Establishing a Grants Office
June 11, 2014
A state that chooses to create a grants office typically does so with the primary goals of managing and maximizing federal grant funds. While these are important objectives, the benefits of a grants office extend beyond these dollar-driven missions.
grants office can ensure that the state’s policy goals are understood by
state agency personnel who are best-positioned to pursue grant funds to
help meet those goals.
state agency staff, there will be a place to turn when federal and state
auditors ask compliance questions related to federal grants. Compliance
rules are complicated, and in 2014 all administrative circulars are being
replaced by new guidance. Even experts will have to update their grants
grants office can give local governments and nonprofits a single place to
go to identify grant opportunities from all funding sources, and to
receive technical assistance.
governments, nonprofits, and others can work with a grants expert in each
state agency who can provide subject-specific advice. They can also
identify people in their own communities already working in the grants
field who are potential partners or resources for technical assistance.
grants office can provide free training for anyone, not just staff in
state agencies, on how to find, win, and manage grants. By providing this
training, peer interaction will increase across agency and jurisdictional
lines, further improving the odds of program success.
and legislative staff can benefit by having a place to direct constituents
seeking advice on where to look for funding.
- A grants
office creates a pool of experts across state agencies to tap when a new
priority requires significant grant writing (e.g., Affordable Care Act
[ACA]) or grants management services (e.g., American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act [ARRA]).
- A grants office can be part of a system for reviewing requests for letters of support on grant applications.