How to Administer Grants

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A grant administrator is responsible for overseeing grant proposals, monitoring grant funds and making sure that all grant activities are in compliance with the contract. The administrator must be familiar with all deadlines and measurable outcomes and produce correspondence, create reports and keep records to prove that all the conditions of the grant are being met. Data collection, data entry and analysis are part of the process. Grant administration is a professional activity requiring careful attention to detail and technical expertise.

Organize

Collect and organize the grant proposal, all collateral materials and subsequent correspondence related to the award. Use the grant sections as a starting point for organization, with a file for each measurable outcome, for example. File all data collected under the outcome it refers to, so the information is readily available when it is time to make monthly or year-end reports. There is a lot of paperwork involved in proper administration of a grant and this needs to be carefully organized.

Identify and submit required forms in the manner and time frame specified by the contract. Creating a checklist and time line early in the process will help insure compliance.

Determine and implement data collection systems necessary to satisfy the terms of the grant. Each measurable outcome specified in the grant must be proven with documentation. For example, if you promised to enroll 50 students, you must have enrollment forms and sign-in sheets in written form.

Monitor budgets: Track spending to ensure purchases and expenditures are made according to the line items in the budget and issue reports periodically on spending so staff knows where they stand with regard to purchasing and budget limitations.

Obtain approval for grant modifications as allowed by terms of the contract as the grant period progresses and the need for changes becomes apparent. Any changes in the grant terms must be approved by the chief executive officer of the organization.

Monitor progress toward goals and promised outcomes and suggest changes if these are not being met. If attendance goals are not being met, for example, the staff member responsible for recruiting needs to be warned so they can take corrective action.

Tips

  • Write the administrator’s salary into the grant as a line item in the budget. If the administrator is handling more than one grant, write them in as a percentage of the time they will require to administer each grant.

Warnings

  • Do not make the mistake of expecting existing staff to find time to administer a sizable grant. Grant awards of $100,000 and more require a great deal of time and expertise to insure compliance and compliance is necessary if you hope to secure funding in the future.

References

About the Author

Je' Czaja has been writing and illustrating curricula, workbooks, newspaper articles and weekly columns for over 20 years. Her articles have been published in the "St. Augustine Record," the "Valdosta Daily Times," the "Sarasota Herald Tribune" and other regional newspapers. She attended Ringling School of Art, Charter Oak State College, and has a master's degree from the University of Metaphysics.

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