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THE GRANT MAKING BLOG

Finish What You Started: Ensuring Grants are Acquitted

By Kate Caldecott

Things seem to be proceeding as hoped and expected with your project…until it’s time for the acquittal report. Suddenly your grantee seems to be missing in action. How can you prevent these gaps and what should you do when they do appear?

 

Set Up Acquittal Reminder Emails in SmartyGrants

SmartyGrants has some nifty tools to help increase your chances of receiving acquittals when they’re due.

 

When you add an acquittal form to an applicant, SmartyGrants lets you send out an automatic email reminding the grantee that the upcoming acquittal is due.

 

 See the SmartyGrants Help Hub for more information.

 

We’re all busy and the ball could be dropped on either side. An easy way to ensure that you’re aware of acquittal reports that have come in is to Bcc yourself on the confirmation email that the grantee receives when they submit their acquittal report.

 

SmartyGrants acquittals

See the SmartyGrants Help Hub for more information.

 

Warn

An overdue acquittal report represents a breach of your agreed upon contract. Grantees need to know this. Explain the consequences of failing to acquit a project to the grantee. This could include withholding payment on other projects with the grantee, as well as flagging the organisation as high risk (use a red flag in the Contacts section of SmartyGrants), thereby diminishing their chances of being funded for future projects.

 

When you reach the point of listing the consequences of non-compliance, it’s also time to bring other people into the conversation. If it feels like your emails are going into a black hole, it’s quite likely that your contact person at the grantee organisation has left. Check the project application and/or the organisation’s contact tab in SmartyGrants. It’s likely that you have more than one contact (such as a fiscal contact, the Executive Director). Copy them on the email.

 

Escalate

When all else fails, go to the not-for-profit organisation’s website and find the contact information for the Board President. Send them an email and if that fails a formal letter (copy the secretary as well) explaining that the grant contract is about to be (or has been) breached and that this breach will exclude the organisation from being considered for future funding.

 

Finally, follow-up and document the fail-to-acquit in SmartyGrants. This record will become part of a risk profile that can be considered in the future.

 

If you would like support in designing your acquittal forms or acquittal process, please contact me at Kate@katecaldecott.com.au or 0447 227 598.

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