Grant Management and What You Should Know

No matter the circumstances, a grant represents an incredible opportunity for your NPO. Grants can help you push your operations to unbelievable new heights, and you can use this opportunity to make a real difference in your community. That being said, it’s surprisingly easy to waste this opportunity if you’re not careful. Without some form of management to help you navigate this tricky process, it’s very difficult to take full advantage of everything a grant has to offer. Grant management helps you make the most of this prospect so that your NPO can provide even more to the community at large.

Grant management services

What Is Grant Management?

In many ways, grant management is exactly what it sounds like: the process of managing the requirements and overall use of a grant. However, that simple description doesn’t really do the phrase justice. In reality, grant management is a complex, time-consuming operation conducted by numerous specialists.

People are often confused about grant management because they don’t have a clear understanding of what a grant actually is. At face value, receiving a grant might seem like you’re simply being given money or services for free – but this just isn’t the case. Grants are structured like contracts; there are strict requirements and conditions that you must follow closely.

Entities that issue grants want to know how their money is being used, which makes sense when you think about it. After all, why would they simply issue you a blank check? These organizations need to prove their money is being used by reputable NPOs. Unfortunately, corruption is a major issue these days, and some disreputable NPOs funnel money back into the pockets of the board members. Effective grant management helps to eliminate the chance of this happening.

Grant management is more than simply following rules and showing entities how you’re spending your grant. This is your chance to show grantmakers that you can be trusted. By communicating in a clear manner and accurately reporting how you’re spending the grant money, you can increase your chances of receiving more grants in the future. If you mismanage your grant and you can’t communicate efficiently with your grantmaker, you will more than likely not be issued another grant.

Can I or My Employees Perform Our Grant Management Ourselves?

Virtually all grants require management of some kind, as one person simply cannot handle the workload involved with even the most basic grants. This becomes clear when you consider all of the different aspects of standard grant management. One senior leader typically directs the grant management budget, the hiring of staff, and the overall strategy. Human resources professionals may also be required to manage the team. In addition, a number of employees focus entirely on the financial aspect of the grant. Entire accounting firms or independent finance professionals assist in grant management.

Other possible employees include grant writers, grant coordinators, grant managers, and many others. With all that said, the exact requirements for grant management depend on the grant itself. For example, Google’s Ad Grant provides NPOs with $10,000 worth of Google Ads per month. Unless you have specialists who are specifically trained to use Google Ads, it’s very difficult to make the most of this opportunity.

Speaking of computer skills, modern grant management requires you to use advanced budget-tracking and reporting software. These programs help you communicate with your grant providers in an accurate, transparent manner. Software can also assist you with overall project management and the grant application process. Once again, you will likely need specialized team members who can help you implement and use these types of programs.

As you can see, grant management is not a one-person job. If you do try to do this all by yourself, you’ll soon find yourself in over your head. The time and effort you and your employees spend in attempting grant management will cost your NPO hundreds or even thousands of dollars in labor time and, at the end of the day, may not be done properly. To avoid wasting your grant, your time, and your money, it’s best to hire qualified individuals who can help you navigate this process. Whether you prefer to assemble your own team or enlist the services of a professional grant management company, you’ll find that this operation is much more feasible when you get the help you need.

Can I Get My Volunteers to Manage Our Grants?

As an NPO, you might already have an extensive team of hard-working volunteers who are ready to take on just about any task. You might be wondering whether you can simply instruct your volunteers to help with grant management instead of hiring professionals. While it’s true that volunteers are some of the most committed and driven individuals out there, they usually don’t have the necessary skills and experience to handle grant management.

Consider all of the various roles and responsibilities associated with grant management. Can you really expect an average volunteer to understand the intricacies of grant management? Sure, you might be able to train your volunteers to do this, but how long will that take? Are you going to put them all through accounting school? Will you teach them advanced aspects of human resources or computer skills? Who will train them if you don’t have a firm grasp on these concepts?

At the end of the day, it’s obvious that even volunteers need help sometimes. While these hard-working individuals can perform admirably in supplementary roles, grant management professionals are required to do the heavy lifting. And remember, they are after all volunteers. Even the most dedicated volunteers may have things come up in their lives which make volunteering not possible anymore.

