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You got the grant! Everyone is thrilled until…reality settles in. Someone has to assume the overall responsibility of ensuring that the grant is implemented within the established parameters and the funding agency regulations. And that someone is you. Welcome to the world of grants management.
The job of grants program manager involves a difficult balancing act: ensuring that you have the latitude to accomplish something meaningful while at the same time making sure that every obligation to the funding agency is met. Effective management of any grant depends on certain core principles. Adhering to those principles is especially important in federal and state grants, where compliance and reporting requirements tend to be most rigorous. They are also valuable in managing grants from foundation and corporate sources-helping to build a relationship of trust with your funders and making the management process more orderly.
It is extremely important that grant funds are expended in a timely manner in accordance with the proposed program. Remember, the funding agency approved what was written in the grant proposal and they expect you to follow through on your intentions. They anticipate a “good faith” effort on the part of the grant recipient and will work with us if unexpected circumstances necessitate a modification of the approved grant application or budget.
The basic objectives for all Program Managers are:
- To monitor grant activities, expenditures and deadlines to ensure that students and teachers receive the maximum benefit;
- To ensure that all purchases are aligned to the grant plan;
- To prepare and file reports on time; and
- To ensure that grant funds are not returned to the funding agency.
Please review this website carefully, whether you are a first time or a veteran program manager. Call the Department of Strategic Planning and Grants Development if you have questions or need assistance 301-952-6361.
The purpose of this website is:
- To provide the program manager with an understanding of their responsibilities in administering a grant program; and
- To provide answers to frequently asked questions.
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ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GRANTS PROGRAM MANAGER
The grant program manager is the team leader who is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the project are done according to the grant proposal. In essence, this means that the program manager is to conduct the project according to the grant award terms and conditions and to monitor and evaluate performance of the project for the life of the grant. Duties include supervising project personnel, working with project partners and developing partnerships, developing a working relationship with the funding agency, developing a project work plan, documenting project activities, submitting time and effort reports, overseeing grant procurement activities, supervising progress of the project, managing the project budget, preparing and submitting performance reports, creating project sustainability, ensuring that all the grant statues are followed, and the policies of the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) are adhered.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROGRAM
In getting started the first thing to do is to know the grant proposal. This document is now a legal contract once awarded. Therefore, everything that we said we were going to do we must now do it. In some cases, the program manager may have been a part of the grant proposal writing process and may be familiar with the project plan. However, it may have been possible that the program manager was assigned to the grant project after the proposal was submitted and the funding received. In either case, the program manager needs to become very familiar with the project plan, objectives, budget, evaluation, and intended outcomes. In summary, follow these simple steps to begin:
1. Read the grant proposal again and again to become familiar with the project plan (that is, the activities and outcomes in the proposal) the funder is supporting. Become intimately familiar with the project plan.
2. Read the official notification of grant award (NOGA) from the funding agency (USDE, MSDE, foundation or corporation). It is in this document important information pertaining to the management of the grant project is included.
- The project period (beginning and ending dates).
- Name and contact information of the Program Officer at the funding agency. This is the person the program manager should develop a very good working relationship.
- Reporting requirements-Program manager should adhere to reporting requirements, including the submission of all required reports. Failure to submit complete, accurate, and timely progress and final reports may result in the withholding of subsequent grant payments until such time as the reports are filed.
- The grant award number. This is the number that will be used whenever communication is made to the funding agency regarding your grant program.
- The dollar amount of the award and how to access the funds.
- Terms and conditions of the grant award, including the reporting requirements and authorization for modification of the project.
- Read the federal, state or funder guidelines that govern the use of funds. These guidelines and/or legislation, in the case of federal or state funds are usually included in the RFP. Federal guidelines are on the funding agency’s homepage (for the U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.us.gov).
