The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC) operates over two dozen programs within three divisions and receives funding from numerous federal, state, and local grants as well as philanthropic funding. Managing these funds requires both fiscal administration and corporate-wide compliance with the rules set forth within each grant contract. Grant management includes strategic planning, program development, sufficient metrics to track outcomes, and having competent resources to both manage the process as well as carry out required deliverables.
There are three basic phases within the overall grant process; however, the majority of our organization is mostly impacted within the post-award phase, when the grant is implemented and tracked. Below outlines the varying grant requirements and how they affect both the financial and operational teams at PIC.
Grant Management: Financial
The fiscal aspect of grant management encompasses a wide range of responsibilities to include adherence to reasonable and customary cost expenditures, budgeting constraints, fund allocation through relevant and consistent application, reporting requirements for both internal and external recipients, documentation and auditing requirements, and implementation of appropriate internal controls. The Fiscal Department must ensure that all administrative and operational activities within each grant are funded within the approved budget and that all costs are allowable under the grant requirements.
Grant Management: Operational
While grant management may seem solely the responsibility of the Fiscal Department, there would not be a grant to fiscally manage if performance standards within grant operations were not being met. For example, compliance requirements specific to the Head Start programs within PIC include fully enrolled classrooms, sufficient staffing and applicable staff certifications, child transportation standards, just to name a few. These are the factors that if not in compliance within the mandated grant requirements, could reduce or eliminate funding. And these are all factors that require documentation and disclosure.
What can the organization do as a whole?
Success for every program at PIC – regardless of funding source – takes an organization-wide effort. There must be fiscal management, operational compliance, team collaboration and communication; along with celebrating success stories and learning from the inevitable bumps in the road.