The 8As Grants Model: Making Grants Management Easier

September 30, 2022

The 8As Grants Model: Making Grants Management Easier

September 30, 2022

person working on a laptop

Effective grants management can be challenging. Learn about MNP Digital’s 8A Grant Model and how it can help your organization succeed.

Authors

Henry is a Partner within MNP Digital based out of Richmond Hill. With more than two decades of experience, Henry brings expertise in both business strategy and tactics to his role. He is passionate about project delivery and helping his clients achieve their goals and make their business better.

Efficiency is vitally important for organizations that are looking to effectively supply grants—if you’re giving away millions of dollars, many factors come into play, such as financial accountability, audit trails, and traceable roles and functions. With so much on the line, it’s important to understand and easily manage each phase of the grant management lifecycle, from set up to managing awards and finally closing out the grant.

Chuck is known for his ability to understand complex business challenges and successfully implement pointed “customer-off-the-shelf” business enterprise solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience managing information technology.

8As of grant management

With years of project experience, learning the level of sophistication required throughout the grants process, we have defined a grants management lifecycle model with eight major phases that ensure effective grant management offerings. Your organization may not need to implement all eight, but it’s important to consider each phase as you work to implement your grant management programs.

Authoring

In the authoring phase, you design the grant program, develop guidelines, and create plans for implementation. Meet with key stakeholders to determine the type of grant you want to offer, your objective for the grant program, who can apply and how you’ll select people. You’ll also want to determine reporting requirements and deadlines.

Advertisement

The second ‘A’ of grants management is the announcement of your grant program through advertising and other communications to potential applicants. Wording is critical here, as is where you place your ads and how you target them. You want to reach the people who will match your guidelines and benefit the most from the grant.

Application Intake

Set up an online grant application process that collects only the information you need but also enables fast and efficient decision-making, making it easier on applicants and evaluators. The form should include an eligibility quiz so people who aren’t eligible don’t waste time by applying. Other key features of effective application intake include being able to accept a variety of file attachments, accepting online payment of application fees, providing e-signing/electronic consent capabilities, and capturing the information to enable direct electronic payments of grant funds.

04

Assessment

Applicant assessment is often the most time-consuming phase of the grant management lifecycle. It can be made easier by developing a detailed evaluation rubric that helps your team ensure consistency. Include a point system so you can rank applications to determine the top contenders. Applications should also be reviewed by more than one person or team to ensure fairness.

05

Approvals & Agreement

In this phase, applicants are informed about whether they are being awarded the grant. Your grant management system should make this relatively simple by allowing you to decline applications in bulk with email templates. For large grant programs, you’ll also want to easily send the funding agreement to awardees and receive the signed copy back through your management system.

06

Award & Manage

Awarding the money is fairly straightforward, but it’s important to ensure you stay within your organization’s budget. A funds tracking feature built into your system will help with this as you go through the management phase.

07

Analytics & Audit

As awardees report on how grant money is being used, the information should be stored in your grant management system so you can perform analyses and provide feedback to funders and other stakeholders. An auditing program can also be developed in your system to allow your organization to stay on top of how funds are being used.

08

Achievement

As the grant program comes to a close, the information from your grant management system can be analyzed to assess the overall results and effectiveness, and to see where improvements can be made. Review each awardee’s results and all financial reports and ask for feedback from the applicants to tweak processes for the next program.

Best practices in grant management

In the authoring phase, you design the grant program, develop guidelines and create plans for implementation. Meet with key stakeholders to determine the The design of the 8A model is based on best practices in grant management to further enhance usability. Based on our decades of experience working with grants clients, several best practices have been consistent across all projects:

Remember that simple is better.

Complicating any of the phases increases risk and makes the process more difficult for everyone involved. Focus on delivering core functionality that is key to success and build out from there.

Align processes, roles, terminology, data, and functionality.

At MNP Digital, we believe that each of these plays a vital part in achieving the right outcomes when developing a grants management solution. Having alignment across expectations, definitions, and roles is the foundation that this process is built on.

Establish two or three primary grant path models to streamline implementation of future programs.

By developing ‘templates’ you’ll be able to get your programs to market faster and more efficiently, with less chance of error. These models act as a starting point that you can customize based on the requirements of the specific program.

Understand how process and workflow complexities can slow grant processing and increase costs.

Avoid complicating things, and making more work for your team, by taking time to streamline processes, workflows, and data ahead of your solution implementation. By standardizing as much as possible early on, your solution will do more of the heavy lifting later.

Leverage common data across applications and/or grants.

The more commonalities you can identify, the easier it will be for your grants management solution to simplify and automate reporting, and expand to further programs as you develop them.

Teach all stakeholders how to use the Agile scrum methodology.

Agile is a great way to connect teams that need to work together on complex projects. We believe this time-boxed, incremental production approach allows for proper prioritization and ensures projects are delivered on time and on budget.

By implementing a strong grants management solution, governments and other grant-making organizations can create a better experience for fund applicants, manage grants more effectively, increase the organization’s visibility, improve program measurement, and increase the overall impact of the programs. To implement the 8A Grants Model, MNP uses Microsoft Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and the MNP Grants Accelerator solution.

Together, these allow clients to easily monitor the lifecycle of a grant from start to finish, track changes, score grants, allocate expenses, and stay in AODA compliance, all supported by the security, reliability, and performance of the leading Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Get in touch

To learn more about how you can get support throughout the cyber insurance process, contact our team of experts today.