Set Yourself Up for Success: Plan for Compliance During Pre-Award Activities

describe the imageGrant compliance planning begins long before funds are awarded. To meet federal requirements, grant recipients must properly set goals and organize application information to enable accurate, in-depth reporting later. 

This post explains three ways to prepare for programmatic performance and compliance during pre-award activities—including goal setting, detailed budgeting and project planning.

1. Set Appropriate Goals

As the responsibility of connecting performance and financial data increases, so does the need for appropriate goal setting. If your organization has accurate goals upfront within your proposal, then criteria can easily be transitioned into your management plan.

During the proposal phase, applicants should:

  • Identify priorities and the problem to be addressed.
  • Outline performance capabilities.
  • Identify expected outcomes and outputs.
  • Relate expected outcomes to the funding opportunity’s program goals.
  • Explain planned performance measures.

A well-defined scope of work tied to goals will help your organization understand post-award performance better, providing a benchmark for questions like:

  • Have our goals been met?
  • Do our goals align with that of the funder?
  • Did we exceed expected outcomes in any specific areas?
  • What areas should we be improving?

2. Create a Budget Narrative

A budget narrative details how money will be spent within your organization, justifies budget requests, and outlines expected costs. In the initial proposal, break down planned spending into projects and sub-activities.

Post-award, this organized data enables you to create project-specific spending reports to determine if you are over, under or right on track with budgeting goals.

3. Prepare a Detailed Project Plan

An in-depth project plan will keep you on track with final reporting criteria, and ensure accuracy and accountability for all activities.

Project plans should be specific and identify:

  • Potential barriers or problems.
  • Financial and performance measurements for each activity.
  • Milestones and deliverables.
  • Timelines for each individual activity.

Want to learn how your organization can properly prepare for programmatic performance? Watch our webinar with public sector consultant, Sandy Swab: “Uniform Grant Guidance: How to Connect Performance and Financial Data.

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How is your organization preparing for programmatic performance? Share with us in the comments below.

Image Source: e3Learning