Grant Management & the Risks of Mismanaging Awarded Grants

Grant management is the hard work and dedication required to ensure an organization follows a donor’s guidelines. Nonprofits and small businesses dedicate countless hours to the grant writing process. However, responsibly managing grants after the award is just as critical. Did you know that if a grant is not managed correctly after being awarded, your organization can be forced to repay the funds? The GrantWatch team is here to help. This article discusses what grant management is and the risks of mismanaging awarded grants.

What is Grant Management? 

Most nonprofits rely on grant funding. Grant management is a large part of the overall process, but what is it? From writing a grant proposal to completing the budget, grant management encompasses all aspects of receiving and tracking grant funds. In effect, a grant manager ensures that an organization follows all instructions given by the grant funder to avoid restrictions and penalties. An organization must abide by the promises outlined in the application. It’s wise, then, to keep all grant-related materials organized to comply with post-award management instructions, in order to avoid any disruption with your work.

Risks of Mismanaging Grants

Failure to properly track and report grants can have dire consequences. These consequences can be devastating to an nonprofit, especially when mismanagement puts an organization at risk of losing funding essential to its operation. Your organization could be subject to financial audits if the requirements of a grant are not adhered to. In addition, it may even leave you open to a lawsuit that demands you pay the funds back to the grantmaker. These losses will damage your organization’s reputation with potential funders. For this reason, it will become difficult to secure future grants. So, how do you avoid these setbacks? Protect your organization by ensuring that you follow the stated guidelines for all grant awards.

Identify Grant Goals

A complete grant lifecycle includes researching the funding opportunity, applying, and responsibly managing the grant funds. Don’t waste time applying for grants you are not eligible for. Your organization will be more likely to secure grant funding that aligns with your needs if you learn all you can about your funder.‍ Many people use GrantWatch’s 990 Finder and Foundation Search as their preferred tools to locate nonprofit 990 reports. You see, a clear understanding of your funding priorities can save you time and effort because you can quickly bypass grants during your research that do not match the goals of your organization.

Grant Writing 

Check and re-check your application. Ensure that your application does not have spelling or grammatical issues. Explain how the requested funding will solve a problem. Format your application correctly and follow the funder’s instructions to the letter. After you’ve re-checked your application–check it one last time! Even the smallest error can cause your application to be rejected. All things considered, if grant writing is overwhelming for you or you do not have the time, you should consider hiring a grant writer. You can do this by visiting GrantWriterTeam and posting a paid classified ad looking for a professional grant writer. Be wise; vet your grant writer extensively and have a written contract. Once you have found a suitable grant writer, you are free to work with them directly. 

After Winning a Grant

Genuinely thank your funder. This small gesture can mave a large impact on your organization’s reputation. Do not miss this opportunity. Furthermore, utilize this opportunity to promote your organization on social media by announcing your grant award. Manage your grant funds using a separate account. Winning a grant helps strengthen your reputation. In like fashion, gaining the respect of other funding sources will increase your chances of winning more grants. It is critical to remember that grant fundraising is an ongoing, repetitive process that takes constant care and consideration. In reality, many organizations have a fulltime grant manager.

Timelines and Other Tools

Organizing your timeline is the most effective way to identify grants for your organization. Never stop researching and applying for new grants. As a result, successful grant funding will become a year-round necessity for your organization. Perhaps the best piece of advice is this: don’t give up, even if you don’t win the first few grants you apply to. In fact, use the GrantWatch calendar tool when you search for grants. This feature is in the top right-hand corner of your My Account dashboard. Keep in mind, your organization may have unique tasks at each stage, so it’s imperative to use this tool keep track of them.

Additionally, you can see your previously viewed grant history under My Grant Views. This tool is excellent to identify grants similar to the one(s) you’re seeking to apply for today. Finally, find the Grant Application Toolkit located in the Resources dropdown box on the GrantWatch homepage. Here you’ll find a font of information, along with helpful advice, and valuable resources. These features and resources are the finishing touches on a grant management system that works.

In conclusion, effective grant management is not only about securing funds and grant writing. Indeed, it’s also about responsibly navigating the post-award phase. By adopting a comprehensive approach and utilizing available resources, your organization can build a robust foundation for successful and sustainable grant management.

With close to 8,000 grants currently available, is the leading grant listing directory. Upgrade to a MemberPlus+ subscription to view the full grant details, including eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page. To see the great value of all 20 of the top GrantWatch features, click here.

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