According to a study shared in the Harvard Business Review, 55 percent of workers prefer to learn from their peers. Because the grants industry is so complicated and nuanced, this is especially true for grant managers and others working within the grant lifecycle.  

Accounting for this learning trend, AmpliFund users shared their grant management struggles and discussed how they have optimized their usage of Grant Management Software (GMS) to help others in the industry improve outcomes and bring more efficiency to grant management processes. 

The Recent Challenges of Grant Management

Unsurprisingly, AmpliFund users noted similar struggles in their work as of late. 

1.) Confusion over the ownership of funds 

Because of CARES Act funding and other COVID-related awards, AmpliFund users noted that more individuals and departments within their organizations have been receiving grant funding than ever before, which has created confusion around who should be managing and overseeing these funds. 

2.) Increase in dollars to manage, decrease in resources 

GMS users noted that the volume of grant dollars they have to manage has doubled, and, in some cases, tripled, and they are continuing to learn about more funding every day. Not only have they been trying to keep up with an influx of new awards, but they still have a large amount of non-COVID related grants to manage as well 

Despite this increased workload, hiring freezes, loss of staff, and a lack of time for interviews have left AmpliFund users with a lot of work to complete and not enough resources to manage it. 

3.) Delay of grants 

COVID-19 didn’t only result in more grant dollars. For some, awards they had won or were already managing have been delayed or put on hold, which means they have had to quickly change how they work with various teams and how they structure their project plans. 

4.) More Federal grant dollars = more compliance requirements 

2020 not only brought a wave of new funding, but it also brought changes to Federal legislation and regulations, all of which puts more responsibility and accountability on the shoulders of grant recipients. 

Optimizing GMS Usage to Improve Outcomes During a Complicated Time 

Because of the new responsibilities of and increased workload for grant managers in 2020, GMS users have been relying heavily on the technology to help them successfully and accurately handle their funding, especially those who have suffered from limited resources. 

  • Adding custom fields for COVID-19 grants 

Because of impending auditsAmpliFund administrators have been preparing for organizational leaders and stakeholders to ask which awards have been impacted by CARES Act funding. To easily and accurately provide an answer, GMS users have found custom fields to be helpful – specifically, the ability to add custom fields that denote COVID-related funding. 

  • Utilizing projects to manage complex awards 

As mentioned, grant managers not only have to wrestle with CARES Act funding. They still must maintain management of the other complicated grants that fuel their organizations. To do this, especially alongside an influx of outside funds, GMS users have been using projects and sub-projects within the GMS to more easily manage complex grants that provide funding to different facilities, for varying activities. They have also employed custom reports to easily view expenses from awards. 

An Increased Appreciation for Grants Teams

Luckily, the last year wasn’t all bad for those working in the grants industry. AmpliFund administrators stated that the increase in funding and Federal regulations has resulted in more training on Federal grant legislation for their staff. They have also been pleased that this past year has raised visibility into the expertise the grants office brings to an organization and has increased awareness of how onerous internal audits are. 

 

Wondering how your organization can optimize your GMS to tackle the current challenges of grant management? Check out AmpliFund’s resources page for more in-depth guides on GMS usage. 

*Photo by Headway on Unsplash

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