What Happens if I Mismanage My Grants?

Despite everything you’ve read so far, you might have a voice inside your head that is saying something like: “Why don’t I just try to handle this without professional grant management? After all, what could go wrong?” Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can go wrong. At best, you could simply get frustrated and spend way too many hours doing relatively simple tasks. Worst case scenario? You lose your grant entirely.

Staying in compliance is one of the main reasons why professional grant management is so important. With one or two inexperienced individuals attempting to handle reporting and other requirements, it’s easy to get lost. Unfortunately, the penalties for mishandling these important steps go further than a simple headache. Failing to comply with grant requirements can result in fines, audits, and loss of funding.

You may also encounter significant roadblocks simply because you’re trying to juggle too many different pieces of the grant management puzzle. While a team of professionals can work together as a cohesive unit with each other and the grant provider, communication issues can arise if you’re trying to do this all on your own.

If you’re relying on volunteers, you might not have a clear idea of who’s responsible for each part of the grant management process. As mentioned before, failing to communicate with your grant provider in a professional manner can lead to significant issues as you try to secure more grant funding in the future.

Is Grant Management Worth the Money?

Have you ever heard the slogan, “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur”. Many NPOs are reluctant to take advantage of grant management because they’re wary about the costs. While it’s true that grant management isn’t free, you’ll find it’s not as expensive as you might think and is a worthwhile investment that actually pays for itself. NPOs with professionally managed grants are typically more profitable. This is because their grant providers are more likely to take them seriously, and as a result, they generally receive more funding in the future.

Grant management also expedites the entire process, which means you can apply for more grants and handle the workload of multiple grants at the same time. All of this saved time and increased funding quickly adds up. In addition, qualified specialists can help you with the specific requirements of your grant.

The aforementioned Google Ad Grant is an excellent example of this. By hiring professionals who actually understand the ins and outs of Google Ads, your NPO can take full advantage of this opportunity and spread your message like never before. Professionally implemented Google Ads can spark a surge in business for your NPO, and your grant management expenses will seem minimal in comparison. This is just one example of how grant management can easily pay for itself.

Grant Managers

Why You Need Grant Management

When considering whether or not to take advantage of grant management, you should remind yourself why you got involved with NPOs in the first place. The aim of this entire process is to help people. That’s what is really important here. There’s no point in getting distracted with the time-consuming and stressful process of grant management when you have a community that needs your help.

Enlisting the help of qualified professionals saves you from spending too much time with administrative and technical tasks. When you delegate this process to those who have the necessary experience and skills, you can focus on what’s really important: the mission of your NPO.

Who Can Help Me With Grant Management?

There are many reputable services out there that can provide you with tons of help when it comes to grant management. One great example is Mission:More. Our company focuses entirely on the Google Ad Grant. We have a team of experienced specialists with the necessary technical skills to help you maximize this grant – essentially turning a small grant management budget into a huge $10,000 per month marketing budget! If you want to take your NPO to the next level, visit our website to find out how Mission:More can help your NPO obtain a $10,000 / month advertising grant and provide professional, and very affordable, Google Ad Grant management.

Nonprofit Spotlight: The WorkFaith Connection

Each month Mission:More will feature a nonprofit organization that’s impacting their communities in far-ranging and incredible ways. We are thrilled to bring these inspirational groups to the forefront. Join us every month to celebrate these influential organizations through our dedicated nonprofit spotlight.

 

Nonprofit Spotlight: The WorkFaith Connection

 

We are proud to focus this month’s nonprofit spotlight on The WorkFaith Connection based out of Houston, TX. The WorkFaith Connection is a highly-organized job search program designed to provide effective and comprehensive services to men and women who have become discouraged in their job search. They supply the tools, skills, and confidence needed for a successful transition back into the workforce. 

 

The WorkFaith Connection | Job placement program

About The WorkFaith Connection

As a faith-based 501(c)(3) with Christ-centered values, “[The WorkFaith Connection] has served Houston’s unemployed for over 13 years and helped obtain over 6,500 jobs and counting.” The COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting all areas of the local and state economies along with record-level unemployment. It’s paramount to highlight the mission of The WorkFaith Connection as they help rebuild and encourage the lives in their community.

