Successful grant execution is a highly-detailed exercise in creating relationships, managing complex projects, and tracking paperwork, dates, and deliverables.  The benefits however, can be huge!  If executed efficiently, an organization may receive millions of dollars in no-cost funding, for a relatively small investment of administrative time.  

Rural communities rarely have the budget, time, and personnel to take full advantage of these opportunities or if they do; resource constraints force them to fit grant administration into the job description of existing staff members sometimes resulting in overwhelm, lost funding, and a soured relationship with the granting agency.

Many larger organizations staff a dedicated grant administrator, but smaller organizations, that are often in much greater need of the grant funding, don’t have the budget for a full-time person.  

Working with Eleventh House Solutions allows clients access to a wealth of experience and an industry-leading closing ratio.

In the last four years Eleventh House Solutions has asked for $8,438,632 and won $3,954,615 = A

47% CLOSING RATIO

Proposal:

Eleventh House will

  • Search, write, and/or manage grants

  • Manage and complete grant reporting

  • Break out all relevant information and illuminate and organize all details of the grants

  • Identify and highlight critical path issues

  • Clarify responsibilities

  • Clearly identify deliverables and due dates

Grant Project Phases

  • Search for grants

  • Present a grant prospectus for Go/NoGo

  • Vet the “Go” grants to determine specific requirements and viability

  • Produce project proposal

  • Write grant applications

  • Administer grants

  • Provide follow up

Fees:

  • Fees are broken out into phases to maximize flexibility.

  • Each phase can be billed separately but the best value lies in maintaining an ongoing relationship.

  • If the grant allows for administrative fees (which many do), fees may be covered 100% by the grant.


Select Current and Recent Grants

 

Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) Weatherization and Repair Grants
Cost-free weatherization and repair services for LMI homeowners and residents. Result = Reduced utility costs and energy usage
Grantor: EmPOWER Clean Energy Communities
Amount Awarded: $1.4M

Maryland Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
Rehab and retrofit of homes in "The Hill" community of Easton to provide affordable housing for LMI residents.  Also: Construction of a Senior Center located within a YMCA built on the grounds of a High School.
Grantor: Department of Housing and Community Development
Amount Awarded: $1.6M

Community Windswept Program (Windswept)
$1.1 million for wind turbine to diversify clean energy portfolio of utility
Grantor: Maryland Energy Administration
Amount Awarded: $1.1M 

Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program (MSEC)
Continued conversion of Town streetlights to LED adds to Town savings annually
Grantor: Maryland Energy Administration
Amount Awarded: $154,000

Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund (SDSGIF)
Acquisition and architectural/engineering drawings for up to six homes in the Hill community of Easton to provide affordable homeownership housing.
Grantor: Department of Housing and Community Development
Amount Awarded: $200,000

 
 

Grants Administration

Background:

State and local governments often receive significant grants from other governments and organizations to support their programs and activities. Often, grants come with specialized requirements that can apply to the general operations of the grant, specific compliance rules, monitoring of other parties that may receive resources from the grants, and specialized reporting requirements. There are typically negative consequences for failing to meet these requirements. Further, grants may, either as a condition of the grant itself or politically, commit a government to financially maintain a program or asset after the expiration of the grant. Accordingly, a government should develop a grants policy that requires certain steps to be taken before applying for or accepting grants to maximize the benefits of grants while minimizing their risks.1

While it is important to have a grants policy, a government must also ensure that it does the appropriate administration of grants after their acceptance. Inappropriate administration can result in the failure to meet all requirements for grants that a government receives. In such cases the result can be a need to return some or all of the resources to the provider. Normally, a failure to meet all grant requirements is not intentional. Instead, the problem is often caused because all appropriate parties within the government are not aware of all the requirements or are not aware of the requirements at the appropriate time.

