Guest Post by Laura Ngan Tian, Senior Consultant for Blackbaud’s Financial Management suite.
I work with many grant funded nonprofits and often come across concerns and pitfalls in many of them that could have been avoided with the proper tools and policies in place. I typically find that these organizations have to prepare different reports for each grant-giving body, and for those receiving funding from multiple entities, tracking and reporting on grants becomes a full-time job. But, it doesn’t have to be.
To increase efficiency, improve accuracy, and maximize staff time, it is important to have a tool that enables your organization to:
1. Effectively Track Grant Activity
To effectively track grant activity, an organization must have a standardized way of knowing that a transaction is related to a particular grant. This means that the system in place must have the capability to maintain a value for grant in the form of a list, a code or a table.
2. Manage Budgets for the Grant
Managers or Directors can make better decisions if they have the ability to see how well their programs are doing against budgets. It is imperative then to have detailed budget vs. actual reports in a timely manner.
3. Allocate Cost Appropriately
Cost allocation allows an organization to share overhead expenses across the different programs. After all, a program cannot exist without overhead and supportive services, so it is important to account indirect program costs.
4. Easily Generate Grant Reimbursement
Grant giving organizations require grant recipients to submit detailed supporting documents before grant payments are made. A system that has the capacity to automatically generate grant reimbursement based on grant activity not only saves time but improves the accuracy when generating invoices.
5. Customize Reports
And finally, the ability to customize reports for grantor and for internal management is invaluable. Some systems only offer canned reports, and creating customized reports can be very time consuming – sometimes downright impossible.
When selecting a financial management solution, it is important to consider your grant tracking and reporting requirements so that you can maximize the benefits of your system implementation. Join us for a free webinar and learn how keep track of the funds you raise.