Guide to Centralizing the Grant Process

Guide to Centralizing the Grant Process

Guide to Centralizing the Grant Process

Grant management is a complex, highly detailed process that requires several participants and various contributions from different departments of your organization. Because grants have existed for a long time, organizations have used many methods for managing the grant process. As technology becomes a more integral part of many industries and related processes, traditional grant management systems may be less effective now. Today, a centralized grant management process uses grant software that can improve your organization’s workflows.

Learn more about decentralized and centralized grant management, key players in the grant management system, and how digital grant software enables a centralized system.

History of Grant Management Processes

Governments, states, and organizations have been awarding grants for centuries. While the most common type of grant is monetary, grants can also be for things like land and resources. Grants are awarded to various businesses, organizations, schools, and nonprofits. The entity awarding the grant, such as the government or funding organization, manages the grant application and award processes.

In the past, grant management has been primarily decentralized. Decentralized grant management involves various teams across multiple departments managing different parts of the grant process. With this style of grant management, grant statuses and documents may be updated at various times, and there is no singular location or person in charge. This traditional process is ineffective compared to modern, centralized systems.

Decentralized grant management is ineffective for several reasons, including the following:

  • Confusing process: Grant management is a detailed process. The process can easily get confusing with such a widespread decentralized system and no single person responsible. A lack of written protocols, procedures, and oversight also leaves much room for confusion.
  • Lack of communication: Another downfall of the decentralized system is communication difficulties. Grant management responsibilities fall across multiple departments, and communication between departments is typically limited. Lack of communication makes it difficult to keep the grant process moving forward efficiently.
  • Poorly maintained records: Without a centralized location for records, documents, applications, and other grant-related information, maintaining adequate records becomes extremely difficult. Without proper records, the entire process is ineffective and inefficient.

Benefits of Centralized Grant Management Systems

Decentralized grant processes are more difficult to manage because more moving parts and entities are involved. Modern grant management solutions are centralized, meaning one team manages the grant program and keeps all related documents, data, and information in a singular place. Centralized grant management systems offer multiple benefits over decentralized systems, including the following.

Increased Convenience

Centralized grant management is significantly more convenient because one team controls the process, making everything easier to manage. Whether you’re generating finance reports or reviewing grant applications, having all the necessary information in one place makes everyone’s jobs more convenient.

Increased Efficiency

In addition to increased convenience, a centralized system becomes significantly more efficient. The application, award, and account processes go more smoothly when the same key players are involved through each step rather than handing the grant off to different departments. Centralized systems help avoid miscommunication, delays, and other decentralized issues that hold up the grant process.

Improved Collaboration

Centralized grant management systems also improve your team’s ability to collaborate. With everything stored in one centralized location, everyone involved can easily access and collaborate on documents and processes. This collaboration can also increase efficiency by accelerating the grant process. 

Synced Processes

In a centralized grant management system, your main participants work together on synced processes as a single team rather than multiple different processes across various teams. Synced processes are far more effective and efficient, as this ensures everyone is on the same page throughout the grant process. Having your key players on the same page ensures information and statuses are updated and everyone stays informed. 

Key Players in the Centralized Grant Management System

Clearly defining roles for the key players in your grant program helps centralize responsibilities and keeps everything progressing on time. While teams will vary between organizations, here are several people who should have access to your grant management system:

  • Grants coordinator: The grants coordinator is the leader of your centralized system. They keep everyone on-task and oversee collaboration and communication. The coordinator also helps maintain compliance, standards and transparency throughout the grant process.
  • Grants accountant: You need an individual to facilitate communication between the grants program and the finance team. Transparency between these teams is important to achieve centralization. The grants accountant will also generate finance reports and track spending.
  • ERP and data expert: An enterprise resource planning (ERP) program and data expert helps provide leadership regarding decision-making, data tracking and integrations. This individual keeps all data points connected, especially if your organization uses an ERP.
  • Leadership representatives: Whether political or executive, your grants management system needs leadership representatives to advocate for and push initiatives forward. Without expertise and buy-in from leadership, centralization will only get so far. 
  • Agency representatives: Agency representatives can provide insights on risks, current patterns and values. These individuals can also help get grant-making agencies to buy into your organization’s centralization.

Implementing Technology and Digital Grant Management Tools

Implementing Technology and Digital Grant Management Tools

Digital grant management platforms have become the foundation for centralizing grant management. Digital platforms become your centralized platform for all things related to grant management. For example, digital grant management systems provide tools to track grants, financials, key performance indicators (KPI) and goals. Digital systems also help increase accountability and standardize data reporting and other processes across your operation.

The right digital grant management system makes monitoring and generating grants, applications and reports much easier and far more efficient. Your organization can easily collaborate throughout the grant process, as all your data and documentation are located in this centralized platform. Your processes will improve as you tailor your system to work for your organization’s workflows. Digital grant management systems also automate processes to streamline tasks, giving key players more time to focus on other needs.

Enhance Your Grant Management System With IGX Solutions

Enhance Your Grant Management System With IGX Solutions

Whether you’re a grant-awarding entity or a grant-seeking organization, using a grant management system to automate your workflows and streamline processes can improve how you handle grant funding. At IGX Solutions, we created grant management software that helps you manage funding while remaining compliant with agreements. IntelliGrants IGX is a grant management solution that provides increased functionality and usability so your organization is better equipped when providing or receiving funding. From governments and educational institutions to nonprofits and healthcare organizations, IntelliGrants is the ideal choice for grant management. 

Book a demo of our grant management system to see how we fit into your workflow.

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