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Grant Administration – Overview

Most people focus on obtaining the grant, but even when you succeed that is not the end of your work effort. One has to be prepared to provide documentation to the funders to show that the funds were spent on what you said they would be in the grant application.

Virtually all grant makers be they federal, state, or private foundation will require some sort of proof of funds being used appropriately though how much proof can vary greatly. Probably the simplest grants to administer are those from private foundations. The application forms can be very simple, sometimes involving no more than two pages. Some foundations require several progress reports. It is also possible that special conditions may be attached to the grant in order to meet the specific preferences of the board members. These can vary widely. It may be that the foundation requires the grantee to only utilize American labor and products, or limits funding to certain geographic areas, or wishes to remain anonymous.

Most governmental entities will require the following once the grant is approved:

• environmental review (this is sometimes done prior to approval)
• execution of the grant agreement
• documentation of banking information in order to expedite the processing of payments
• written progress reports at varying intervals — these could be either quarterly, semi-annually, or annually
• execution of grant closeout documents

Some administrative reports can require a single page while others such as funds from CDBG can be very extensive and require a large document covering Affirmative Action Plan, Minority Business Enterprise Plan, Fair Housing Plan, Retention of Records Plan, Personnel Policy, Section 504 Plan to cover issues related to services to handicapped citizens, and Procurement Policy to name just a few. Most grants will fall in between but regardless of how much work is involved in administration it is a good idea to plan for it early on in the planning stages of a grant application and to keep excellent records throughout so that you are not caught by surprise with little to no proof of how the funds were spent.

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