"Excelling Beyond the Spreadsheet" - when Excel can't keep up anymore.
Once you’re interested in a grant, there are a few steps you should take before you organize your team to apply. Determining fit and eligibility should be at the top of your list, as well as any funding restrictions, the total workload required, and due dates. At the end of the day, you want to know whether the grant is attainable and worth the investment from all angles. For those of you new to grant seeking, this blog post’s for you.
You know it's a wise practice to examine the lists of previous award recipients and their projects funded by grantors you are interested in. So with this in mind, here are select grant award announcements for July.
Welcome to part 3 of the series guiding leadership and grant directors in the quest to establish a strong grants office. (See parts 1 and 2 of the series in case you missed it.) Now that we have support for the office and know the reason for its being, let's talk strategy.
Data storage and management is something that all of us require both personally, and professionally, but rarely think about on a daily basis. Billions of dollars in federal funding has been earmarked for electronic health records, contract support to update aging computer systems and processes (think of Veterans Affairs), and a multitude of other systems. Grant data management has become increasingly important given the more focused OMB scrutiny on how federal funds are spent, and congressional focus on Transparency.gov to showcase how each federal dollar is spent in the public sector. This information is also intrinsically important from auditing, budgeting, strategic planning, and evaluation management perspectives.
The Highway Trust Fund, a major revenue source for infrastructure projects throughout the United States, is due to go bankrupt by September if Congress doesn't take action to shore up the fund, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Back in 2010, the Obama administration began to catalyze change in distressed communities by creating the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), an interagency approach that would support local solutions to create opportunites in high-poverty neighborhoods. The initiative includes collaboration among stakeholders and the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC), White House Office of Urban Affairs (WHOUA), the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Education (ED), Justice (DoJ), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury. Since the inception of NRI, more than $350 million has been invested in more than 100 high-poverty communities, through programs like Promise Neighborhoods and Choice Neighborhoods grants, the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grants, and the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program.
The following grant award announcements took place in June 2014. Reviewing awarded projects can be an excellent way to prepare your own application and to gauge funder priorities. Here are a few such award summaries:
County leaders, it's that time of year again for you and your staff to attend the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference and expo, which will be held July 11-14 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. You can register here, and can read and Tweet about the event with the hashtag #NACoANN.
For grant directors and other executive leaders focusing on assessing the viability of establishing a grants office, this article is the next installment in my series on creating a grants office from scratch. (Here's the first part of this series.)
Internal controls – what does this term mean to you as a grant professional? To me, it almost sounds like "mission control." So who is commanding the post? From an accounting perspective, internal controls involve everything that controls risks for an organization, and ensures compliance with applicable laws and regulations (Sawyers Guide for Internal Auditors, The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation, 2012). At the basic organizational level, most policies define internal control objectives as they relate to the reliability of financial reporting, timely feedback on the achievement of operational or strategic goals, and compliance with laws and regulations. Without internal controls, there would be no structure or guidelines with which to manage millions of dollars in public and private funding.