In Day 26 of the challenge we talked about looking at your grant financial reporting policies. Today’s challenge targets one piece of the Day 26 challenge as there is nothing worse for a relationship with a grantmaker and funding partner than not spending the funds as requested and not knowing it and/or discussing it with the grantmaker prior to submitting a report.
There were countless times when I was a Program Officer that I would review a year-end financial report and have to call the grantee to discuss why it was that their expended budget did not align with the proposed and approved budget. Definitely NOT a good grantee and grantmaker relationship moment.
Your challenge today is to look at the procedure in place for your organization for reviewing grant expenses versus awarded budgets. Consider your answers to the specific questions below and how you can improve your processes to be more consistent and ensure checks and balances are in place.
1 – How often does your finance team provide reports that show approved grant budgets versus actual expenses? You should be reviewing these reports monthly.
2 – Who is reviewing the reports from finance? Only you as the grant professional? They should be shared with the staff member who is responsible for implementing the funding program. They need to understand where they stand on their grant budgets.
3 – How does your organization handle over-expenditures for a funded line item?
- Reallocation for the overage to a different revenue source?
- Call the funder to discuss a potential revision to the budget?
- Confidence that the grantmaker allows 10% line item variances without permission?
Who within your organization has the final authority to manage these decisions for every grant to ensure consistency of approach?
If you haven’t picked up on it in the challenge already, there are numerous elements of grant readiness that involve your grant team. The grant management and fiscal controls related to grants are top on the list for the overall success of your grant seeking strategy as an organization. To be successful in this week’s challenges, engaging your grant team in your daily challenge is key!
Don’t forget to share your journey on the 30 Day Grant Readiness Challenge by using the hashtag #grantreadiness on your posts and updates on social media.