This blog is an excerpt from our new guide, “3 Ways to Maximize Your COVID-19 Funding Through Digital Transformation.” You can download the new guide for free here.
With the realities of COVID-19, procurement and grants professionals will be called upon to go above and beyond their administrative functions. They will need to strategically advise their respective agencies on how to identify funding opportunities and maximize every available grant dollar to help their agencies manage fiscal health.
Traditionally, we tend to view grants and procurement as disparate processes and functions. However, if we’ve learned anything from COVID-19, it’s that procurement and grants could not be more closely intertwined.
Grant funds are integral to procuring the goods and services that are fundamental to the business of government. As governments anticipate more federal relief packages to follow after the CARES Act, those funds will be used to procure essential goods and services. And the most important common denominator between the two? You have to do both well to make each dollar count and maintain compliance so you don’t have to return any of these critical funds to the federal government.
Digitization is Essential to Fiscal Health Now and In the Future
With robust grants management and procurement processes, governments improve their chances of ensuring compliance, expending grant dollars appropriately, and delivering the services and aid to the communities counting on them. How do governments finesse their grants and procurement processes to ensure maximum ROI, efficiency, and compliance? From what we’ve seen during this pandemic, governments have been forced to accelerate their digital transformation strategies through the form of cloud-based solutions to improve both of these critical and interrelated functions.
The reality is that only those who are able to ride this new wave of digital acceleration will be able to ensure business continuity now and well into the future. As of August 2020, state and local governments have only spent 25 percent of CARES Act funding, according to the Department of Treasury’s Office of Inspector General. Governments only have until December 2020 to expend CARES Act funding for COVID-19 related costs, highlighting the need to accelerate digital transformation in grants management – so you can get services faster to people who need them the most.
Cloud-Based Software Creates More Efficiencies and Ensures Compliance
Not only is it essential to rapidly attain and get funding out to communities in need, but also ensure compliance with 2 CFR 200 Uniform Grant Guidance as well as Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). The good news about today’s cloud-based procurement and grants management solutions is that they automate the process of adhering to such requirements with built-in compliance.
In terms of implications specifically on the procurement function within public institutions, 73 percent of public agencies are prioritizing digital procurement to ensure business continuity and streamline manual and operational tasks. And governments that are prioritizing digital acceleration in their grants processes are seeing huge returns already. For example, the City of Atlanta took its grants management online to streamline communications and the management of funding recipients, increasing their number of qualified proposals by 44 percent over the previous year and significantly increasing their revenue opportunities.
As governments navigate the next fiscal year, there are still many ways digital transformation can help agencies maximize all the COVID-19 funding (i.e. dollars from the Coronavirus Relief Fund) coming their way, while improving resiliency for already lean teams.
Find out the three ways governments can leverage digital transformation to maximize CARES Act and other-COVID-19 related funding in our latest guide.
If you need to stand up a solution quickly to help you find, get, and manage grant funding, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need a help with your procurement processes, please reach out to email@example.com