, and build in additional time.

 2. Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities

Confusion of roles and responsibilities can lead to missed deadlines and unnecessary time spent on grant management tasks. Never leave your team or sub-recipients in the dark as to where their core responsibilities lie. To keep all parties informed:

  • Assign tasks, responsibilities and deadlines. Define clear roles and expectations in a centralized location for easy reference. Outline what documents or reports need sign off internally, and by whom, so that your team can plan for and obtain the necessary approvals in a timely fashion.
  • Send automated reminders in advance of deadlines to keep parties on task and projects moving forward.
  • Provide involved parties with the information necessary to perform their duties in an easily accessible location. For example, if someone needs to sign off on a report before it is submitted, they should know where it is housed and be able to retrieve the data without having to hunt it down.

3. Centralize Grant Data and Documentation

Store data in a centralized location, such as grant management software, to establish organization, ensure compliance and increase transparency. A grant management solution saves time, as it:

  • Automates financial and programmatic reporting, eliminating time spent manually entering data into spreadsheets.
  • Houses critical grant information, such as goals and budgets in one place for easy access to critical information, and serves as a central communication hub between the grantor, grantee and sub-recipients.
  • Helps manage project workflows through automated reminders, calendar syncing, and permission and approval functionality.
  • Provides enhanced time-tracking capabilities and tracks cash receipts to ensure funds are spent appropriately, and expense reports are accurate and timely.

Interested in learning more ways to improve municipality grant management? Download our ebook, “Municipalities and Counties: A Guide to Winning and Managing Grant Programs.

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Image Source: Brad Folkens