 

 

Enormous Community Impact & Inspiration

The WorkFaith Connection, founded in 2006, addresses the challenges of unemployed citizens and provides their students with Christ-centered values. They pair these values with a renewed sense of confidence and critical skills needed for a prosperous transition back into the workforce.

Job search resources provided through The WorkFaith Connection helps deliver earnings and encouragement for those suffering from long-term unemployment, addiction, and those struggling with re-entering the workforce for extended periods of time. The WorkFaith Connection develops innovative, results-proven job readiness programs that emphasize career development and long-term success. Serving over 5,300 men and women, they have successfully accumulated wages totaling $260 million and still continues to grow.

WorkFaith’s reach extends to encompass a broad cross-section of Houston’s diverse and capable unemployed population. Our program is designed to help anyone get back to work. These men and women become providers and role models within their homes and communities. Work fosters dignity and we are proud to generate a positive impact on those looking to create a new life. Following our program, 78% of WorkFaith’s graduates become employed and more than half are retained with the same employer a year later. As men and women return to work, families are provided for and poverty is alleviated. Employed individuals’ need for government assistance is reduced and, for those with criminal backgrounds, employment greatly reduces recidivism.

 

Programs & Resources

Many graduates of The WorkFaith Connection programs have struggled with both common and uncommon barriers to employment such as layoffs, re-entering the job market after an extended absence (such as moving or raising children), transitioning from prison, or recovering from addiction among many other challenges. Some have simply been on the job search for too long and need hope.

Through the Job Readiness Boot Camps and Career Advancement services, participants are able to develop skills such as interview techniques, focused job search plans, and resume tips along with access to an immense network of partnered employers with open positions.

In addition to Job Readiness Boot Camps and Career Advancement services, The WorkFaith Connection also partners with a vast pool of employers that are eager to assist in their mission and job placement. By providing free access to all of The WorkFaith Connection’s Employer Services, employers can utilize their staffing service, gain access to job coaches to resolve workplace issues or conflicts, and can also take advantage of various tax incentives. 

Most importantly, employers can directly support and provide The WorkFaith Connection’s graduates with an opportunity to reenter the workforce after completing their job readiness program.

 

WorkFaith Connection student graduating WorkFaith Readiness Program

 

Please Donate & Volunteer

If you would like to support The WorkFaith Connection’s mission in the community in addition to learning about the other ways that their organization provides a beacon of hope in the Greater Houston Area, please visit www.workfaithconnection.org or call 713.984.9611.

For those who are interested in volunteering at the WorkFaith Connection, please contact their Lead Volunteer Coordinator at 713.936.9052 or visit https://workfaithconnection.org/volunteer/

Giving matters, too. Your financial support will sustain future programs and help widen The WorkFaith Connection’s outreach efforts. All donations are tax-deductive. Please visit https://workfaithconnection.org/give/ to make a donation today. 

Please join us in celebrating The WorkFaith Connection and the positive impact their job readiness program provides to Houston’s unemployed.

What Is The Google Ad Grant?

As a nonprofit organization, we’re sure you’ve heard of and applied for several grants. Along the way, you may have heard of the Google Ad Grant, but aren’t necessarily sure what it is and what it can do for your organization. In this blog, we will provide detailed explanations of what the Google Ad Grant is, what it can do for your nonprofit and even a few case studies. 

The Google Ad Grant Explained

In short, the Google Ad Grant is one of the most effective and beneficial tools that a nonprofit can use. The Google Ad Grant is a $10,000/month in-kind donation given to nonprofit organizations, from Google, for free. 

Yes you read that right, $10,000 per month, for free. 

Nonprofits use the grant for online advertising. If you search for something in Google, such as Nike or organic dog food, you are bound to see ads appear at the top of the screen. This is where your ads will appear with the Google Ad Grant.

organic dog food google search

Need a little more help understanding? Here’s more of a breakdown. 

Ads that appear at the top of Google are actually paid for by advertisers. When you click on the ad, you are taken to the company’s website or a specific landing page and the advertiser is charged a fee. For instance, if you search organic dog food, you might click on the first ad (MyOllie), – MyOllie is probably paying Google anywhere from $2 – $5 for that specific click. To them, paying for each click is worth it because each click means a consumer is saying “I want to buy organic dog food.” Since MyOllie offers organic dog food, the price they pay is worth it because it’s a possible conversion, and sale, which means money in their pockets. 

