eCivis Blog

Grants Mismanaged: Lessons from a GAO Study

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 31, 2015 6:00:00 AM

"Doing more with less" might be a trite but true "new normal" for local governments, but a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) underscores the limits of this mantra. For fiscal years 2009-2013, the GAO conducted site visits and examined eight grant programs from four municipalities—Detroit and Flint, Michigan; Camden, New Jersey; and Stockton, California—and concluded that grants management duties such as oversight, reporting, and timely drawdown of funds were compromised because of a lack of capacity. Grants management suffered because of grantees' limited capacity—whether human capital, financial, or organizational—and decreased financial capacity reduced some municipalities' ability to obtain federal grants. Let's look at the details:

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Topics: federal grants, grants management best practices

eCivis Videos Page Is Up!

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 25, 2015 7:00:00 AM

As our online content library continues to expand, we are organizing our content even better to address your interests. Now, all eCivis videos—whether grant management tips from our thought leaders or overviews of our software solutions—can be found at Please click around and tell us what you think!



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Topics: videos

Grants Management Readiness Survey

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 23, 2015 7:00:00 AM

You can't solve problems without asking honest, sometimes difficult, questions. For example, "Are we satisfied with how our agency researches grants? Manages awards?" And, "How effective are we at handling audits and audit findings?" The following short survey has been provided to jog your thoughts about your grants management processes, with questions related to: Read More

Topics: grants management system, surveys

Grant News Grab Bag: Rural Focus, March 2015

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 18, 2015 6:00:00 AM

There's been a lot of discussion of rural issues in the news lately, from potential cuts to the farm bill and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) to threats to rural early education opportunities. For this Grant News Grab Bag, these issues are brought to the fore.

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Topics: rural issues

What's Your Greatest Grants Challenge?

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 17, 2015 5:00:00 AM

It's a question we often ask organizations and departments: When it comes to grants, what is your greatest challenge? We've designed a simple survey around this question and want to hear from you.

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Topics: grants management best practices, surveys

Grants Management for Finance: Grant Information Form

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 12, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Your peers have great influence on your life, from your eating habits to your political opinions to the templates you use at work. Likewise, local governments influence other local governments. Counties, cities, and towns want to know what similar entities are doing right, and look to duplicate these best practices. And why wouldn't they? eCivis' most popular downloads, such as our grant procedures handout, are forms and templates produced by local governments or government experts who have kindly shared their work with us to share with you. 

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Topics: grants management best practices

How Local Governments Can Leverage Storytelling from the Numbers

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 10, 2015 3:00:00 AM

You’re probably familiar with the buzz term “open government,” the principle that citizens deserve access to the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight. That concept is clear enough, but what are some tangible examples of how local governments effectively implement this principle? And how do you translate the budget details into stories for the average citizen?

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Topics: local government

International Grant Professionals Week, March 16-20

Posted by Kim Richardson on Mar 5, 2015 3:00:00 AM

Monday, March 16, launches International Grant Professionals Week. The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is rolling out a full month of social media activities to recognize its members around the world. Currently, there are 21 active members based outside of the U.S., and many more professionals who access information and network through the Association’s social media forums. Since its inception, GPA has increased its membership in staggering numbers, and enhanced international awareness is a contributing factor. 

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Topics: nonprofits, grant writing, local government, grant news

HUD's $150 Million for Permanent Housing for the Needy

Posted by Timothy Tiernan on Mar 4, 2015 3:00:00 AM

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it would award $150 million in rental assistance to 25 state housing agencies to help prevent thousands of individuals with disabilities from being unnecessarily institutionalized or possibly becoming homeless. In turn, the state agencies will provide permanent affordable rental housing and needed supportive services to nearly 4,600 households with extremely low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom are hoping to transition out of institutional settings back to the community.   

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Topics: federal grants, state grants, grant news, housing

Uniform Guidance: How Grantees Can Prepare for the Change

Posted by Rachel Werner on Mar 3, 2015 3:00:00 AM

As most grant professionals whose work is impacted by federal grants during the pre-award or post-award management phases are aware, the Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Guidance (previously known as the "Omni-Circular" and "Super Circular") has modified specific administrative and cost requirements pertaining to federal grants and contracts. While a number of articles and blog posts have focused on the crosswalk between the new guidance (prior to December 26, 2014) and the previous guidance,1 and its potential impact on grantees and sub-grantees, there has been minimal information pertaining to best practices and applicability in the real world. Based on my research, this information is still in progress as grantees and sub-grantees begin to implement measures to adhere to the Uniform Guidance. However I have identified some steps that grantees and sub-grantees can do to prepare for the change.

1For those who received awards prior to the December 26, 2014, adoption of the Uniform Guidance, note that you are still held responsible to adhere to the previous OMB circulars. Make sure you check your notice of grant award to confirm.

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Topics: OMB, grants management best practices, super circular

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