The primary role of a coder is to code, a construction worker to build and a fisherman to catch fish. When these singularly-tasked professionals are forced to spend their time doing other things, it detracts from their primary goals. Similarly, every grant professional’s job is to help their organization accomplish the work that their organization has set out to do – whether that is research or humanitarian effort. But many grant administrators are unable to focus because they are busy trying to tackle daunting new reporting requirements and compliance standards while tied to manual processes and antiquated systems.
The days of organizing and tracking grants on personal PCs, across multiple shared drives or in files stuffed with paper are coming to an end. The grants management industry has to modernize, and grant professionals must figure out the best way to minimize the compliance efforts so they can maximize the time they spend strengthening communities.
For grant organizations looking for a way to escape the new administrative burden, keep the following four things in mind as you’re choosing a solution:
Take advantage of grant-specific budget functionality
In choosing a solution, look for one that helps you overhaul traditionally complex and business-oriented budgeting systems. It should be able to handle inputs from multiple sources of funding and a variety of employees inputting associated expenses to make sure budgets are being managed appropriately. In 2012, nonprofits had an average of seven different contracts and/or grants per organizationi. With so many details in play, grant professionals also need an easy way to be able to track and monitor direct project funds, cash and in-kind matching, program drawdowns and grantee disbursements and reimbursements. A solution with the ability to help track budgets means that grant managers avoid the risk of inconsistencies in their audits or, even worse, losing their funding altogether.
Leverage auditability and accountability tracking
Currently, grant managers cite reporting requirements as one of the single biggest challenges facing their organizationsii. Grant professionals often work with multiple grants at a time, so they should look for a solution that centrally tracks financial data, risk assessments, regulations, and more. Additionally, a solution with all grant data aggregated in one place empowers grant professionals to easily produce supporting documentation for financial expenditures and program or project accomplishments. Moreover, if the solution is cloud-based, data and budget tracking can be compiled for audits in real time, so you spend less time digging through papers or your inbox when producing reports.
Provide access to vital information anytime, anywhere, on any device
How simple is it for you to input, retrieve, manage and share grant data right now? A secure cloud platform makes it easier to complete these tasks and can help deliver insights on this data across your organization. With the cloud, finance officers can know at the end of the quarter that their project team has used their entire budget without trekking across the building to confirm spending. If employee turnover occurs, the cloud minimizes project down-time thanks to all data being stored in a central, online location. Update, access and track data much faster than on-premises and more securely than on a corporate network.
Since grant data often contains sensitive personal and financial details, worries about data breaches rightfully run through the minds of grant professionals. Today, leading cloud vendors work nonstop to maximize the security of grant data, so organizations don’t have to choose between security and convenience. And, it has the flexibility needed to support future process changes, such as dashboards and reports derived from data stored in the cloud.
Surface important insights with visual displays
Right now, 31 percent of grant professional don’t feel as though they can accurately evaluate the program impact and outcome of their grant fundsiii. So an important feature of any modern grants management solution is a way to quickly and simply share results. One of the best ways to showcase that is by using a visual display. By capturing and displaying all data in one place, reporting dashboards help organizations and intermediaries quickly and effectively show program spending and results. Similarly, grant managers can access all this information on displays to track their tasks against budgets throughout the lifecycle of the grant and produce reports immediately, instead of spending hours collecting relevant materials. Moreover, immediate visual insights demonstrate to funders that the grant was used effectively, raising their chances of being awarded the grant again in the next cycle.
Employ GrantVantage’s modern, flexible and trusted Grants Management solution
GrantVantage’s Grants Management solution has all the attributes necessary to effectively modernize your grants management processes. Instead of being hung up on paperwork, the solution empowers your organization to focus on its broader mission and efficiently utilize grant funding. Grants Management enables grant professionals to strengthen credibility and improve public trust through effective management and transparency.
Check out Grants Management on Microsoft AppSource today, where you can try a demo and see how the solution provides new insights and streamlines day-to-day grants management.