Grantor’s Guide: How to Manage 2021 Federal Grant Reporting

By Jason Peters, Business Development Director | June 8, 2021

In the age of Covid, we all sometimes find ourselves doing a doubletake on things that used to be commonplace. Grant Providers might find themselves wondering how much more difficult it might be to gather all of their required reporting metrics this year with everyone working remotely. We are here to help with that challenge! The good news is that Grant Reporting can be easier and more efficient than it was before!

What is Grant Reporting and who uses it?

Grant Providers (i.e. State Government Agencies) are required to report back to the funding source(s) of the grant(s) that they administer. The reporting back to funding source(s) is aimed towards the goal of communicating what has been accomplished with the grant funding. For example, the reporting requirements are dictated by Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) for most Grant Providers whose funding comes from federal awards. FFATA requires that you disclose details regarding the entities to which you are awarding grant funds to the public via a central website, https://www.fsrs.gov/.

With Federal grants, the entity receiving and then awarding the funds is considered to be the prime awardee by FFATA. The sub grant recipients applying for the grant funding opportunity through the prime awardee are considered the sub-awardees and are responsible for reporting back to the prime awardee.

Federal Grant Reporting Flowchart

What can go wrong?

Grant Recipients who fail to fulfill all reporting requirements run the risk of facing serious consequences up to and including being barred from receipt of future federal funding. If the grant recipient’s system for administering their grant programs is not reliable, the resulting reporting will be just as unreliable. Data integrity is critical in order to produce accurate reporting.

IntelliGrants® IGX proven grant management solution ensures that the grant funding data in our systems is of the highest integrity. Many vendors in the grant space do not take the time to learn their customers’ true reporting needs while configuring their grant system. As a result, grant systems may fail to capture all of the required data elements to satisfy reporting requirements. This is why it is critical to ensure that you are working with a vendor who will guide you through the process and ensure that all required data elements are captured in your grant management system.



5 Grant Reporting Best Practices

For Grantors

We love reporting and so should you! When reporting is done properly, reporting enhances the value that organizations can offer to the community. High value reporting helps grant recipients (Grantees) to identify what they are doing well and where they need to improve. High value reporting helps Grant Providers (Grantors) to ensure that all reporting requirements are fulfilled in addition to ensuring that grant funds are disbursed in the most efficient manner possible.

  1. One of the first mistakes that Grantors make in reporting requirements is to overlook the importance of making it easy for Grantees to capture and submit their reporting data. Grant management systems need to make it easy for Grantees to capture and then interpret reporting metrics. The following principles are critical towards achieving that end:
    • Utilize existing data wherever possible
      • Auto-population of data points that already exist in the grant system
      • Integrations with external systems so that additional data can be automatically imported/populated in the grant application
    • Ensure that data is accurate by utilizing data validation throughout the grant system ranging from use of drop downs to error checks that run before allowing a Grantee to submit a grant funding application.
  2. Build reporting around your specific organization’s needs. Reporting is nice for meeting your due dates with federal reporting requirements but it’s also invaluable as a tool for your organization to gain insights into your performance. What are the key performance metrics for your organization and how are they measured? This should be considered in developing your reporting requirements. High value reporting will help your organization to answer questions such as:
    • What are we doing well?
    • What are our grant recipients doing well?
    • What are our opportunities for improvement?
    • What are the opportunities for our grant recipients to improve?
  3. Only report on the data that is useful to the intended report user(s). Data is wonderful but that data is only useful when it is presented effectively. Effective data presentation must be concise and easy to digest. Make it easy for report users by cutting out the white noise and only showing the data elements that are necessary to tell the story.
  4. A commitment to constant improvement is critical for any successful organization. Continue to seek feedback from internal and external stakeholders. What reporting is working well for them? What is not working well? What is needed that is currently not available in the system?

For Grantees

  1. Grant Reporting targeted towards Grantees adds value for the Grantee, the community being served by the Grantee and the Grantor. Grantee organizations utilize grant reports to gain insights into their performance. These insights could go so far as to compare the grantee’s high-level performance metrics to that of the average grantee who received a particular grant award. Grantee reporting should answer the following questions:
    • How did we expend the grants awarded to our organization?
    • What value did we bring to the community with this grant program?
    • What could we have done better?
    • What did we do well?
    • How does our performance under this grant compare to other organizations who are providing the same services under this grant?

Engaging with a Vendor

Give us a call to talk more about Agate Software’s IntelliGrants IGX reporting solution. IntelliGrants IGX reporting module is a great fit for those agencies who prioritize quality, flexibility and value. The ground breaking IGX release of IntelliGrants is designed to be the most flexible grants management solution on the market today with its powerful core allowing agencies to have the system configured to their exact specifications. If your agency would like to see a demonstration of IntelliGrants, contact us at sales@agatesoftware.com or 517-336-2500.


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