Delivering Grant Funded Work
Stage 4: Delivery of funded activity
Stage 4: Delivery of funded activity
You’ve managed to find the right grant for your organisation from the thousands on offer, it took weeks to apply and months to get a decision. You jumped through all the hoops of the terms and conditions, you put the logo on your website and finally it’s time to spend the grant and actually do what you’re best at – delivering your mission.
At the end of the day, having the right funding in place to deliver your charitable activities is what it is all about. But just because the money is in the bank don’t forget about your funder. In fact, now is the perfect time to build on success and plan for the future – to ensure your project has a realistic exit strategy and to make your organisation more financially sustainable in the longer-term.
Monitoring and reporting
For many grants, you will simply be asked for a short report summarising what you did and how you spent the money. Other funders, and particularly for larger grants, will require periodic and detailed reporting often linked to a payment schedule.
Before you sigh with relief that your funder has only asked for a short report and just send them the bare minimum, remember that you may want to ask for more funding in future and this is a prime opportunity to show them what you’ve done with their funding (see promoting success below).
If you have a more demanding funder, you may well have had to submit an evaluation framework as part of your application or as a condition of the grant. Either way, ensure that you know exactly what’s required and when. It might sound like jumping through hoops again, but monitoring your impact can be extremely useful for your organisation – as well as a funding requirement. Increasingly outcomes are the measure preferred by many funders [link – Trends in Funding].
What if the project goes wrong?
It happens – and if things don’t go to plan let your funder know sooner rather than later. Call your funder to notify them of any major deviations from your plan and to seek their approval if you need to change any aspect of how you spend the grant. You may be required to follow-up with a formal written request. Don’t wait until the end of the project and then reveal a problem – as in a worst case scenario, you may have to repay part or all of the grant.
If there are any opportunities to promote the activity which is being funded, think about inviting your funder along or send them copies of evaluation reports and other materials. For example if your project involved reminiscence activities with the elderly and you produced a short illustrated booklet of stories from participants, why not send a copy to the funder so they can see how they funds were spent? Or if, as part of a project aiming to promote employment options to the long-term unemployed, you run an open day why not invite the funder to attend – they might enjoy the opportunity to talk directly to some of the participants and hear first-hand about how your organisation helps them.
If you haven't already, it's time to consider your exit strategy - how are you going to continue after the grant ends?
Think about the bigger picture - learn about Strategy and Impact.
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