You grant got approved! Hurrah, it’s time for celebrating. And, it’s time for a plan of action for keeping your funder in the loop about how you are spending their money, and how successful your project is. All funders want to know the unvarnished truth and explicit details on the management of your project, and if you are accomplishing what you set out to do.
Here are 4 actions to follow to make your grant reporting a breeze, and to keep your funder in the palm of your hand.
Part 1 - Getting ready for the reporting
You can start by making sure you know what your funder’s requirements are for you to follow. It may be part of the grant process itself, or something you need to discuss directly with your contacts at the funding agency.
Part 2 – Managing the financial side
All funders want to know how you spend the money they give to you, and how you are following the project budget. Here are some tips for ensuring your financial reporting is accurate, and meets general accounting practices.
Part 3 – Including Success Stories and Challenges
It makes a tremendous difference when you are doing grant reporting to tell about the impact your grant project had on the people you helped. Some items to include showing off your success are:
Part 4 - Thinking about Sustainability
When you apply for a grant, you might see a section on sustainability. Your funder wants to know how you plan to keep your project going once your funds are expended. Here are 3 tips to make sustainability part of your grant reporting efforts.
1. Develop your sustainability plan as soon as you apply for your grant.
This will give you the opportunity to gradually put a plan into place, as you work on your project. You may find your partners will be part of your continuing plan, or your funder will want to make you part of their on-going funding efforts. When you plan at the outset, you will know what resources are available, and what you need to search for later.
2. Ask your Board and organization directors to clarify what direction they want their initiatives to move to the next level.
Having top level buy-in early on will make your sustainability plan much more successful because everyone is on the same page.
3. Set aside time to consider whether you want to continue or change the activities and goals of your project.
As your project moves from the beginning to the end, keep in mind whether all or part of your project is worthwhile continuing. You might want to change the focus for the future. Keeping notes on this topic will prove to be invaluable for your Plan.
Keep Those Updates Coming!
Because you are sharing goals with your funder, include any newsworthy information that periodically updates them about your accomplishments. It may just secure you another grant in the near future!