The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 is designed to provide economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering $350 billion for eligible state, local, and tribal governments to respond to the pandemic emergency and bring back jobs. There are five major categories of approved funding use:• Support public health expenditures• Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency• Replace lost public sector revenue• Provide premium pay for essential workers• Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructureWithin those categories, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities.
Grant management is not just one process. When managing grants, organizations need to foster cross-functional communication, be aware of activities occurring across all departments, oversee various budgets, and track performance goals, all while remaining compliant with grant management legislation.With an unprecedented volume of funding, managing grant funding processes and reporting in disparate systems can have several consequences, including:
Grant management centralization and standardization is not just a preferential choice anymore - it is a necessary practice.
A standard set of grant guidelines is critical to ensuring your grants team is informed of internal processes as well as federal regulations. While every organization’s funding procedures will vary, there are some general topics that should be covered in your organization’s grant guidelines. This checklist will ensure you cover all the standard elements needed in a thorough set of grant guidelines.
Rescue Plan funds are varied and diverse in how and where they can be used. As a result, centralized reporting structures are essential so you can foster cross-functional communication and stay compliant.
The Uniform Grant Guidance requires standard reporting to ensure compliance and good controls are in place during an audit; however, what those standard reporting processes must entail is not very prescriptive. This ambiguity forces your organization to answer the following questions when deciding what your processes can, or should, look like.
The processes that your organization may choose to implement, or already follow, can include additional steps that are not specifically required by any key legislation, and may include the addition of departmental specifics, people, and additional data collection practices. This blog post provides some best practices for both grant seekers and grant makers that an organization can implement to maintain compliance and maximize your outcomes.
There are so many data elements accompanying grant management; consequently, trying to manage them all manually or in disparate systems introduces human error and the inability to communicate about important aspects of the grant lifecycle. In order to truly achieve centralization and standardization, organizations should adopt a purpose-built Grant Management Software platform that:
Provides accountability and visibility over funds
Has a configurable reporting to filter for COVID-19 funds
Allows for tagging funds with meta-data for tracking down through the award to the recipient
Supports linking all outputs to the meta-data and to the funds
Allows for segmentation in reporting
Allows for coding of funds for central tracking and reporting
Organizations looking to quickly implement a solution are leveraging many available avenues - from CARES Act funding to indirect costs to ARPA funding, including the newly appropriated Technology Modernization Fund ($1B solely dedicated to funding modernization projects).
To learn more about leveraging the Technology Modernization Fund, visit tmf.cio.gov to review the guidelines and submit a proposal.
To learn more about how you can leverage AmpliFund to track and manage your grant funding and outcomes, request a demo.
The U.S Department of Treasury continues to issue new information for funding recipients. Several critical pieces are linked below for quick reference:
Interim Final Rule
Quick Reference Guide
Press Release – May 10, 2021
Tribal Government Information
Non-Entitlement Unit Information
Ensure the funds you distribute are drawn down properly while staying compliant by easily managing your recipients and subrecipients.
Maximize your grant dollars and keep your funders happy by simplifying administrative tasks and increasing collaboration.
Maintain compliance at every stage by centralizing all of your grant management tasks.