The Nonprofit Atlas



Grant Management vs. Grant Writing

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Grant writing is only one component of having a winning grants management strategy. Grant management is a critical aspect of nonprofit operations, involving the acquisition, administration, and stewardship of grant funding to support the organization’s mission and programs. Effective grant management requires a range of skills and competencies to ensure that grants are obtained, utilized, and reported on in a manner that aligns with donor expectations and regulatory requirements.

Here are 10 essential grant management skills for nonprofit organizations

1. Grant Writing

The ability to write compelling grant proposals is essential for securing funding from foundations, government agencies, and other grant-making entities. Grant writers should be able to clearly articulate the organization’s mission, goals, programs, and outcomes in a way that resonates with potential funders and meets their specific guidelines and requirements.

2. Research and Prospect Identification

Grant managers should have strong research skills to identify potential funding opportunities that align with the organization’s mission and strategic priorities. This involves researching grant databases, funding sources, and donor prospects to identify potential matches and funding opportunities.

3. Budgeting and Financial Management:

Grant managers should have a solid understanding of budgeting principles and financial management practices to develop accurate and realistic grant budgets, monitor spending, and ensure compliance with grant requirements. This includes tracking expenditures, managing cash flow, and preparing financial reports for grantors.

4. Compliance and Regulatory Knowledge

Grant managers should be familiar with relevant laws, regulations, and compliance requirements governing grant funding, including federal, state, and local regulations, as well as funder-specific guidelines. This includes understanding reporting deadlines, audit requirements, allowable expenses, and other compliance-related matters.

5. Project Management

Effective grant management requires strong project management skills to plan, implement, and monitor grant-funded projects and programs. This involves setting clear objectives, timelines, and deliverables, coordinating activities across multiple stakeholders, and ensuring that projects are executed on time and within budget.

6. Relationship Building and Communication

 Grant managers should have strong interpersonal skills to cultivate and maintain relationships with funders, donors, and other stakeholders. This includes effective communication, networking, and relationship-building skills to establish rapport, negotiate agreements, and address concerns or challenges.

7. Data Collection and Evaluation

Grant managers should be proficient in data collection, analysis, and evaluation to measure the impact and effectiveness of grant-funded programs. This involves developing evaluation frameworks, collecting relevant data and metrics, and analyzing outcomes to assess program success and inform decision-making.

8. Grant Reporting and Documentation

Grant managers should have strong writing and documentation skills to prepare accurate and timely grant reports for funders, donors, and other stakeholders. This includes documenting program activities, outcomes, and expenditures in compliance with grant requirements and reporting deadlines.

9. Risk Management and Problem-Solving

Grant managers should be adept at identifying and managing risks associated with grant-funded projects, including financial, operational, and programmatic risks. This involves anticipating potential challenges, developing contingency plans, and implementing strategies to mitigate risks and address issues as they arise.

10. Ethical and Professional Conduct

Grant managers should adhere to high standards of ethical and professional conduct in all aspects of grant management, including integrity, honesty, transparency, and accountability. This includes maintaining confidentiality, avoiding conflicts of interest, and upholding the organization’s reputation and credibility.

Overall, effective grant management requires a combination of technical expertise, interpersonal skills, and attention to detail to secure, administer, and steward grant funding in a manner that maximizes impact and advances the organization’s mission and goals.

The Nonprofit Atlas connects the dots for any “do-gooders” to do the most good. We provide the roadmap to doing good well.   We simplify the work of securing resources, relationships, and best practices that fuel a mission and realize a vision.  See us in action with a FREE 30-minute consultation.