Documenting and organizing information gathered during all phases of a grant project is critical for an effective grants management system. Grant files include the following basic components: project planning, grant research, application, post-award management, and grant close-out. This article describes the project planning component of the grant file and six items to consider and document from the project-planning phase.
What to Consider and Document during Project Planning
The funding agency does not necessarily care about the grants management process used to plan your project and select the grant opportunity. However, as an organization, it is beneficial for you to record what type of approach was used to select and identify a project and grant opportunity. The project-planning section of your grant file should include all information gathered during the very first steps to define and plan your project, including:
- Origin/Driving Factors – Documents in this subsection may discuss the public need and any other factors that inspired you to initiate the project you’ve decided to implement. These can include any statistical data and analysis, reports on the community status quo, or real facts that urge interference and mitigation. If your project was initiated by a resolution or a legislative act, you may want to file the original document here.
- Objectives – This subsection may include information on the objectives your organization established in order to impact the public need and lessen or eliminate the existing problem.
- Scope & Benefits – Documents in this subsection may discuss the expected benefits, the target group of beneficiaries, and the extent to which the project will help you achieve your objectives.
- Participants – Information in this subsection may include the various tasks that are required to complete the project and what each person involved will be doing. This subsection may also discuss the reporting requirements for participants: what exactly needs to be reported, by whom, to whom, when, and for what purpose.
- Materials/Supplies – This subsection of your file may include information on any equipment, materials, hardware, and software you needed to use for the project implementation.
- Costs & Funding Sources – Making estimates of all possible costs associated with different phases of your project development and implementation is another critical part of your project planning and is worth documenting for future reference. Include information on potential funding sources, how you planned to allocate funds or other resources, and your initial plans about what you would have done if the funding were not obtained.
Documenting information that you acquire during the planning process of your project will create not only a history of your project but also a valuable resource for future applications.
eCivis is the nation's leading grants management software solution and the ideal platform for improving local governments' and community-based organizations' grants performance. For more information about eCivis, visit www.ecivis.com. For media inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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