Overview

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Welcome to the e-learning lesson on managing public grants. Understanding and honoring the requirements set forth by the Federal awarding agency is critical to successfully implementing your federally funded project. Unlike funds from private foundations or individuals, Federal funds require compliance with what may initially seem to be an overwhelming number of requirements. This lesson will provide you with resources and general information about grant management policies for most Federal funding agencies. Questions are bound to arise as you set up and implement your funded project. Since each Federal agency has specific requirements, it is critical that you become very familiar with the terms of your award and the Federal staff assigned to oversee your project. By engaging in this lesson, capacity builders and intermediary organizations will better understand the key concepts and elements required to manage Federal grants effectively, including: achieving proposed program goals, receiving and disbursing Federal funds, complying with reporting requirements, and writing continuation applications.

This lesson is a resource for capacity builders and nonprofits.

This lesson serves as a resource to assist nonprofit organizations in effectively managing Federal grants so that funded project goals are achieved in compliance with Federal regulations and reporting requirements. It can help answer frequently asked questions and direct you to necessary resources and information to assist in effectively and efficiently implementing your funded project.

Download the Managing Public Grants Glossary to help you with any unfamiliar vocabulary throughout this lesson.

The lesson will also help organizations answer several key questions.

  • What are the responsibilities of being a grant recipient?
  • How do we ensure compliance with the grant agreement?
  • What is the process for receiving and distributing Federal funds?
  • What are the reporting requirements (administrative, financial, audit)?
  • How are grant funds requested and received? 
  • What is the process for budget changes?
  • What are the most frequent causes of noncompliance?
  • What are the remedies/penalties for noncompliance?
  • What is the process for continuation funding?
  • What is required for grant closeout?      

There are three key documents when it comes to public grant management.

The first key document is the application for funding. Your application details the specific project activities your organization will undertake and the objectives you want to accomplish. The second key document is the cooperative agreement or grant agreement issued by the Federal awarding agency. This agreement specifies the terms of the award. The third key document is the award package issued by the Federal awarding agency. The award package includes the notice of award specifying the amount of the award, project period, budget period, standard terms and conditions, reporting requirements, and required forms for submission. The package may also contain information about the payment mechanism through which funds will be disbursed.