Tackling the Grant Management Process
What is grant management? First, it’s making sure you keep all the promises you wrote in the program design narrative of your grant application. Second, it’s handling all the funder’s reporting requirements. Sometimes the grant writer assumes this responsibility; other times, these tasks are divvied up between the grant program manager or project director and the person who makes the financial decisions for your organization (the CFO or business manager).
In smaller organizations, the CFO may be a bookkeeper working in concert with an executive director. In larger organizations, entire departments may handle the finances, including fiscal reporting.
The grant program manager or project director is the person responsible for overseeing the implementation of the grant-funded activities. This person brings the program design narrative in the grant proposal to life. She is responsible for ensuring that all the tasks (process objectives) outlined in the program design’s timeline table are accomplished on time.
Other tasks for the program manager or project director include the following:
- Meeting with collaborative partners to let them know the grant request was funded and working with them to plot out the action steps needed from partners
- Meeting with the human resources department to start the recruitment, screening, and hiring or reassigning of the grant-funded project’s staff
- Meeting with the third-party evaluator (if applicable) to begin strategizing the monitoring and evaluating process for the SMART or outcome objectives
- Orienting project staff to the purpose of the grant-funded project and giving them a copy of the program design narrative so that they can see how the project should unfold during the implementation process
- Sharing the evaluation process with the project staff and the collaborative partners so that everyone knows what will be monitored, how the data will be collected and reported, and the role of each stakeholder in the feedback process
- Making sure that staff adheres to all task/activity timelines, and developing a corrective action plan to assure that the SMART or outcome objectives will be met before the end of the grant-funding period if the timelines go off-track
- Working with the CFO or business manager to compile interim and final financial reports for the funder
- Preparing an end-of-project report for all stakeholders, including the board of directors and collaborative partners