Congratulations on Your New Grant! Are You Ready?

Guest Article
april o. danos

Whether you are a new or seasoned awardee, preparing for post-award grant management is essential to the success of, and compliance with, your latest federal award.

Winning the grant is just step one – the hard work begins with grant administration. The seven steps described here will help establish the “rules” to ensure success.

read and understand the grant agreement

1. Read and Understand the Grant Agreement

Carefully review the terms and conditions of the grant agreement to understand the obligations, reporting requirements, allowed expenses, and any restrictions. Understand what needs to be done to get to grant execution. Your organization will need to know which regulations and guidance are applicable. Have key legal, finance, and management staff discuss and review the agreement to understand the agreement provisions, relevant regulations, and other key requirements in the grant. Understanding the agreement will help give your organization confidence that it can meet its grant agreement obligations.

develop written policies and procedures

2. Develop Written Policies and Procedures

Your organization must have clear written policies and procedures to implement the grant effectively. Grants are governed by the applicable funding agency, state and federal guidance, and statutes. Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200 is a governmentwide framework for grant management, and it provides a set of rules and requirements for federal awards. It’s a good starting point for developing grant management processes and procedures. Keep in mind that more restrictive state policies will supersede the Uniform Guidance. Policies and procedures developed should be geared to meet compliance standards and requirements. Those policies will include:

  • Financial management
  • Cost principles
  • Procurement
establish a project plan

3. Establish a Project Plan

Develop a detailed project plan outlining specific goals, objectives, activities, timelines, and deliverables. Ensure alignment with the funder’s requirements and objectives. Understand the sponsor’s rules and requirements.

budget management

4. Budget Management

Set up a system to track expenditures and ensure that spending aligns with the approved budget. Monitor expenses regularly to avoid overspending or misallocation of funds. Revenue and costs need to be segregated from other funds. Understand financial reporting requirements, invoicing, and support documentation.

compliance and reporting

5. Compliance and Reporting

Adhere to all reporting requirements outlined in the grant agreement. This may include financial reports, progress reports, and final reports. Ensure compliance with any specific regulations or guidelines associated with the grant.

maintain communication with funder

6. Maintain Communication with Funder

Keep the lines of communication open with the funding organization. Notify them promptly of any significant developments, challenges, or changes to the project plan.

document management

7. Document Management

Maintain accurate and detailed records of project activities, expenses, and outcomes. Proper documentation is essential for reporting and may be required for audit purposes.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage a grant post-award and maximize the impact of the funded project.

April O. Danos is Vice President of OD Grant Solutions, LLC (ODGS). For more information about the company’s grant management services for ports and other maritime industry partners, visit

Editor’s Note: Seaports Magazine is proud to feature the voices of a wide variety of thought leaders who care deeply about ports and supply chain resilience, funding, and success. This and forthcoming articles like it solely express the sentiments of the writer and may not reflect the beliefs of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and its stakeholders or members.