Grant Management and Effective Fund Tracking in Non-Profits


For non-profits, securing grants is often a lifeline, fueling the valuable work they do in communities. But the responsibility does not end with acquisition. Effective grant management and fund tracking are crucial to maximizing impact, ensuring compliance, and paving the way for future funding.

The Three Pillars of Grant Management:

Pre-award Analysis:

  • Prospecting with Precision:
    • Utilize grant databases, attend foundation events, and build relationships with potential funders.
    • Align your mission with funding priorities, avoiding scattered applications.
  • Proposal Powerhouse:
    • Craft compelling narratives that demonstrate impact and resonate with funder goals.
    • Assemble a dedicated team with diverse expertise to tackle grant writing.
  • Budgeting Brilliance:
    • Create realistic, comprehensive budgets that accurately reflect project needs.
    • Factor in indirect costs and contingency plans for unforeseen circumstances.

Award Administration Expertise:

  • Contract Compliance Champion:
    • Deeply understand and meticulously adhere to grant agreement terms and conditions.
    • Maintain thorough documentation, including receipts, invoices, and progress reports.
  • Financial Vigilance:
    • Implement robust accounting systems to track grant expenditures in real-time.
    • Conduct regular internal audits to ensure accuracy and identify potential discrepancies.
  • Communication:
    • Foster open communication with funders, promptly addressing inquiries and concerns.
    • Proactively inform funders of milestones achieved and any challenges encountered.

Post-award Proficiency:

  • Reporting:
    • Clearly and concisely present project progress and outcomes in reports aligned with funder requirements.
    • Quantify impact through data-driven metrics and compelling narratives.
  • Evaluation:
    • Conduct internal and external evaluations to assess project effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
    • Share evaluation findings with funders and stakeholders to demonstrate accountability and learning.
  • Sustainability:
    • Explore strategies to leverage grant success into lasting impact and future funding opportunities.
    • Cultivate relationships with funders for potential follow-on grants or long-term partnerships.

It is Important to Track all Funds with Transparency:

  • Using QuickBooks Online, this is managed using classes- a different class for each grant. This allows reports to be run by class to see all income and expenses.
  • Different bank sub-accounts should be used to track grants, especially those with specific funding restrictions.
  • QBO also offer Fund Accounting to categorize transactions.
  • Prepare for audits by maintaining up-to-date records and practicing internal compliance checks.
  • Collaborate with auditors openly and address concerns promptly and transparently.

Benefits Beyond Compliance:

Effective grant management and fund tracking go beyond avoiding audit woes. They strengthen relationships with funders, build trust with stakeholders, and optimize the impact of every precious dollar. This commitment to fiscal responsibility paves the way for:

  • Enhanced Credibility: A solid track record of responsible grant management attracts new funders and expands support networks.
  • Strategic Allocations: Data-driven insights from fund tracking inform future budgeting decisions, maximizing returns on investment.
  • Impactful Innovation: Transparent reporting and evaluation empower continuous improvement, leading to more effective programs and greater community impact.

For non-profits, grant management is not a burden, but a strategic opportunity to amplify their mission and leave a lasting mark on the world. By mastering the art of prospecting, proposal writing, and award administration, and by meticulously tracking funds and measuring impact, non-profits can transform grant funds into sustainable change and secure a brighter future for their communities.

Here at Bay Business Group, we want to be more than your accountant, we want to be your partner, to help you further your mission, achieve and exceed your yearly goals and bring your mission to life.