Obtain a copy of the Education Department General Administration Regulations (known as EDGAR). Refer to this document when questions about guidelines apply to the management of federal grants from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). A lot of the system’s funds are distributed to the system by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) that comes from the federal government. Therefore, EDGAR guidelines also apply to many state programs (for example, GEAR UP, Reading First, Title 1, Title II, and Title III,). A copy of EDGAR can be found at
3. Develop your work plan. The initial scope of work in the grant-funded project is often very general. It may not have the specificity of a project implementation. Sometimes the staff participating at the award time will differ from the staff mentioned in the grant proposal. There may be other reasons to refine the scope of work. Therefore, the program manager will need to ensure that all staff involved in the project has a reasonable plan of action for carrying out each approved activity. Having this revised work plan in place before people go off in many directions will help the program manager with project monitoring and quality control.
Once the grant proposal has been funded, get ready for the paperwork to start flowing. Task number one is to create a project file that will be used to document all major actions from grant award through closeout. Program manager should retain all records of its financial transactions and accounts relating to the program’s grant period for a period of three to five years, as required by federal regulation, after the completion of the grant project. If you as program manager leave the project (or school system) before the project ends, all records should be given to the new project manager (or, if a new project manager has not yet been assigned, your director will hold until a new manager is assigned).Such records should be made available for inspection and audit by authorized representatives of MSDE. Project records are the property of PGCPS.
The following is a list of records that need to be kept for grant projects:
- RFP and project proposal
- Approval budget
- Administrative guidelines and regulations
- Official notification of grant award (NOGA)
In addition to records that are maintained by the Department of Strategic Planning and Grants Development, you will need to keep:
- Copies of all contracts and blanket agreements for consultants and trainers
- Copies of purchasing documents
- Copies of your expenditure/income tracking files
- Copies of monthly restricted program grants reconciliation report
- Copies of all reimbursement requests
- All correspondence with the funder regarding budget
- Copies of payroll documents
- In-kind documentation of expenses
- Job descriptions
- Staff resumes
- Staff performance evaluations
- Staff schedules
- Staff and volunteer sign-in sheets
- Time and Effort Documentation
- Staff phone numbers/email
- Program Officer contact information
- Project Timelines
- Minutes of meeting
- Project sign-in sheets
- Surveys and outcomes
- Press releases, newsletter, brochures, publicity, videos
- All correspondence with the funder
- All performance reports
- Any records that document challenges and successes
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FOLLOW NECESSARY PERSONNEL PRACTICES
Grant personnel must be hired according the PGCPS Board Policy and regulations. Contact the Human Resource Office (301-952-6473) for information about hiring procedures. All grant employees must be hired on merit and avoid practices that violate state and federal laws concerning discrimination, equal opportunity and nepotism. All grant-funded employees must be treated the same as other employees, though they may be viewed as temporary permanent employees whose employment is subject to the availability of grant funding.
All employees who are paid with federal grant funds are required to document their time by signing Time and Effort Certification reports for each payroll period. These reports reflect staff’s total activity, signed by staff and supervisor, and all cost sharing/matching salaries/wages are supported. These Time and Effort reports are forwarded to the Department of Strategic Planning and Grants Development bi-annually. This is a federal requirement as stated in OMB Circular A-21.
New positions funded through a grant must be authorized by using either a Site-based Position Action Request (SPAR) or a Position Action Request (PAR) form. A SPAR form is used during the initial grant allocations. The PAR must be used after initial allocations have been finalized in budgets—after July 1. Contact Human Resources Office for these forms.
All positions must be classified in accordance with PGCPS Classification Plan. To determine a classification level for a new, unclassified position, a classification review form must be completed and submitted along with the SPAR or PAR. Classification review forms are available from Position Control. For forms call 301-952-6473.
To pay an employee for work outside of their regular duties, a Second Assignment Request Form must be completed and submitted to Human Resource. A second assignment is only valid for one school year. Employees are paid at their regular rate of pay for second assignments.
