Grant Reports Aren’t Always Required, But They’re (Almost) Always A Good Idea !!
Not sure about you, but the dog eating my homework excuse never worked for me. And not turning in a grant report to a funder who requires one is not going to work either.
At best, you’ll be given an extension for the report, and have a slightly tarnished reputation. At worst, you’ll lose that funder forever.
So, what about grantors that don’t require a report? Should you take the time to write and submit one? My answer is a qualified, “Yes.”
Reporting is an important part of stewardship, and a great way to show the donor that their gift has made an impact. In addition to several feel-good communications to the grantor during the year, a grant report submitted sometime during the year or with your next proposal is certainly best practice.
What should be included in your grant report? A good template would be a report required from another foundation that funds the same project or program. In lieu of that, I recommend including the following sections:
1 Briefly outline the goals of the project/program funded by XXX Foundation.
2 Who or what has been the primary beneficiary of this project/program? How many
people have you served through this project/program?
3 What were the specific results of the project/program? Compare the actual results to the
projected outcomes described in the original proposal.
4 Attach a detailed project budget and a specific breakdown of how the grant has been spent.
5 What difference did this grant make to your organization and for the population you are
6 What are your plans for the future of this project/program, including funding, expansion,
replication or termination?
Will preparation of this report require extra work on your part? Yes, but hopefully not too much, because an NPO’s established grant program will have defined goals, metrics and budgets for each project/program for which it is seeking grant funding.
These goals, metrics, and budgets will have been included in grant proposals, and the results of which will need to be communicated in grant reports.
One final point, circling back to my qualified “Yes” as to whether you should submit a report to grantors that don’t require a report. As I have said in previous postings, “relationships are at the heart of all fundraising activities, and grants are no exception.”
Communicating with your grantor is an essential part of continuing a healthy relationship that benefits the foundation or corporate grantor as well as your nonprofit.
So call, write, or e-mail your grantor if you don’t know what their reporting requirements are. They will appreciate your follow-up, and they will appreciate your providing them with the reports they want, in the format they prefer.
Lynn deLearie Consulting, LLC, helps nonprofit organizations develop, enhance and expand grant programs, and helps them secure funding from foundations and corporations. Contact Lynn deLearie..