The grant management landscape is evolving, as new federal funding requirements related to the DATA Act and other open-data initiatives take hold.
As of May 2017, agencies are now required to report financial and award data using government-wide standards. The Health and Human Services (HHS) pilot program testing standardized grant recipient reporting has also come to completion.
To dive into these changes and the effect they have on the grant community, StreamLink Software collected data from nearly 200 nonprofit and public sector professionals to form The 2017 State of Grant Management Report.
This annual report outlines challenges and triumphs of 2017 grant management. Below we highlight a few key takeaways from the full data findings.
Government Grants Reliance
Like previous years, federal grants are a valuable revenue source for organizations.
Forty-five percent of respondents cited federal grants as their primary source of grant funds.
Forty-two percent of organizations receive more than half of their grant funds from federal grants, and 79% receive at least some of their grant funds from federal grants.
While overall dependence on government grants (federal, state, local) is down, federal grant reliance increased. More organizations receive at least half of their grants from the federal government than in 2015.
Adapting to Federal Reporting Changes
With federal awards such a huge piece of the grant portfolio, how are new reporting requirements and open-data policies affecting day-to-day operations?
Fifty-seven percent of those who receive federal funding have noticed federal grantors made changes to their grant reporting process since the passage of the DATA Act. This is likely due to the need for federal agencies to now collect and report on data in standardized formats, and a shift to more performance-driven measurement models.
Of those who receive federal funding, 60% believe new federal funding requirements are creating more work for their organization. A majority (61%) of those professionals also expect some level of difficulty adapting to federal reporting requirements ongoing.
Grant Management Tools and Technology
Grant software is one way to streamline grant management and automate reporting for easier compliance. Yet, almost half of respondents (49%) use in-house solutions, such as spreadsheets and email, to manage grants.
Only 23% of respondents use grant software for overall award management, and even less use it to communicate with sub-recipients and grantors—7% and 10% respectively.
With new federal changes creating more work for organizations, grant software could:
- Ease internal and external communications (the top frustration cited in 2016).
- Improve reporting efficiency.
- Help with full grant lifecycle monitoring.
In fact, 63% of those who don’t use a grant software solution believe they could benefit from it.
Receive more data and insights by downloading the full 2017 State of Grant Management Report.