A new client came to us with a handwritten list of grantees and commitments. The client had started off making five to ten grants a year and had tracked most grants by hand and email conversations. But, over time, the grantee list and the distribution level grew significantly. Now the client felt out of control and was looking for a better way to manage the administration of his grants.
We conducted a thorough assessment of the client's records, and we contacted each grantee to obtain missing information. We asked key administrative questions including when grant payments were owed and for what the payments would be used. For example, were the grant funds being used for general operations, program support, capital improvements, etc.?
We coded all our client's grants into our customized grant-tracking software, from which we could analyze grant data and generate an annual schedule for reports and distributions. In addition, we developed a spreadsheet that charted grant distribution against the amount of cash available for distribution, so the client had better insight into whether he was distributing more or less than he intended. The client reviewed the document and added other grants that he was considering, and became more active in mapping out his grant-making plans.
In addition, the client was able to identify which grantees misunderstood their grant's purpose. He then asked us to go back to those grantees to clarify goals. Finally, the client decided that he would benefit from contracts with all his grantees for grants over $50,000 to prevent future misunderstandings. In other words, once the client got a better hold on the administration of his grants, he became more engaged in designing and implementing the grants with a strategic lens.