Your nonprofit received approval for a grant that infuses much-needed cash into your organization. Nonprofit organizations have struggled to raise money since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and now a vast majority of nonprofits are playing financial catch-up. Although receiving approval for a new grant is cause for celebration, put away the party hats for a few minutes to learn what your nonprofit needs to do before spending all of the grant money.
Define Roles and Tools
The first item on the to-do list involves defining the role every member of your team has moving forward. You have to assign responsibilities for different grant management tasks to team members that specialize in grant management. Your grant management team should include employees from leadership. fundraising, programming, and human resources positions. Create documentation for tracking the new grant, as well as review all grant requirements as established by the public, private, or nonprofit organization that approved the new grant.
Create a Gantt Schedule
Once you assign team member roles, the next step is to create a Gantt schedule. The Gantt schedule displays a timeline of when your nonprofit executes and reports the results of each grant management step. For example, you schedule an amount of time to spend on research and then schedule the special events that raise awareness about the purpose of your new grant program. Every team member involved in the grant management process should receive a copy of the Gantt schedule before your nonprofit starts to work on the mission established by the new grant.
Know How to Record Grant Funds and Expenses
Before you spend one penny of grant money, ensure that the finance team knows how to record grant revenue, as well as match grant revenue with specific expenses. The new grant should include reporting requirements that the finance team must follow closely. Depending on the type of grant funding, your nonprofit might record funds as you receive the money or track grant-related expenses in real time that get reimbursed later when your nonprofit organization gains access to the grant funds.
Develop Internal Progress Reports
Accountability represents one of the most important characteristics to establish when a nonprofit receives grant money. This means your nonprofit organization should develop internal progress reports that update all team members about the status of the grant program, as well as to determine whether your nonprofit is reaching benchmarks. The entire team should meet once a week for a short meeting to review the progress of the grant program.
Verify the Grant Closeout Plan
The new grant should include information on the requirements set for completing and submitting the final report. You should know when the grant ends, as well as how you should measure success. The grant closeout plan also includes information describing the types of documents your nonprofit files along with the final report. Make sure to inform your team about the grant closeout plan long before the established date when the grant program ends.
Although the grant management process officially starts on the day when you receive approval for a new grant, your nonprofit should be proactive by preparing as much as possible in advance for managing the new inflow of cash.