Post-Award Best Practices
By Kristen Krey, Director of Government and Community Outreach,
Kim Joyce & Associates

In June 2023, NGMA hosted the webinar “Preparing for Post-Award – What You Need to Know.” Kristen Krey and D’Laun Oubre, the grants management team at Kim Joyce & Associates, provided best practices on post-award grants management. Below is a summary of their presentation.

Missed the webinar? View the recording HERE. (Member login required)

The grants management team at Kim Joyce & Associates has a daily mantra: “Track, track and then do more tracking.” Post-award is all about compliance, and if it isn’t on paper, it didn’t happen. Compliance is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “The action or fact of complying with a wish or command.” In the case of post-award management, we don’t comply with wishes (although we try to work magic sometimes), but with the commands of the processes, policies, rules, guideline, and regulations established by the funder. Fortunately, we have lots of resources and best practices with which to model and work our magic!  

Below are best practices to ensure your organization is prepared for the challenge of compliance and post-award management.

Understand your role - Is your organization a direct recipient, a pass-through entity, a sub-awardee? Will your organization account for a sub awardee?

Know the requirements of your funding and funder - Review and know the laws, regulations, OMB circulars, 2 CFR 200, grant terms and conditions and the grant application.

Establish internal controls - This step is especially critical in financial reporting, and important to your program reporting. Have policies, process procedure tools and segregation of duties in place prior to accepting the award.

Manage through change - Identify organizational change created by the grant. Work through approved grant changes. Be aware of changes to grant requirements and other changes outside your control.

Create integration - Recognize that it takes a team to manage a grant award! Create your team of subject matter experts that are responsible for reporting, i.e., financial, programming, procurement and community outreach.

Ensure effective systems are in place - This is a cornerstone step to successful financial reporting and receiving reimbursements. You also need to develop policies that prevent unallowable costs and require that these policies are followed.

Be fluent in cost allowability - Costs must be reasonable, allocable and necessary to the project. Costs must also comply with the funding statutes and funder requirements. Make sure your team is fluent with these statutes and requirements as well.

In conclusion, to be successful in your grants management approach, make sure your intentions are aligned with your systems. Spend the money and track your expenditures. Do what you say you are going to do and track your activities. Communicate with your team and your funder. Finally, work your magic accordingly!
Kristen Krey is the Director of Government and Community Engagement at Kim Joyce & Associates, a full-service grants consulting firm.