For the past few weeks, London Sport Consultancy funding expert Aaron Dunkley has been covering numerous areas of “grant-readiness” to boost your organisation’s chances of securing the investment you need. But what then? Here Aaron looks at what to do after you’ve been successful with your funding application.
Your funding application has been successful and you’ve received your grant-maker’s money. Great job!
That’s your part of the process over and your organisation can get on with the all-important work of delivering a great service to your beneficiaries – right?
Some grant-makers will be content to let your organisation deliver its work without requesting too much more of your time, but there are responsibilities which come with being a grant-holder that you need to be mindful of each time you receive funding.
What will grant-makers expect of me as a grant-holder?
There will be basic expectations of your organisation, as a bare minimum.
Namely, the grant you have been awarded will:
- Be spent in accordance with the information that was outlined in your funding application.
- Not be spent on things that weren’t in your funding application (e.g. core costs, other projects, staff Christmas lunches, etc).
- Be spent within the agreed timescales outlined in your funding application or subsequent grant agreement.
- Be spent (i.e. it won’t sit in your bank account indefinitely – or top up your charity’s reserves – unless it was specifically agreed for this purpose).
It is important you are aware of these expectations and that you manage your grant carefully, so you don’t damage the relationship with your grant-maker and jeopardise your chances of receiving funding in the future.
Fortunately, after informing you your application has been successful, many grant-makers will ask you to sign a grant agreement which will hold their requirements and expectations in one place.
Here are ten tips to help you manage your grant well and to keep your grant-maker happy:
- Provide any information your grant-maker reasonably requests – and provide it promptly.
- Let your grant-maker know if a change occurs or is going to occur, meaning you are no longer able to spend the grant in the way you’d outlined in your original funding application (e.g. your project is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, or you receive more funding than you need for a particular project and therefore no longer need a proportion of the grant for that project).
- Be prepared to return funding if you are unable to spend it as outlined in your original funding application but…
- Ask your grant-maker first if they would be willing for the grant to go to another (similar) project or piece of work. Grant-makers can often be flexible as long as their funding achieves a similar impact.
- Offer your grant-maker opportunities to visit your organisation and see your work first-hand. They may not be able to accept your offer but if they do – and you are able to build your relationship with them – it could lead to more/larger grants in the future as it brings the value of your organisation to life.
- Send photos and case studies from the funded project if requested (and is compliant with your organisation’s safeguarding processes).
- Acknowledge your grant-maker on your website, in your communications and in your annual report (unless they specifically ask you not to, in which case – don’t!).
- Don’t put the grant towards something that wasn’t in your original funding application (without asking permission first from your grant-maker).
- Don’t ask your grant-maker for more funding before you’ve completed the last project they funded (unless you have been told you can or, sometimes in the case of larger grant-makers, they have a separate funding stream and their rules state holding grants for both is acceptable).
- Keep track of your spending of the grant by keeping receipts, invoices, copies of salary payslips etc. as proof of expenditure – many grant-makers will ask for such records.