Celebrate the Dedication of Grants Professionals on March 12, 2021
Head Start, AmeriCorps volunteers, disaster relief, cancer research, Sesame Street, Boys and Girls Club, college assistance, solar panels, improvements to make buildings ADA compliant, graduate research fellowships, high-speed rail…
These are just a few of the things that are funded through grants. The United States government alone issues more than $700 billion in grant funding annually. This wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated grants professionals who write, administer, and oversee these awards. Their hard work makes these projects, and so many more, a reality.
On both the grantee and grantor side, hours of work are required to bring a grant into existence. First, a need must be identified, a program developed, and a notice of funding opportunity issued. From there, potential grantees apply, relying on the skills of a grant writer to draft a compelling, evidence-based case for why their organization can best implement this grant. After recipients are selected, the next stage of work begins. Grant officers on both sides work together to execute the grant project and provide necessary oversight, navigating scope, schedule, and budget issues. Recipients focus on the work of bringing their program goals to life – while reporting on their progress. Grantor agencies monitor progress and provide support as needed throughout the life of the award.
These processes have been especially challenging during the last year. In response to COVID-19, the federal government obligated large amounts of money that grantor agencies then awarded to recipients. In addition, many existing grantees had to navigate changes in course when their original activities were altered or delayed because of the pandemic. Day-to-day grants management has changed – fewer onsite visits and conferences and increased reliance on communication and information sharing technologies. In addition, those in the federal grants arena have adapted to updated regulations and new guidance – both in 2 CFR 200 updates and OMB guidance issued around managing grants during COVID-19. As the United States continues to navigate the pandemic, the projects funded by grants become even more critical.
Always, but especially on International Grant Professionals Day, Management Concepts extends a special thank you to grants professionals across the globe for their work. Your drive, organization, attention to detail and dedication help bring your grant projects to life, improving the world for all of us.
Sarah K. Hluchan is the Grants Product Management Director for Management Concepts. She has spent her career facilitating effective grants management through process improvement, policy development, and education. She holds a BA in political science from Drew University and a Master of Public Policy from the McCourt School at Georgetown University.