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What Does a Grants Manager Do?

By Kenneth W. Michael Wills
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A grants manager works for a variety of organizations to include non-profits, social service agencies, and educational institutions. Usual responsibilities of the role include planning and implementing grant programs, performing grants research, writing grant proposals, preparing grant applications, auditing grant compliance and, preparing and issuing grants reports. In most cases, the grant manager will report to some type of director, such as a center director in a social service agency. The biggest part of the job, however, includes identifying potential grants that are most useful to the organization's overall mission and objectives. Communication with organizations awarding grants is also a major task that falls under the purview of a grants manager.

First and foremost a grants manager will need to research grants that are available and accurately identify those the organization can take advantage of. Research of available grants and their applicability to the organization’s mission require both an efficient methodology and an analytical process. Balancing both of these requirements effectively often determines success in the position. Once a grant is identified, the grants manager will need to put forth an application that effectively demonstrates the organization is in a position to use the grant wisely and effect the changes the grants intends on impacting. Additionally, in other cases where grants are not readily available, grant proposals that not only identify a need but that also articulate a plan the grant will help accomplish must be developed.

Once a grant is awarded, the grants manager is responsible for ensuring compliance with the grant specifications and requirements. Awarding of grants is usually done based on specific uses for the funds provided as well as expected milestones in the program funded. Falling to the grants manager, this responsibility entails communicating those specifications, requirements and milestones, in addition to following through at regular intervals to ensure compliance. Communicating progress through in person meetings and grants reports is part of this process. Often this is accomplished through site visits from the awarding organization, in addition to prepared reports that may focus on budgetary concerns and documenting progress.

Furthermore, a separate set of grant reports are requirement for internal accountability. Such reports are usually prepared to detail each grant individually as well as all grants collectively. Thereafter, these reports are submitted to the grants manager’s supervisor, often accompanied with a presentation detailing each report submitted. Issuing such reports requires the grants manager to effectively demonstrate he or she is handling the required duties responsibly.

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