7 Grant Management Mistakes Funders Make to Watch Out For


Any funder after awarding a grant has a goal to see the organization receiving the grant money do what they proposed and generate positive returns within the required budget. Sometimes it may not go according to plan, and grant managers can make a mistake in the process of using the money. But, you can remedy the minor ones that occur. What if the errors were significant enough to cost large amounts of money? Plus, in the worst case, an opportunity for grant fraud occurs. Here are common mistakes to equip you better with noticing warning signs of a funder to avoid. 

1. Unethical leadership

One weak point that can cost any organization, no matter the size, to crumble is unethical leadership. In grant management, it will cost you a lot too. To learn of funders management with poor ethics is simple. It has no clear policies and no individual accountability. Also, no clear separation of roles and responsibilities. Or gaps in processes to report foul play. 

2. Weak project monitoring 

Weak project monitoring 

Grant management is tricky, and there are several layers to a successful grant program. But as much as it can be a challenging task, you can streamline the entire process with actionable steps. If not, you risk being a victim of poor communication, the messy review process, lack of bias training with grantees, and worse, a victim of grant fraud. Thus, the risks of weak project monitoring include minimal project reporting and too much reliance on students, volunteers, and junior employees.

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3. Poor technology security 

Grant management has sensitive areas you should prioritize, such as technology security. Using subpar technology security opens your organization to many risks. Such as lack of restrictions on open computer use, missing policy records, sensitive grantee information exposed, grant fraud opportunities, and private financial reports leaked. To have impactful grant management starts within you. Therefore, ensuring technology security is a priority within the team to prevent any disaster.

4. Making the grant application process a headache

Making the grant application process a headache

Applying for a fund is a challenging task for grantees, but it is exciting. So, the worst thing grant makers can do to keep off quality applicants is to make them jump hoops for the funder. It is best to make the application simple and easy to understand. So, ensure it is straightforward and omit any unnecessary sections. Plus, ask yourself if you want to know all the answers.

5. Offering a cheque and nothing else 

The funders’ job is not over once they offer the cheques. As a funder, you can give more than the money to the grant awardees. Such as a valuable network of contacts you know and have. You can guide them through the first year with the relevant experience you have to ensure the result has a great impact. This is the job of the grant maker. Thus, start identifying how you will support your grantees. In this way, you ensure you make the most of the offer. Some non-financial methods you can share include using your position to spread awareness of the cause and sharing performance management advice.

6. Not establishing guidelines in your call for submission

A call to submission that is a mess is the same thing you will get. But if the guidelines are crystal clear, it will make a difference as you check the applications. Once you are sure of the ideal candidate, communicate on your website, social channels, or any other public platform you prefer to use clearly. This is the prequalification stage. It helps you filter out unsuitable candidates and remain with the best ones.  

7. Using a manual process to review applications

Using a manual process to review applications

It is easier to sift through a handful of applications manually. But if you are hoping for more, it is impossible. Thousands of applications are a whole lot of headaches. Also, there is too much room for miscalculations and mistakes. Plus, the review team gets overwhelmed, and accuracy is poor. Not to forget, you create room for implicit bias to slip through the cracks. So, be smart in the grant management platform and minimize the risks through the review process. Thus, empower your team to focus on the vital parts of the reviewing process. 

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