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Nonprofits know the importance of giving. In many cases, they rely on individual contributions to thrive.  However, money alone is not enough to help nonprofits make a difference. A streamlined grants management process helps to measure impact and shows that money is being spent efficiently.


The grant management process requires the coordination of multiple stakeholders and information sources for nonprofits. Establishing a grant tracking system can bolster efficiency, achieve more impact, and help with future planning.


Here’s what you need to know about grants management best practices.


What is Grant Management?


Grant management may be used in relation to both applicants and the organization awarding the grants. That said, the focus of this article will be on the perspective of nonprofit organizations. 


Grant management for nonprofits involves identifying all of the processes and methods necessary to fulfill the requirements of the grant. Key aspects for nonprofits to keep in mind regarding managing grants include accurate allocation, tracking, and reporting.


Without a strategic approach and dedicated personnel, the grant process can be a massive headache for nonprofits seeking grants. 

Why is Grant Management Important?

It’s widely accepted that developing a grant tracking system is the best way for nonprofits to handle applications and active projects. It’s also an ideal way for nonprofits to track the grants they wish to apply and/or are in the progress of applying and the associated reporting requirements. As such, dedicating time to grant tracking now can yield several benefits, such as:

  • Organization – Keep all information in one place. Searchable data allows you to find what you need in seconds. This can power your ability to apply for more grants, since different applications often ask for different data points. Having data is one thing - being able to access it when you need to truly powers data-driven decision making.
  • Management – Maintain accurate, ongoing records of different grants and their applications. Effective grants management keeps everything you need to know in a singular location.
  • Reports – Identify key performance indicators and create a standardized report that can easily be updated with your most recent data. Ongoing communication is vital, and with regular, standardized reports, everyone stays in the loop. It also makes staying in compliance easy and allows you to quickly understand if you’re making the impact you intended, with time to shift if necessary.
  • Save Time – Ultimately, the main benefit is that you save time while securing better results. Rather than shuffling paperwork, you can get on with the job of making a difference. Move that theoretical file cabinet into a searchable, organized database.

What Does the Grant Management Process Look Like?

The grant management process follows the same stages for every nonprofit. The intricacies may differ, but every nonprofit that knows how to manage grants will go through the following steps:

  • Planning – Setting strategic goals. What do you want to achieve by receiving this grant?
  • Opportunity – Evaluate current regulations and which grants are ideal for your nonprofit. There are stringent rules regarding grants, so make sure these are reviewed via the legal team before applying. 
  • Application – Submit your application for the grant. 
  • Award – Receive a decision from the organization offering the grant. 
  • Execution and Management – If you are the recipient of the grant, the company will liaise with you to monitor and keep tabs on the impact the project is having. Regular reports to the board must also be made to keep them in the know.
  • Reporting – Ideally you’re reporting on the progress you’ve made toward goals throughout the grant and using that information to collaborate with the funder. At a minimum, compile the final report on the success/failure of the project. 
  • Close Out – The grant is formally closed, and the cycle begins again.

As simple as this sounds, there are challenges nonprofits will face at every stage. Maintaining control of data and evaluating the true impact of a project are perhaps the biggest obstacles. 


Therefore, it’s important to implement grants management best practices to improve efficiency, save money, and produce better results.


Grants Management Best Practices


Improve your grants management process to save time and ensure your nonprofit can spend more time on impactful activities. Here are some ideas for streamlining the grant process. 


Put Together an Established Team

Management of active and upcoming grants is not a matter of simple administration. Assigning tasks to teams that have no experience or no passion is a mistake.


Form a team that has experience in collaboration. Assign tasks to those who have the skills necessary to carry them out to their utmost potential.


Creating the right team is an often overlooked part of management.


Create a Grant Calendar

Something as simple as a grant calendar can enable your nonprofit to stay on track. Reminders of important deadlines, such as evaluating grant applications or submitting final reports, can be produced automatically.


The format of your calendar is entirely your choice if everyone remains aware of upcoming deadlines.


Track Key Funders and Grant History

Maintain ongoing records of key funders and grant history. This information should not be buried in someone’s email inbox. It jeopardizes both your organization’s fundraising capabilities and the eventual impact it can make.


Document contact information, priorities, and past results. Having quick access to information is a cornerstone of the proper management of your grants. Without this, you risk losing out on opportunities and missing key dates.


Coordinate Your Team

Track all relevant tasks. Highlight tasks that are coming close to their deadlines and send automatic reminders to team members when they need to act.


A collaborative environment guarantees everyone knows their responsibilities and maintains open lines of communication.


Utilize reminders for grant tracking with your calendar or other free task management solutions.


Create a Boilerplate Library

The grants management process can be streamlined simply by maintaining a library of boilerplate documents.


This documentation ensures you have a pre-made loadout for fundraising, managing grants, and reporting. Rather than manually responding to each stage of the management lifecycle, boilerplate libraries form part of a proactive approach.


Report Internally at Key Stages

Maintaining ongoing statuses and progress can be largely automated in a few clicks with a dedicated management solution. This is far superior to the process of creating manual spreadsheets and sourcing the big numbers every single time.

It also involves key decision-makers in the process, which can help with improving an organization’s social impact during future projects.


Measure the Real Social Impact of Your Investment

Perhaps the most important of all grants management best practices are getting a true picture of how successful your project was. Measuring the impact on communities and society is notoriously difficult.


At UpMetrics, we seek to tell your story through our impact analytics platform. By using quantitative and qualitative metrics, you can go beyond the numbers.

Why is this such an important part of being a success?


People want transparency when they contribute to a project. They want to see the faces behind the numbers, and they want to know that the organizations they support are making a difference.


Without a way of sourcing, compiling, and reporting results, telling your story in a way that inspires the response you desire becomes incredibly difficult.




Managing grants can take valuable time and resources away from making a difference. Spend less time looking through filing cabinets and liaising with people about what’s in their email inboxes. Streamline the management process with dedicated solutions - moving that filing cabinet to one accessible platform.


UpMetrics offers the world’s only nonprofit impact measurement platform that uses quantitative and qualitative data to reveal real-time progress toward your goals, evaluate the success of a project against set KPIs and identify opportunities for further impact by combining multiple data sources.


To learn more about taking your good works to the next level, contact us or request an UpMetrics demo now.

Kim Lynes
Post by Kim Lynes
October 18, 2021