Managing the Grant Award Phase and Communication

Now that you’ve gotten to the award phase of the grant making process, is it time to celebrate? Absolutely not, as a matter of fact you should roll up your sleeves and prepare to work because it is only at this phase that work begins on the true purpose of the grant.

After the review of all applications, the awarding agency will determine whether an award will be made. Once a grant receives an internal ‘green light’ within a grant making organization, a grant agreement is drafted for signing by both the grantee and grant maker.

The level of interaction between the grantee and grant maker from this stage onward is based on preferences of both parties. Some grant-makers prefer a hands-off approach once funds have been disbursed and only request periodic update reports. Other grant makers take on the role of a partner and provide strategic and communications support throughout the duration of the grant. There is no right or wrong method of involvement by the grant maker, this is based on their discretion. Key activities involved in this phase include:

  • Notification to unsuccessful applicants: Prior to awarding the contract, the grant awarding organization is expected to promptly notify the unsuccessful offeror’s in writing when their proposals are no longer within the competitive range or otherwise eliminated from the competition. There is no set format for the notice, but it is expected to state the basis for the determination and if a proposal revision will be accepted.
  • Grant agreement: After final evaluations have been completed and the business clearance has been approved, the contract may now be awarded to the successful offer.
  • Award announcement: Award announcements are usually made using a press release or leveraging social media or any other platform that the organization uses. The purpose is to improve transparency and accountability, increase competition, and broaden industry participation.
  • Debriefings: A post-award debriefing is held after contract award.

Although the phases of grant making with the government may differ from the corporate sector, the management principles tend to remain the same. Communication is at the heart of managing the grant-maker and grantee relationship.  Refer to side bar for a few pointers on how this can be managed by both parties.

Before officially kicking-off the project/relationship it is important to start planning for execution and the first step in the  planning will be a debrief session between the grantee and the grant maker.