The Grants Management function of the CCPS Grants Office assures compliance with grant regulations, assurances, and certifications, and advises grantees in the administration of grant funds. Essentially, this function ensures that all project coordinators follow sound management practices, as it relates to the full legal responsibility as the grantee organization, for fulfilling the granting agency requirements by participating in planning, budgeting, application, implementation, monitoring, closeout, and evaluation of grant projects.
As with the other functions of this Office, the practical application of this assistance is in the form of consulting services and technical assistance. The intricacies of managing grant funds can seem almost mystical at times and the availability of expertise can take some of the burden off the project coordinators.
The Office is also responsible to ensure that all staff associated with grants understands the internal processes related to grants management. Workshops are offered on a regular basis relating to many of these processes and procedures.
Duties and Responsibilities
Grants management differs drastically from one grant to another. Generally, grants management involves the business and operations aspects of grant activities. The line is not always clear between grants management and project/program management. Following is a list of duties and responsibilities of the grants manager. While this list is not all inclusive, it does provide an understanding of the role of the grants manager and the function of grants management. At CCPS, these duties and responsibilities are shared by the Grants Office and the Project Coordinator.
- Provides the means and capacity to manage a grant and all related requirements.
- Reviews, analyzes and interprets federal and state regulations, guidelines, assurances, certifications, etc.
- Develops the necessary organization lines of communication to ensure smooth and efficient management of grant funds.
- Develops internal policies to ensure effective management and compliance with public policy requirements.
- Determines broad policies for grantee functions relating to the business and fiscal aspects of the organization's grant activities.
- Performs a cost analysis of program activities. Knows all of the cost required to conduct a program.
- Estimates cash-flow needs.
- Uses an indirect cost rate to recover all allowable indirect costs.
- Ensures that all proposals seek (to the greatest extent possible) full reimbursement of costs.
- Budgets costs by function or activity a well as by object class expenditure category (personnel, fringe, travel, equipment, supplies).
- Establishes a system for budget control to guard against "overruns," and prevent "under-runs."
- Prepares the CCPS Budget Adjustment in a timely manner.
- Administers the grant from award to closeout.
- Serves as the organizational representative and the single point of contact with the federal agency for all business management aspects of the agreement, and particularly, as the point of organizational entry for legally binding documents.
- Applies appropriate management control using management systems, checklists and records.
- Measures and charts progress along a timetable.
- Assembles staff resources using a team or project management approach if appropriate. Brings together each grant staff person with important contributions and responsibilities.
- Assures linkage between program staff and business management components. Initially, on large projects, it will be necessary to hold a meeting of all parties involved to discuss responsibilities, timelines, etc., and build the team capacity.
- Keeps abreast of changes in policies, procedures, or requirements, and continues to advise program staff of grant requirements.
- Requests any further "prior approvals" when identified.
- Requests grant payments as necessary to minimize balances.
- Makes the most of site visits by the funder by using them for image building and obtaining a "stamp of approval. Prepares staff for site visits using a dress rehearsal if necessary. Show organizational strengths and demonstrate commitment to the project.
- Prepares necessary report (financial and program/performance)
- Keeps interested parties, including Board of Education, funding agency, and the public aware and informed about grant project progress.
- Asks questions which assume that approved plans frequently do not work as expected, such as ""What is the cash flow compared to expectation? How have actual expenditures met budget estimates?"
- Reviews equal employment opportunity efforts, merit system, purchasing rule, prior approvals as necessary and all deviations from plans
- Uses a strong accounting and performance reporting system with periodic comparison of actual accomplishments with targets.
- Analyzes and justifies deviations, then make appropriate alternation in the program.
- Includes a process and outcome evaluation.
- Determines what really occurred and was accomplished.