Developing a genuine relationship with the grantees is an essential aspect of grant-making as it gives grantees the confidence to communicate honestly, makes them feel valued, respected, and heard, eventually leading to better outcomes.
Funding organisations that make building strong Grantor Grantee Relationships one of their priorities are more likely to achieve their desired goals in a timely fashion and make a long-term impact compared to others.
The relationship between the grantor and grantee is similar to a partnership and the ability to comfortably work with each other is one of the key ingredients when collaborating towards accomplishing shared goals. In order to create better solutions for society, it is crucial that funders leverage the knowledge and insights of the charities they work with. Establishing and nurturing these relationships no doubt demands a significant amount of time and resources, but all these efforts seem worthwhile when they deliver positive results.
Before understanding how to build a strong Grantor Grantee Relationship it is important to understand what it actually means.
As a funder, the outcomes grantees produce are also your outcomes—they are making a difference for the people and causes your organisation cares about the most. As a result, successfully engaging with your grantees is a key step on your path from ambitions to concrete results.
Every relationship is unique and the expectation one has from their relationship would usually differ from person to person however, there are few common attributes most people agree upon such as mutual respect, trust, and two-way communication. Just like every other relationship the grantor grantee relationships are also built on trust and require communication to take place from both ends in order to achieve outcomes beneficial to each stakeholder involved.
By providing holistic support to grantees, the grantors can successfully make a positive impact in the community.
When the grantor takes interest in the grantees’ life by making attempts to understand grantees’ needs, where they come from, and asks a lot of questions it helps them gain a clear understanding of the grantees’ goals and whether they align with that of the funding organisations goals and objectives.
The better the quality of the grantor grantee relationship the better is the engagement in the grant management process. Feeling valued and respected boosts the confidence and morale of the grantees and helps them work with more sincerity towards achieving the agreed targets.
The key to successful grant management and achieving successful outcomes lies within a good, strong relationship that is built on trust.
Announcing grants, assessing, shortlisting, and selecting applications, writing a cheque, and reviewing reports are some of the common tasks for any funding organisation, however, how many of these organisations take the extra step to truly support the change they desire to see in the community. There is a huge possibility that you, as a funder and your grantee could prove to be each other’s most valuable resource.
Asking the right questions at the right time and seeking answers to questions like- What is missing? What sort of additional resources -financial or legal expertise can be provided by you to help the grantee? assists in the smooth administration of the grant.
Engaging in open conversation with the grantees about the challenges, or simply seeking feedback to learn about their opinion helps in breaking down barriers and makes them feel welcome improving Grantor Grantee Relationship along the way.
Here are the main elements that you should consider when managing Grantor Grantee Relationships:
Goals – the first and foremost step to start with while working towards building a strong grantor grantee relationship.
Understand the priorities of your grantee, areas they need support in, be clear about goals and expectations with your grantee, and ensure these are aligned. It rarely happens that the goals and strategies of grantees perfectly align with that of the funding organisation right from the very beginning however, gaining a mutual understanding can assist in decoding what each stakeholder is trying to achieve.
Trust is the basis for all relationships and becomes more crucial when money is involved. Both grantee and the grantor should be able to trust each other throughout the stages of the grant lifecycle. Trust is a sign of a strong and healthy relationship and thus requires efforts from both parties.
As a funder, you can look for ways to connect with your grantees on topics independent of the grant-making process, visit the grantees’ facility, host a session or two to freely engage with them, and provide them an opportunity to ask any questions. Similarly, the grantees too should keep the grantors in the loop whether through some coffee catchups or through some quick updates over the preferred mode of communication (call or email) to keep the relationship going smoothly.
Communication is the key and helps in bridging the gap between individuals. The right amount of interaction between the grantor grantee can free their relationship of many misunderstandings and doubts. Grantees aren’t always clear about how often the grantor is willing to be contacted and, thus it is always a good idea to discuss your availability right at the start of the relationship.
Each grantee is unique and requires a different level of attention which makes it important for grantors to evaluate and identify the needs of the grantee and the points they would most appreciate your presence. One of the most common points at which a grantee would require open communication from the grantor includes the time when they are drafting their grant application to ensure it aligns with the grantor’s priorities. Stronger bonds are formed when grant-making officials clearly communicate their aim and discuss with grantees how they fit or do not fit into the organisation’s goals and objectives before receiving their proposals.
Reporting requirements should be clearly designed and discussed depending on grant size and risk involved. It is essential to achieve a fine balance and understand when and how often reports should be asked for, asking a grantee to submit quarterly or bi-yearly reports may sound more reasonable in a case where bigger funding and risk is involved compared to small, low-risk grants as grantees spend long hours composing and finalising reports.
The reports received should meet its purpose of reflecting and learning from grant management work completed and not just be collected for the files. Learning from grant-making using reports is as important as offering those grants.
OmniStar understands the importance of building a strong Grantor Grantee Relationship and allows you to focus on aspects that are actually worth your time and efforts. It simplifies and automates repetitive grant management tasks, to assist you throughout the different stages of the grant lifecycle.
Some of the most useful OmniStar features which assist in making your grant management process seamless include the resubmission feature which provides you with the platform you need for communication rather than leaving you dependent on emails and calls. The resubmission feature enables you to request updates, or any clarification on the information submitted by grantees as well as keep a record of the same just within the same system, the reporting functionality provides valuable project insights at your fingertips, and the flexibility to access grants anywhere, anytime only makes your work easier.
Get in touch with an OmniStar expert today to discover how you can manage communication in a better way and increase your grant-making impact.