Recommendation:

Eleventh House Solutions recommends that governments establish processes to promote awareness throughout the government that grants normally come with significant requirements. Such processes should ensure that this awareness exists throughout the life of the grant and should address the following areas and include the following elements:

  1. To ensure the efficient administration and operation of grant programs the government should

    1. maintain a process to monitor for changes in grant terms and conditions that occur after the acceptance of a grant;

    2. establish a project plan with timelines and parties responsible for implementing the steps of the plan;

    3. provide initial training for new and unfamiliar programs and continuing training, in general, for the government (both for oversight agencies, such as finance, and department/program staff that directly administer the grants) and others involved with the grant program (e.g., subrecipients); and

    4. maintain a process to address specific personnel issues related to grants (e.g., whether salaries and/or benefits are eligible expenditures and if so, what are the related time-keeping requirements);

  2. To ensure the efficient financial management of grants a government should:

    1. develop appropriate cash management procedures for drawdown and receipt of funds as well as disbursement of funds;

    2. develop procedures to reconcile internal records with federal and state reports;

    3. maintain a process to ensure that costs charged to grants are allowable, necessary and reasonable, and properly allocable and that these determinations are consistently applied;

    4. determine whether indirect costs will be allocated to grant programs and if so maintain an appropriate process to make the allocation;

    5. maintain a process to track information about local matching funds including identification of the continuing source of such funds;

    6. integrate grants in the annual budget process;

    7. integrate grants in the government’s cash flows planning; and

    8. develop a contingency plan for funding services that will be continued even if the grant funds terminate.

  3. Governments should maintain proper systems to support grants that:

    1. ensure that systems will provide information to all involved parties to allow them to comply with both GAAP and grant requirements;

    2. identify and segregate costs as necessary for the grant (e.g., separate allowable and unallowable costs, separate direct costs from indirect costs, and separate administrative costs);

    3. develop systems and methods to account for and track capital items;

    4. include the capability to track information for non-cash grants; and

    5. develop a methodology to store and provide information electronically so that it is available to multiple users.

  4. Maintain proper internal controls that:

    1. document grant procedures;

    2. maintain internal controls over accounting, financial reporting, and program administration;

    3. maintain internal controls to identify and adhere to Federal and State compliance requirements, such as those relating to contracting;

    4. consider the level of program risk (e.g., high, medium, low) when establishing internal controls; and

    5. establish internal control procedures to ensure the reliability of information obtained from third parties (e.g., jobs, Buy America).

  5. Maintain processes for sub-recipient monitoring that:

    1. provide for programmatic monitoring including requirements for subrecipients to submit progress reports;

    2. provide for administrative monitoring including timely reporting and adherence to compliance requirements;

    3. provide for financial monitoring including understanding of and adherence to cost principles;

    4. establish periodic monitoring meetings;

    5. provide for the receipt, review, and appropriate follow-up of single audit reports, when applicable; and

    6. develop contacts with the state for fun

  6. Establish continuous communication that:

    1. develops a communication process with the sponsor/provider;

    2. develops a communication process with those that have oversight responsibility including, when applicable, the Federal Cognizant Agency;

    3. develops a communication process with external auditors;

    4. develops a communication process with auditors engaged for single audit purposes; and

    5. develops an interdisciplinary implementation task force within the government that meets regularly to discuss changes and how they should be implemented.

  7. Processes to meet various specialized reporting requirements that:

    1. maintain a comprehensive list of reporting requirements and a reminder system for meeting the reporting deadlines;

    2. develops the methodology for the preparation of specialized reports;

    3. develops an approval process for certifying specialized reporting; and

    4. develops a process to aggregate all of the information needed for the schedule of expenditures of federal awards.

  8. Ensure the completion of auditing requirements for grants that:

    1. develops an understanding of audit requirements unique to the grant including those in Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), and applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars;

    2. develops an understanding of audit requirements that may be necessary for grant close-out; and

    3. ensures the completion of audit procedures relating to the information to be included in GAAP-basis financial statements.