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Managing Multiple Grant Requests

As a grant professional, I often submit multiple grant requests for the same ongoing programs within my organization. Submitting multiple applications usually ensures at least one request will be funded. Imagine my surprise—only once in my career, to date—when I received funding beyond the annual budget for one program. Now, what do I do? What a great problem to have… but still, a problem! 

We have all learned how important it is to keep the lines of communication open, and this concept holds especially true for grant professionals. Communicating with our funders is key to maintaining the relationships needed to continue receiving support for many years to come. So, I picked up the phone and called the foundations that provided support for the program. I explained the situation and asked them what they would like me to do.
One funder told me to keep the funds and use it for the program. The second grantmaker asked that I send part of the grant award back to them. I completed grant reports for both foundations at the end of the grant cycles. I also completed an additional report for the first foundation after the funds had been spent, making sure the money was spent as requested in the grant application. The funder was very appreciative of the additional report!
Following the GPA Code of Ethics is something that all members agree to do when applying for membership. GPA is committed to serving the greater public good by practicing the highest ethical and professional standards. If you look under Solicitation and Use of Funds in the Code of Ethics, it reads:
10. Members shall take care to ensure that grants are used by the grant's intent.
11. Members shall take care to ensure proper use of funds, including timely reports on the use and management of such funds.
12. Members shall obtain explicit consent by the grantor before altering the conditions of grant agreements.
So, you can see that by calling the funder, I was simply following the GPA Code of Ethics. As GPA members, we are required to uphold these ethics by doing the right thing. Sometimes, it does not work in our favor. Sending even part of a grant award back to the funder is one of the most painful things I have ever had to do! Even though I did not want to do it, it was the right move as a grant professional.
How do you manage multiple grant requests?