Ad Hoc vs. Formal: The Grant Management Centralization Debates
By Adam Roth on February 3, 2021

The recent introductions and updates of new Federal grant regulations are focusing on themes such as transparency, performance, and compliance. To succeed in all these efforts, experts in the grants space are suggesting organizations focus on the more overarching concept of centralization.

This has led to organizations evaluating if and how they should invest in centralizing their grant processes to increase transparency, monitor performance, and maintain compliance.  

Specifically, the debate of ad hoc processes versus formal centralization has emerged.

What Are Ad Hoc Grant Management Processes?

Ad hoc processes, or the management of grants on a case-by-case basis, may have been the primary grant management method in the past, but now, only a select few organizations can continue this practice without risking non-compliance.

Ad hoc processes could suffice for your organization if you:

a. Have very few awards to manage

b. Have a limited amount of funding complexity

c. Have one or fewer Federal awards in your grant portfolio

How Can an Organization Formalize Grant Management Centralization?

For most organizations, taking the time to institute formal centralization processes will be necessary to improve outcomes and comply with regulations.

In general, there are three main pillars that set the stage for formal centralization processes. Organizations who require formal processes should focus on:

  1. Building out a Central Grants Office
  2. Designing and disseminating an organization-wide set of grant standards
  3. Ensuring all proper systems for tracking and monitoring awards are in place

Formalizing centralization also extends further than just implementing internal processes and adopting tools. If organizations want to fully formalize centralization, they must also:

  • Be mindful of Federal legislation throughout the grant lifecycle
  • Keep up to date on policy statements
  • Have access to and the ability to post in public portals

Performance measurement is one of the practices your organization will need to centralize if you take the formal approach. To learn more about effective performance management, read AmpliFund’s latest blog on the topic.