Grantmakers – Can you answer these critical questions?

Grantmakers – Can you answer these critical questions?

tweet me:
Dig into the how of grantmaking with @Versaic’s blog series.

Multimedia from this Release

Versaic looks at the how of grantmaking in a 6 part blog series.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 3:30pm

CAMPAIGN: The How of Grantmaking


When we ask clients and influencers in the grants world which organizations they pay attention to, the Grants Managers Network (GMN) is always on the list. The organization has a well-deserved reputation for arming its members with valuable information for implementing best practices and improving their grant making capabilities. While the breadth of their expertise is impressive, we’re drawn to the work GMN does in the area of process – helping members become more effective in terms of how they manage their grants process. An excellent example of this is a GMN report entitled Assessing the How of Grantmaking. This report isn’t new but like most good material, it has a long shelf life. So much that’s written about the grants space focuses on strategy, mission and other compelling topics. But the nitty gritty of how grants are made doesn’t get much airtime. GMN encourages grant makers to give equal time to thinking about evaluating and improving their processes around making grants. In the report, GMN states “Practices matter. Your grantmaking practices are one of the most public – and sometimes one of the only – expressions of your organizational values that grantseekers experience. How do you want the world to see you?” We heartily agree that this is a topic well worth digging into.

GMN poses five basic questions that every grant maker should be able to answer about how they make grants.
    1. Does our grantmaking align with our intentions?
    2. Are our grants structured to be successful?
    3. Are we efficient in our internal processes?
    4. Are we communicating effectively?
    5. Does our process strengthen and support grantees?

These questions hit home for us because we grapple with the same issues in our work with clients. They are trying to figure out how to map process to strategy, how to get an increasing volume of work handled with fewer resources, and how to put an infrastructure in place to support grantees and build relationships. The best of strategies and intentions go nowhere without the right process in place for making things work.

For each of the five questions, GMN provides key indicators to help grantmakers assess how their processes stack up against best practices. GMN got input from many of the leading grantmakers so the information shared reflects the latest thinking on effective grants management. According to the report, grantmakers can pull together answers to each of these questions by looking at the data in their grants management system.

We’re going to spend the next few weeks digging into each of the questions and sharing some of the stories that we hear from clients about how the address these issues. GMN has done a fantastic job outlining the questions and criteria for evaluation. We encourage you to read the report to get the detail. It’s valuable reading. Our intention is to share our perspective and add to a discussion that we think is well worth having. Hope you’ll join us and share your thoughts.

Want to learn more about Versaic’s Grants solution? Check out Versaic Grants.