Best Practices

The case for internal controls

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Federal grantees are required to have written financial and management controls to safeguard public funds. Control systems are a good business practice in general regardless of whether an organization receives federal grants. These controls, or checks and balances, over expenses ensures funds aren’t misspent or embezzled. This case study, “ripped from the headlines,” illustrates the […]

Best Practices

How to start a grants office/department

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Is your organization at the point where you want to formalize your grant seeking efforts with a dedicated full-time employee? Wonderful! You can only get so far with someone going after grants in addition to their other responsibilities. If you want to take grants to the next level, you need to start a grants department—even […]

Best Practices

Think outside the box

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Don’t be afraid to apply for funds outside of your primary field. That is, if you’re a housing agency, it’s okay to apply for Department of Justice funds or Education funds (or whatever) so long as the funding’s purpose is a match with your mission. As we get deeper into our professional life, we get […]

Best Practices

Patience is the key

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Organizations with no, or minimal, experience with federal grants often have completely unrealistic expectations re: how quickly they’ll receive funding. The feds operate on their own timetable; that will never change. It might take six months or more before you receive a decision on the first application you submit. And the solution isn’t to adopt […]