Earning a Certificate Can Help You Win Federal Grants
Each stage of the grants lifecycle has countless details that an applicant must understand in order to navigate Federal grants funding. One of the best ways to ensure your organization gets the most funding possible and manages that funding appropriately is to have certified grants specialists working on your team. Here are some ways earning a Grants certificate could help you and your organization through each step of the grants lifecycle:
- Preaward phase: For the applicant, this step involves: searching for opportunities, registering on Grants.gov, completing an application, and tracking the status of their application by communicating with the grant-making agency.
- Complexities: Navigating Grants.gov to locate funding opportunities and then registering so you can apply for these opportunities can be daunting. There are 26 Federal agencies that offer government grants and sifting through all the opportunities becomes overwhelming. In addition, some grants are limited to a specific purpose, while others are more unrestricted. How do you find grant programs you are eligible for? How do you efficiently navigate Grants.gov? How can you ensure you complete a Grant properly so that it results in an award?
- Award phase: For the applicant, this step involves: receiving a Notice of Award (NOA), and maintaining accountability for the administrative, financial, and programmatic reporting requirements of the award.
- Complexities: Once final decisions are made, the awarding agency sends an NOA to those selected for funding. The NOA is a legally binding contract, and it is important to understand what this means for your organization as it accepts the grant. Signing the NOA makes your organization legally obligated to carry out the full terms and conditions of a grant. As a recipient, you are also subject to Federal statutory and regulatory requirements and policies.
- Postaward phase: For the applicant, this step involves: reporting your progress and the award closeout.
- Complexities: Awarding recipients must conduct two main types of reporting to their funding agency on a regular basis: financial reporting and programmatic reporting. Recipients must also be prepared to respond to any audit requests. Knowing how to manage and track grants is vital to avoid an audit and successfully submit reports to the funding agency.
Earning a grants certificate will prepare you to locate, apply, win, and manage Federal grants. Industry professionals with years of experience will guide you through each step of the grants lifecycle so that you have an applicable working knowledge of both the recipient and grantors side of the lifecycle. Certification will provide you with the professional education and thorough understanding of both sides of the grants lifecycle. With these skills and qualifications in hand, you’ll have exactly what you need to tackle any nuanced task you encounter when searching, applying for, and managing a grant.
Melanie Tague is an editor for Management Concepts by day, a freelance writer and editor by night, and is currently pursuing a Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. She holds an MFA from George Mason University, a BA from the University of Missouri, and her most recently published creative work can be found in Portland Review.