Your organization was awarded the grant and the project is underway.  Now what?  Required reporting throughout the course of the grant ensure funds are being used in compliance with grant requirements and that the project is on track.  There are typically reporting requirements set forth by the grant maker, and by any state or federal statutes governing the grant. 

While reporting deadlines are stressful, and the process can even feel micromanaged, effective grant reporting goes a long way towards your organization’s long-term funding goals.  Here’s how:

1. It offers the opportunity to optimize your project

Throughout the course of data gathering and reporting, you have the opportunity to identify what is going well, what needs adjustment, and what can get cut out of the process altogether.  Reporting offers a collaborative process between your team and your grant maker to enhance your project in real time.  Remember, this is likely not the first time the grant maker has worked on similar projects.  This is a valuable learning opportunity.  Optimize project execution, and you optimize your goals and objectives.

2. It offers the opportunity to forward your field

The collaborative nature of reporting allows different interests to view the same data, see the same process and share insight from different perspectives on what is working and what is not.  This is an opportunity to develop and test new methodologies and processes for the benefit of your organization, and for the field at large. 

3. Most importantly – it is an opportunity to build a relationship with your grant maker

If perennial grant makers have a positive experience working with your organization, when the next grant cycle comes around they will want to work with you again.  Proving that your organization has the ability to hold itself accountable for dollars spent, and can follow through on a project funded builds a trusting partnership with a funding source.  Remember, grant makers are looking for organizations that can be trusted to forward their goals and values in tangible, measurable ways.  Effective reporting shows them that you can do this and they will want to work with you again.