If your grant application is successful in securing funds you will need to sign a funding agreement with the funding body. This is a document that sets out what the funding body will do (i.e. how much money they will give you and when), what you will do and your responsibilities.
Your responsibilities will always include some kind of final report (otherwise called an acquittal) while you deliver the project. Some funding bodies (often for larger grants or lengthy projects) will require you to submit grant reports as you deliver the project and then a larger, final report at the end.
If the funding body doesn’t provide you with the final report (and any other reporting) template when you sign the agreement, ask them for a copy BEFORE you start delivering your project. This is very important to your future happiness (or that of the person who takes over the project from you)!
You need to know what you will be required to report on when the project is finished so that you can start collecting that data from the very beginning and storing it in a way that makes it easy to access when you need it. For example, if you know you need before and after photos or a photo every month as the project progresses, you can start taking the photos and filing them away in a folder. But what if you only find that you were required to do this once you finish the project? You can’t go back in time and take those photos. Or what if you took the photos but they are scattered all across a very complicated filing system, in people’s personal email storage or other locations that make it difficult to find them all.
This applies to many things you may need to report on in the final report process – you may need certain data that, if you had known, you could have set up a process of record keeping that would enable you to provide that information very easily. The final report process will then simply be a case of filling out the template. However, if you don’t establish those processes from the very beginning, it can be a lot of work trawling through records that haven’t been kept with the end need in mind. The final report process then becomes very time consuming, difficult and stressful and you may look unprofessional to the funding body – not good for the next grant you apply for through them.
One important tip (and even a requirement for some grants) is to set up a separate bank account or cost code for that project. This will make reporting on how much you spent on the project, and when you spent it, a much easier prospect. And final reports will always ask you about the financials of your project.
Lastly, don’t forget to complete your acquittals. If you don’t, you may not receive the last payment of the grant funds or you may become ineligible for future grants.
If you would like to discuss grant acquittals further or would like to engage our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch by hitting the button below and we will be only to happy to help you!