A Balanced Approach to Grants Management

June 13, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Organizations managing grant-funded programs are anxious to stay out of trouble. Given the considerable regulations associated with government grants, especially federal grants, it’s easy to understand why abiding by the rules is the primary focus.

“You’ve got to know the rules and play straight,” said Barbara Floersch, executive director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “But there’s much more to good grants management.”

Floersch urges leaders to adopt a balanced approach to grants management that responds appropriately to regulations, but places equal value on effective program implementation. “It’s too easy to let regulations drive all grant implementation considerations. When that happens rules become paramount and purpose becomes subservient,” said Floersch. “Exceptional grant managers stay true to both mandates.”

    To promote a balanced approach to grants management, Floersch suggests that administrators and program managers ask themselves the following questions.

  • Is the organization compliant with each mandate of the funder?
  • Is program implementation made more difficult or less effective due to some grant management requirement? If so, how can we adjust our management approach to comply with regulations while also removing barriers to programming?
  • To promote consistency in grant management compliance, how can we embed necessary tasks and documentation procedures into the routine operations and paperwork of the program?

Ultimately, a grant’s success is measured by the effectiveness of the program it supports. If your organization’s management of the rules and regulations is pristine, but the program results are abysmal, you can’t count that as success. Play by the rules and stay out of trouble, but keep your focus on the purpose of the grant. © Copyright 2017 The Grantsmanship Center.