Grants Management 101 (Part 3): Resource Capacity
The ingredients to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies are fairly straightforward – flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, milk, chocolate chips, and few other items. You mix then together, bake, and then you get a delicious treat. Well, what happens when you do not have flour and you ran out of chocolate chips? You have the intention, but fail to deliver on the cookies you so desperately desire. The same is true for managing a grant. You want the money, you need the money, but sometimes you just don’t have all of the ingredients.
Let’s think through some of the resources that may be lacking and how you can build your capacity:
Financial: This is tough, because lack of adequate funds will not allow your organization to achieve its goals. The only way to resolve this is to build an infrastructure to strategically request funding, and to work within your financial limits. Establish short-, mid- and long-term goals with your Board to map out a plan for future growth and establish operational and programmatic priorities.
Personnel: Create a chart of all the responsibilities related to grant functions that need to take place from creating a prospect list to putting together a budget and then post-award processes, such as grant reporting. One person cannot possibly be responsible for all of these items. If these tasks can be shared across a pool of individuals (even if it’s only 3) the weight will be not be as heavy on 1 person’s shoulders.
Technology: There are many free and inexpensive online tools and templates available to support grant tracking, management and software. Determine the resources you lack and then look online through Capterra or some other sites that rate software so you can determine the tools needed to support your work.
Knowledge and Skills: There is a plethora of online webinars and in-person trainings that you can take advantage of so you can enhance your knowledge capacity. Foundation Center, Grant Space, Grant Professionals Association are just a few, but there are many others (include Slide Share) where you can access free content online.