The post-award phase begins when a successful applicant, known as a recipient/grantee, expends awarded funds and starts work on achieving the outcome(s) of the grant. This phase encompasses ongoing monitoring of the funded project.The post-award phase concludes after the period of performance ends and closeout activities are completed and all deliverables and financial reports have been submitted to the grant maker.
While the grant may be ‘closed’ this does not signal the end of the partnership between the grant maker and the grantee. This phase solidifies the joint commitment on an issue by the grant maker and grantee. Moreover, it allows previous lessons learned to influence not only their thinking but future planning on the topic.
Building a sustainability framework
In the grant making sector, sustainability refers to the continued impact that can be expected after a grant ends. There are a several key principals to ensure sustainability:
The grant making process can be complex, requiring caution and mindfulness. The cycle which consists of three phases contains each with specific requirements that must be completed by both the grant maker and the potential grantee.
Measuring Impact and Communicating Change
Measuring impact of any program or cause is extremely important. At the most fundamental level, philanthropists want their grantees to be accountable. There are several methods to measuring impact within philanthropic landscape with the most common being evaluation assessments, Return on Investments (ROIs) and systems thinking.
Within each of these phases, aspects such as criteria definition, analysis, assessment, ranking, selection, communication, monitoring and evaluation, and return measurement have been discussed as fundamental to successful grant making. The Rockefeller Foundation Case Study of Demand Driven Training (DDT) found in the side bar provides a real life example of how grantmaking organizations follow the grant making process in achieving goals and community impact.
The Legal Implication Of Giving
The legal implication of giving is largely tied to tax laws. In the United States, grant makers are often given a tax exemption known as 501 (c) 3 status. This tax exemption comes with stipulations, one of which being that grant making resources cannot be used for lobbying purposes to influence legislation. Similarly, in Canada, under the Income Tax Act, registered charities (grant makers) can only use their resources for their own activities or to registered grantees, which are for the most part exclusively Canadian. For non-Canadian grantees, the funding organization must have direction and control of the resources allocated, failure of
this may lead to a 105% penalty on the amount transferred and/or revoking of charitable status.
Grant making efforts can sometimes be impacted by sanctions and government policies. Grant makers within the European Union for example are required to follow strict regulations where funds are directed to grantees in countries facing sanctions. Similarly, the reverse situation applies in some countries. For example, In Algeria, organizations are not allowed to receive donations from foreign grant makers without prior approval from the government.
Lastly, grant makers must strive to address the topic of governance thoroughly. Given that most grant makers particularly philanthropies are solely accountable to their Board of trustees (versus shareholders, donors, tax payers etc.), strong efforts must be made to ensure that potential conflicts of interest are addressed well in advance of grants being awarded. Conflict of interest can come in the form of a grant makers staff, board members or their relatives benefiting financially from a grant.