Small Nonprofit Blog Series: Grantsmanship: Being a Responsible Grantee by Megan Campbell, MPA, GPC

All the time and effort you put into designing a great project and developing a clear, well-written grant proposal has paid off and you’ve received a notice of award from the funder. Now, it’s time to ensure that you are a great steward of the grant funds that you have received.

Grant stewardship is the process of effectively managing your grant and funder relationships post-award. Small or large, the integrity with which any organization stewards the grants they receive is paramount to receiving future funding. Even if you are not a member of the Grant Professionals Association or another grant-related membership organization, the GPA Standards of Professional Practice provide excellent guidance for nonprofit professionals throughout the grant cycle including solicitation, record keeping, and use of funds.

Take the time to read the fine print of your award letter or grant agreement. In this document, funders will often outline the award amount and other expectations like the report due dates, recognition instructions, and/or the program officer’s contact information for questions or concerns. After reviewing your award letter or agreement:

  • Make sure you and all staff or volunteers who will be working on the grant project understand the project goals and proposed implementation plans.
  • Review the project budget and how your grant fits into that financial structure. Also, be sure you have an adequate expense tracking procedure in place and that you understand the accountability process for the use of funds.
  • Take note of the reporting requirements and report due dates.
  • Stay on top of any additional funder expectations that will help you maintain a positive, ongoing relationship with the foundation and its staff.

Starting organized will help you stay organized. If you missed it, check out Small Nonprofit Series: Tips for Staying Organized for tips to set up an organized filing or record-keeping process. You can also learn more about organizational grant readiness and a variety of other topics with AGS online training sessions available on demand.

AGS is launching a new training series in May, Capacity Building for Small Organizations. The six-session course focuses on key elements that will prepare a new or small organization for grant readiness. Sessions are tailored to help participants build their knowledge and skills to create pathways to success for grant-seeking. Follow along with the small nonprofit blog series by subscribing for updates.

This blog post is aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills.

5.0 Knowledge of post-award grant management practices sufficient to inform effective grant design and development

8.03. Identify methods of relationship cultivation, communication, recognition, and stewardship that might appeal to specific funders

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