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Spend More Time On Your Mission and Less Time on Grant Reporting

Posted by Dawn White on Aug 22, 2021 7:30:00 AM
Dawn White
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Volunteers working at a food bank | spend less time on grant reporting

During the pandemic, millions of Americans were given much-needed assistance through the federal stimulus programs. As many of those programs start winding down, non-profit organizations are becoming more vital for those who still need support.

Yet, non-profits themselves are looking for extra financial support. Giving from private donors has declined over the past 18 months, and organizations are relying more and more on grants and federal funding.

Those funds come with new reporting requirements, and many non-profits are working harder than ever to win and keep these critical grants.

Detailed Grant Reporting Means More Funding

When you receive a grant, you often have to provide reporting on the time and resources that were dedicated to that funding. That means carefully tracking how those funds are being used in compliance with the agreement.

Non-profits that provide detailed reporting have an easier time getting their grants renewed — and avoiding unplanned audits. Funding agencies want to see exactly how their money is being spent. If your reports only show estimates of the spending, your funders will be left wondering what the reality looks like.

Complete transparency instills trust. When you can show exactly how every penny is spent and where it goes, your funding agencies will be more confident in granting money. They’ll know that you’re allocating their funds appropriately and putting the grants to good use.

Related reading: 3 Tips to Protect Your Grant Funding and Avoid an Audit

The Manual Costs of Grant Reporting

That’s easier said than done for most non-profit organizations. Most HCM systems can set up a fixed estimate across grants, based on expected hours to be worked — but they can’t pull in the actual time each employee spends on each project. Tracking that information typically requires dozens of hours of manual labor each week.

Not only that, but the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) no longer allows you to simply estimate your time percentages to account for grant funding. You have to give exact numbers, for every person on the grant. If your funding report looks like you're using estimates instead of actual numbers, you could get audited, putting your funding at risk.

Most payroll professionals spend a good 30 percent of their time calculating grant allocation for their funding reports. It’s intense work that requires sifting through complex (and error-prone) spreadsheets, pulling out the right data, and making sense of it for the report.

Over the course of a year, manual grant reporting can add up to 300 hours of work. That’s 300 hours of funding used simply to report how you’ve used your funding.

Learn how spreadsheets are putting your funding at risk

Grant Reporting Made Quick and Easy

What if you could track grant spending automatically, without lifting a finger? Imagine delivering funding reports that automatically include detailed information about how grants are allocated. And imagine generating those reports at the click of a button.

IDI's grant allocation solution lets you take your employees’ time data and allocate it to each grant. IDI’s integration software pulls in the actual time spent from your time-and-attendance system. When it’s run at the end of the pay period, it retrieves the time and labor information from the time system and then determines worked vs. non-worked earnings, determines percentage worked by fund in the pay period, calculates worked earnings by fund, calculates non-worked (PTO) earnings by fund, and creates a file with the results for import into payroll.

With the click of a button, our integration software reads the earnings from the time-and-attendance system, performs the allocations, and the results are passed to payroll with the accurate details needed for reports to government and other funding sources. If someone takes unexpected time off, or spends more time on a particular grant than expected, your reports reflect it.

This gives your funding agencies a crystal clear understanding of the way you’re spending their grants, down to the penny. That kind of detailed reporting builds confidence and proves transparency, which makes it easier to win continued funding down the road.

Learn more: How to Recover 300 Hours of Grant Management Per Year

As grants become more important for non-profit organizations to operate effectively, IDI makes it possible to spend your time on-mission. Stop dedicating hundreds of hours of grant money simply justifying how you spend your funding. Get back to your mission, and leave the hard calculations to us.

Discover how IDI supports non-profits →

Topics: Nonprofit Industry Solutions