The world of philanthropy revolves around the goal of making a difference in society. Grant giving is one of the ways to achieve this, but there are some common mistakes that funders make which can cost them a significant amount of money, and in the worst cases, lead to grant fraud. In this article, we’ll be discussing seven common grant management mistakes and how to avoid them.

  1. Unethical leadership: Weak leadership with no ethical standards can cause an organization to crumble. In grant management, this can lead to issues such as a lack of clear policies, no clearly defined points of authority, and gaps in processes for reporting fraud. Ensure your management team is ethical, accountable, and clear on their roles and responsibilities.
  2. Poor technology security: Grant management has many sensitive areas, and if you don’t prioritize technology security, you’re opening yourself up to risks such as grant fraud opportunities and sensitive information being exposed. Ensure technology security is a priority within internal teams to prevent disaster.
  3. Weak project monitoring: To avoid being a victim of potential grant fraud, ensure you have a streamlined monitoring process for your funding projects. This includes regular project reporting, avoiding too much reliance on junior-level employees and students, and establishing clear guidelines for your call for submissions.
  4. Offering a cheque and little else: As a grantmaker, you have a valuable network of contacts to offer your grantees. You have the relevant experience to guide them through that first year of using that cheque to ensure the result is as impactful as it can be. Identify exactly how you aim to support your grantees and provide non-financial support methods such as performance management advice.
  5. Making the grant application process a headache: To avoid deterring quality applicants, make your application process as simple and straightforward as possible. Omit any unnecessary sections and avoid asking half of the questions you’re asking.
  6. Not establishing guidelines in your call for submissions: Ensure your guidelines are crystal clear and communicate them on your website, social channels, and other communication channels. This is called the pre-qualification stage, where you state your expectations with no room for interpretation, so the unsuitable candidates are automatically filtered out.
  7. Using a manual process to review applications: A smart grants management platform minimizes the risk of mistakes, miscalculations, and implicit bias. It empowers teams to free up time so they can focus on the more important parts of the job.

Impactful grant management starts from within. It’s essential to have ethical leadership, prioritize technology security, streamline project monitoring, provide non-financial support to grantees, make the grant application process straightforward, establish clear guidelines, and use a smart grants management platform. Avoiding these seven common mistakes can help ensure successful grant management and ultimately lead to making a difference in society.

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