Important to get advice from those who know.
Realise the importance of grants management within your organisation. Proper training is vital!
Funders and recipients need to be able to easily identify their grants and access key management information such as the amounts awarded, spent and claimed to date. Reports will inform the Finance Director and senior management. But this can be difficult if there isn't any central co-ordination and control and a single grants database!
Create 'central' support mechanisms eg. a grants panel, comprehensive database, project preparation guide, procedures manual and provide annual staff training for a basic skill set. This gives benefits with confidence and capacity building, clarity about responsibilities, better project delivery and ability to meet timetables.
Imperative to engage all parties (funders, recipients and auditors) early on to establish good working relationships. Aim for open and honest communication. Face-to-face contact on neutral and comfortable ground can help. Agreeing procedures etc helps organise work, 'think ahead' and train staff. Reap rewards later with a smoothly-running project.
Recipients should give early notice to funders as soon as objectives might not be met. This avoids later 'fire-fighting'. By working together, all parties can support each other and find constructive solutions to avoid problems later.
Take advice from WEFO's article 4 team before administering an EU grant scheme.
Use (or refer to) 'protocol documents'. These are valuable if your 'grants expert' moves on to another role (or employer!).
Have dedicated finance staff for large capital schemes.
Involve finance early to include all costs and set invoicing arrangements.
The home-page for Grants GPX is here.
Our website covers:
Examples of offer letters, terms and conditions and claim forms can be downloaded.
There is also an example of a 'Grants protocol', advice on setting controls and co-ordination protocols, advice for funders on minimising complexity and advice on a 'grants database'.
There's advice for funders on:
'Have I consulted as appropriate?'
There's advice for bidders and recipients:
'Do I have sufficient up-to-date training and support?'