Grants Management

Understanding Capacity Building Grant Proposals

A capacity-building grant is a specific type of award meant to strengthen an organization’s systems and thereby increase its effectiveness. The term is a little confusing, so it’s not uncommon for grantseekers to think the purpose of these grants is to increase service capacity and expand programming. While strengthening internal systems can eventually result in expanded service capacity, that’s not the immediate focus here.

Who Will Do It?

The ubiquitous use of “we will” in grant proposals paves the way for grant-management nightmares. When the grant proposal does not assign tasks to specific positions, those tasks usually fall by the wayside when the intense work of program start-up gets underway. Here are a few examples of important tasks that often end up unassigned.

The 4 Cs of Grant Management

To manage grant awards effectively, you’ve got to know the rules. With private funders, the regulations and requirements can usually be adequately handled through good business and accounting practices.

But it’s different with government grants, especially federal grants. Uniform Guidance issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), along with agency-specific and program-specific requirements, demand that someone within your organization develop an understanding of the rules and regulations.

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