Peering through the Crystal Ball: How an Agency Can Proactively Manage a Grant Program’s Success

By Shayna Thompson, Tim Riddlestorffer, Shannon White, and Crystal Wolf

Grant-making agencies often grapple with how to determine whether their grant program is tracking toward its mission, and whether or not adjustments need to be made in order to meet its goals. Determining the success of the grant program does not happen at one point in the grant life cycle, but occurs throughout the life cycle, from Pre-Award through Closeout. An agency can benchmark performance measures throughout the life of a grant to determine the success of its grant program. Grant-making agencies routinely collect data points that may not individually allow the agency to improve decision-making, but when aggregated can aid both the agency and recipients in successful execution in the use of funds.

Agencies should develop an approach for determining which performance measures are pertinent, weigh their importance, and aggregate the information using full life cycle tracking of the recipients. Through comprehensive tracking of a recipient’s performance measures, agencies will be able to implement effective monitoring strategies throughout the grant’s life cycle and make sound management decisions that improve successful oversight and execution of grant funds.

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