Good grant management ensures that an organization will be also in the future considered as a potential recipient of funds.
It is therefore an essential activity for maintaining the financial sustainability of many organizations.
Grants are external funding meant to co-finance projects or programs that aim to achieve specific social or environmental objectives.
They are an important source of funding for many NGOs.
Elements of good grant management
Graphic 1 present seven elements of good Grant Management and explains why they are important.
Graphic 1: Elements of good Grant Management
Getting a grant
Grants are provided by
- Institutions and organizations like The European Union
- Departments of national governments (e.g. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands)
- Foundations (e.g. The Ford Foundation) or
- International development banks (e.g. the Asian Development Bank).
A NGO will normally have to hand in a grant proposal in order to receive a grant.
The grant maker will then conduct a Pre-grant assessment which involves:
- Analyzing programmatic goals and project design
- Conducting an organizational assessment
Once a grant proposal has been approved, a written agreement will be signed by both parties which specifies the conditions that have to be met by the recipient of the grant.
The operational side of Grant Management
The operational side of Grant Management is in the hands of finance and project/program managers.
Ideally, the senior management of a NGO should already decide at an early stage who will have the lead responsibility for a specific task and who will assist.
Staff responsible for Grants Management will
- Evaluate and re-negotiate grant contracts whenever conditions are not reasonable.
- Maintain documentation of approved grants and not-yet approved grants.
- Identify what has to change within the organization in order to meet contract conditions.
- Prepare grant related policies and procedures that ensure compliance.
- Monitor whether the organization uses the grant according to the conditions agreed with the grant maker.
- Prepare reports for grant makers.
- Prepare project audits.
Sources / Guide to further reading (available online)
M. Greanias, So what is grants management anyway?, at: http://www.gmnetwork.org/gmn_examiner/2009_spring/what_is_grants_management
- A short article that describes grants management from the point of view of a grant maker.
Mango, Receiving funds, at: http://www.mango.org.uk/Guide/ReceivingFunds
- The webpage contains information about: reviewing a grant agreement, implementation of systems to track restricted funds, monitoring and reporting and how to prepare for the end of a grant.
H.Flood, Essentials of Grant Management, at: http://www.tgci.com/magazine/Essentials%20of%20Grants%20Management.pdf
- The document describes in detail actions to be taken concerning grant administration and compliance management.
Mango, Grant Agreement sample, at: http://www.mango.org.uk/Guide/GrantAgreementSample
- An example of a typical grant agreement. It provides information about conditions that have to be met by the grant taker.
Michigan State University, International and Foreign Grant Makers, at: http://staff.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/privint.htm#o1
- A list with links to organization that provide grants.
Foundation Center, Foundation finder: at: http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/foundfinder/
- The website focuses on grant makers in the United States of America
European Commission, EuropeAid Development and Cooperation, Funding, at: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/funding/index_en.htm
- The webpage provides an overview of funding available from the EU and contains related links.
Agentschap NL, NL Energie en Klimaat, Daey Ouwens Fund, at: http://regelingen.agentschapnl.nl/content/daey-ouwens-fund
- Grants provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands for projects which focus on energy-related projects in the least developed countries