Let me start by stating that yes – we read all grant reports.
When a new grant proposal is received, I review past reports and organization files as part of my due diligence practices, so please know that the reports are read and used as part of a continuing process.
Reporting requirements vary from foundation to foundation, but basically we are interested in learning:
- What the organization did with the grant funds and what the organization feels are the principal accomplishments
- Challenges that may have arrived during implementation – staffing changes, etc. including what refinements that were made to overcome those challenges
- Challenging or surprising aspects of the project, including any unexpected outcomes
- Advice for other organizations – what would the organization do differently given the chance?
- Moving forward – post-grant plans and sustainability
- Press releases/media clippings
As an example, an interim report from an organization included a report from a national organization related to financing policies related to their specific focus in the nonprofit world. The document included the Cleveland-based organization as a model, which is great to see – but it also provided a nice summary of federal resources and funding which is very helpful.
We work hard to be as informed as we possibly can. The grant reports, paired with the calls and emails we receive related to changes (both positive and negative) are tremendously helpful. We are working on figuring out the best way to share recommendations from these reports to share the insights gained by other nonprofits within our community. I’m experimenting with Twitter (perhaps a hashtag #advicefromgrantees ?). Other ideas are welcomed.
Please continue to add your comments to these posts to add to the collective knowledge base, to provide feedback, or even to request specific blog post topics.
As a P.S. – If you haven’t already, check out our Grantee Perception Report. Thanks to all of the nonprofits who provided feedback.