The Google Ad Grant works exactly like that. Organizations can place their text ads at the top of Google’s search results. 

Let’s say you’re a charitable organization that accepts clothing, furniture and other donations and you want to advertise your services and available products. You can advertise to people in a geographic area who search where can I donate my old clothes or even where is a clothing donation pick up near me

clothing donation pick up

Your ads can provide specific information on clothing drop off and pick up, or other valuable items that you accept and offer. These ads will appear at the top of Google when individuals search for those terms. Once they click on the ad, they are either taken to your website or a specific landing page – for instance, one that has the address of clothing pick up locations. 

The only difference between the organic dog food advertisement and the where can I donate my old clothes advertisement is that Google pays for the click on your ad. So instead of you spending $3 on an ad for clothing donations, Google pays for the click using the $10,000 credit from the Google Ad Grant. This means that this ad is entirely free and depending on how many people search for your service, you can reach a lot of people each month using the Google Ad Grant.

Google Ad Grant Case Studies

The Google Ad Grant is one of the most valuable advertising tools that nonprofits can and should use. In fact, several nonprofit organizations are utilizing the Google Ad Grant each day and reaching thousands of users, increasing their volunteers and donations.

The WorkFaith Connection

Based out of Houston, Texas, The WorkFaith Connection provides discouraged job seekers with valuable resources to help them secure employment. Hoping to reach more people online, The WorkFaith Connection came to MISSION:MORE for Google Ad Grant management. Here’s an example of their ads. 

workfaith connection google ad

By utilizing the $10,000/mo grant, The WorkFaith Connection has seen tremendous growth in their course registration and donations. 

workfaith connection google ad data

The Arc of Katy

The Arc of Katy is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their mission is to enable each person to be included as a respected and active member of the community. With summer camp programs and fundraising events, The Arc of Katy wanted to grow their online presence and create more awareness for their organization. 

This led them to Google’s $10,000/mo advertising grant. Once The Arc of Katy took full advantage of the grant, they saw tremendous growth and have continued to raise awareness for their organization.

the arc of katy google ad data

First Metropolitan Church

Based out of Houston, Texas, First Metropolitan Church seeks to bring individuals closer to God by giving them a sense of acceptance, ownership, responsibility, urgency and belonging to Christ. To reach more people online and increase their congregation, volunteers and donations, First Metropolitan Church applied for the Google Ad Grant. Since they received the $10,000/mo in advertising credit, their numbers have improved dramatically. 

first met church google ad data

In a nutshell, the Google Ad Grant gives nonprofits $10,000 per month to use towards advertising online. Ads appear at the top of Google when a user searches for a specific term related to your ads. When they click on the ad, they can be taken to your website or landing page for more information. This increases awareness and even donations for your organization. 

Want to learn more about how your organization can receive $10,000 a month for advertising? Contact MISSION:MORE today. 

Houston Churches Are Reopening; Here’s How They Can Bring People In

houston Church Google Ad Grant

With the detrimental impact of COVID-19, churches have taken a tremendous financial hit. Events have been cancelled, funds and donations have come to a halt, and their doors have remained closed for months. However, Governor Greg Abbott recently announced that churches could open May 2020 at 25% capacity. 

With churches finally opening their doors, the next question we should ask ourselves is how will they bring people in? How can churches advertise their services, sermons and fundraising opportunities to help them eventually return to a new normal? 

Here are a few ways that churches can promote sermons and services to bring individuals back into their doors and their community.

google ad grant logo

  • Advertising Online

Considering that so many users are turning to online platforms for answers and updates during this time, it’s crucial that churches have an online presence. The Google Ad Grant can help churches advertise their organization online. This can promote awareness of online worship services or events and bring new members through the doors. 

The $10,000/mo in-kind donation allows churches to advertise directly on Google. Now churches that did not previously have a large marketing budget can spend up to $10,000/mo on PPC campaigns. It is a great opportunity for churches to promote their mission, worship services, new sermons and events.  

