Hey, local governments! We have a new template your finance team will thank you for. It's a highly useful tool for tracking grant expenditures, so that a reviewer of this report can keep in mind whether grants are billed and collected in a timely manner, and whether grants will be spent within the grant period. Produced by Kevin Harper, CPA, a local government auditor with decades of experience, this document will help improve your internal controls if you don't already have something like this in place:Read More
Annually, units of municipal government, nonprofit organizations, and other eligible grant applicants go through a budget planning and preparation process for the next fiscal year’s anticipated expenses and revenues. This is a long process that often involves public meetings, department-level number crunching, and governing body review and approval of the final proposed budget. While this can best be described as a labor-intensive project for all parties involved, it frequently overlooks the possibility of retaining the services of an in-house grant writer or a third-party grant writing consultant.Read More
Bipartisan Present: Budget Wards Off Sequestration
It may be one of the least productive congressional sessions in U.S. history, but Congress passed a budget yesterday. Call it a bipartisan present for the holidays, as it staves off sequestration, across-the-board funding cuts that have affected nearly all federal programs, for two years. Read more about the passage, the brinkmanship, and the price some will pay.
NLC's City Fiscal Conditions Report 2013
According to this year’s City Fiscal Conditions report by the National League of Cities (NLC), 72 percent of city finance officers report that their cities are better able to meet fiscal needs than in 2012 (57 percent) and 2011 (43 percent). When asked about the impact of factors influencing city budgets in 2013, at least 7 in 10 city finance officers cited health benefit costs (80 percent), pension costs (75 percent), and infrastructure demands (73 percent) as negatively affecting city budgets.
What are we to think about the availability of grant funding in and for the state of Indiana? It's a broad question best approached one grantor category at a time: foundations, state agencies, and the federal agencies each take a slightly different grant seeking strategy.
Small private foundation endowments grew by 10 percent in 2012
A Foundation Source study of 732 small U.S. private foundations (those with less than $50 million in assets) found that total assets grew from $1.9 billion in 2011 to $2.1 billion in 2012. Foundation giving grew by 9.2 percent. The $200 million increase in assets is attributed to a recovery in financial markets that allowed donors to increase contributions. The study’s data is considered reflective of the 98% of foundations with assets under $50 million. (The largest 2 percent of U.S. foundations hold nearly 70 percent of all foundation wealth.)
Continuum of Care (CoC) Program awards: These were announced this week, with approximately $1.54 billion being awarded. The CoC Program provides funding for transitional and permanent housing and supportive services.
There are a number of useful resources available on sequestration's estimated cuts to federal grant programs. Two such resources are provided by the White House and Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post. These go well beyond my humble research skills. However, I thought it useful to present some data in map form, and to focus narrowly on one program to present some perspective—in this case, a state-level view of the sequester and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program.
It’s a major day of defeat for Congress, which bilaterally failed to prevent the across-the-board funding cuts that take effect today. It’s an even greater defeat for all those affected by the cuts—federal employees, students and teachers, scientists, defense contractors, airline passengers, low-income earners, the homeless and near-homeless, and so on. The list goes on as the reality sinks in.