“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.”
Securing a grant is wonderful, but unless you also set up systems to track and report on the progress of your work to that funder, it will likely be the only grant you receive from them. When you sign a grant agreement, you are legally and ethically bound to use the grant funds as dictated in the agreement. Moreover, by being accountable and transparently reporting your efforts to the funder—and especially what impact their support enabled—you strengthen your relationship and increase your chances of securing additional support.
Evaluation and reporting aren’t something people typically are trained in because, let’s face it, the pressure to bring money in the door is all-consuming. However, it’s critical that you recognize the connection between foundation reporting and revenue opportunities and invest resources in it. Just as you steward individual donors to increase and renew their gifts, to maximize foundation funding it’s crucial you steward relationships with funders by letting them know exactly how you’ve spent their money and what difference it made.
Investing time into training employees, creating systems to track grant progress, and reporting back to funders is key. But this organizational capacity can also help you secure new backers, since it enables you to include evaluation metrics in your proposal, demonstrating your ...