  • Email Marketing

Email marketing has grown increasingly popular and is a great resource for churches that are in need of promoting new guidelines or rules for their Sunday services and events. With so many changes and a new normal, churches should send weekly email blasts to keep their members updated.

  • Social Media

Stated previously, individuals are online more than ever before. This is why remaining active on social media is critical during this time. By remaining active on social media, churches show members that they are also active in the community. 

It is a simple and effective way to promote events and worship services, whether they be in person or online. Promoting such events allows churches to maintain their online presence and voice. Engaging with church members online promotes relationships and loyalty, which is important now that church doors are opening again. 

As we continue to move towards a new normal, one thing will remain, the power of online. By advertising online, churches can promote their events, sermons and services. The $10,000/mo Google Ad Grant, email marketing and social media allow churches to provide relevant information, online and directly to their audience. 

To apply for the Google Ad Grant and receive $10,000/mo in Google advertising, click here. There is NO cost to apply.

NONPROFIT ACTION ITEMS DURING COVID-19

It’s no secret that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has detrimentally impacted the country. Businesses and the economy are facing challenges and several nonprofits are searching for guidance during this time. MISSION:MORE offers nonprofits with action items that will help them survive COVID-19.

TOP 4 NONPROFIT STRATEGIES

Assess The Situation – One of the most important things that a nonprofit can do at this time is assess the situation. The coronavirus has shifted the country and its effects are astronomical. Nonprofits are experiencing an increase in demands, such as food or shelter, with limits to capacity, cash flow and support.

Considering that no one knows fully what kind of effect the coronavirus pandemic will have, it’s important for nonprofits to assess the situation they have at hand. Understanding options, abilities and next steps during this time will help nonprofits remain intact. This is where nonprofits should ask themselves “what ifs” and create scenarios that could possibly happen during this time, such as “what if we lose 15% of our donor revenue” or “what if we need to move services online for the next six months”. This kind of thinking and assessing will help nonprofits plan for any situation.

Cash Flow Projection – Now is a more perfect time than ever to compile a cash flow projection, especially with the financial strain that this virus may have on your nonprofit. It will help management and board members see if the nonprofit will face cash shortages and assess where to distribute money for the upcoming months.

When compiling a cash flow projection, be sure to include money your nonprofit currently has, expected revenue and potential expenses.

Once finished, you will be able to assess if the nonprofit will experience a cash shortage. If your nonprofit might experience a shortage, it’s important to weigh the options. As far as revenue goes, speak with funders, ask for donations, or maybe even hold auctions. On the expense side, we recommend assessing which expenses are critical for operations and which are not.

If your nonprofit might experience a shortage, MISSION:MORE offers a solution. The Google Ad Grant is a $10,000/mo in-kind donation given to nonprofits to advertise online. With the help of MISSION:MORE, your nonprofit can reach more donors and raise awareness.

Positive Donor Relationship – Keeping a positive donor relationship is critical. It might just be what saves your nonprofit during the coronavirus and keeps it running smoothly after. Send thank you emails or letters to donors for their continued support. Let them know what it is that your nonprofit is doing during this difficult time, where their money is going and that you’re looking forward to the day when you can all be together again.

A donor is someone who truly believes in your nonprofit’s mission and supports it. It’s important to be upfront about what COVID-19 is doing to the functionality of your organization, as well as the impact it is having. In fact, providing donors with this information might persuade them to donate more, whether financially or emotionally, to your nonprofit.

Communication Is Key – Remain connected with your nonprofit community. Not only will it continue to strengthen the relationship between nonprofit and community, but it will keep them active and interested in your organization.

This communication is not only critical during the coronavirus, but after as well. Once the virus has settled and the economy and country return to a new normal, the support of the community will be powerful. Let the community know steps that your nonprofit is taking during this time, events that have been put on hold until further notice and changes that have been made.

Several nonprofits have moved to online events, such as donor drives or fundraisers. Stay active on social media (and online) to let the community know about these events. It will keep the bond between you and the community, and can help raise money for the nonprofit.

While the coronavirus has impacted the country, economy and community, it’s important for nonprofits to remain active. Completing these action items, searching for additional resources and remaining connected to the community can help your organization survive during this difficult time.

If you are a nonprofit in need of additional advice or are interested in applying for the Google Ad Grant, contact MISSION:MORE today.