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Periodically, project personnel assignments change due to reassignment, resignation, or leave of absence. When key personnel in a federal project change, the funder must be notified to give approval for change. Each funder will have guidelines for making personnel changes. These guidelines may be detailed in the official grant award or in published guidelines (such as Education Department of General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) for the U.S. Department of Education). The Department of Strategic Planning and Grants Development can assist in interpreting guidelines and working with funders to make personnel changes.
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MAINTAINING A GOOD FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A critical aspect of grant administration is the establishment and maintenance of a sound financial management system. As the Project Manager, you are responsible for the oversight and management of project funds. All expenditures must be based on your proposed project and must support the outcomes that were proposed and approved by the funder. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the proposal budget. This is the budget that the funder has approved. The budget tells you how you will spend the grant dollars.
Many grant project budgets include cost-sharing or in-kind budgets. Cost-sharing (cash) or in-kind (the value of services or materials) contributions represent the amount of money and/or effort that the school system and its partners are contributing to the overall cost of the project. Examples of in-kind items include staff time that is devoted to the project, facilities usage, postage cost, transportation or materials. In most cases, the project will have in-kind contributions, rather than a cash match.
Determining and documenting the value of “in-kind” contributions of property or services may include:
- Basis for local labor market rates for valuing volunteer services.
- Payroll records or confirmation from other organizations for services provided by their employees.
- Quotes, published prices, or independent appraisals used as the basis for donated equipment, supplies, buildings, or use of space.
As project manager, you are responsible for maintaining and tracking the cost-share/in-kind budget. The Department of Strategic Planning and Grants Development can provide guidance on placing a value on goods and services within your in-kind budget.
The Budget and Accounting Staff will work together in partnership with you to ensure proper compliance with foundation, corporate, federal and state, and school system regulations. Work with your Grants Analyst on the Budget staff as their responsibilities include:
- Review of funding application
- Review of grant award notification
- Budget preparation and appropriation load
- Realignment of grant load (as needed)
- Grant carryover adjustments
- Quality reviews
- Quarterly reviews
- Grant position control
- Grant extension process
- Master Plan for restricted programs
- Grant file maintenance
The Grant Accountant on the Accounting staff will provide the following responsibilities:
- Review and reconciliation of expenditures
- Realignment of expenditures
- Filing monthly, quarterly or annual reports
- Grant invoicing
- Monthly posting of indirect cost
- Encumbrance reviews
- Deferred revenue
- Roll forward audit schedule
- Financial reporting (internal and external )
- A-133 (Audits of organizations receiving federal funds of $500,000 or more must have an annual financial and compliance audit in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133.)
- Grant file maintenance
Make sure you get to know who these individuals are that will be handling the expenditures. Your Grants Analyst can be reached through the system’s Budget and Management Services Office 301-952-6090. Your Grant Accountant can be reached through the system’s Financial Services Office 301-952-6084. When ever you communicate with any of these personnel make sure you always use the grant number and fund number of your grant program.
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The proposal that was approved by the funding agency was a plan for achieving desired outcomes and we should do all that we can to “stick to the plan”. In reality, as projects are being implemented, modifications are made to meet the needs of the targeted population that is being served and to adjust to unanticipated events and/or challenges. The system’s Grant Analyst approves budget amendments before the submission to the funder. Budget amendments must be approved by MSDE before implementation of the changes.
Changes in project activities may require budget changes. Modifications to the budget are usually allowed, but each funder has its own restrictions regarding changes to the budget. MSDE, for example, requires prior written approval to Program Monitor on budget amendments of $1,000 or 15% of total object, program or category of expenditure, which ever is greater. Budget realignments must be submitted to funder at least 45 days prior to the end of the grant period.
USDE may restrict the transfer of funds among direct cost categories or programs, functions and activities for awards in which the federal share of the project exceeds $100,000 and the cumulative amount of the transfer exceeds or is expected to exceed 10 percent of the total budget as last approved. Exceptions are stated in EDGAR, such as transfer training funds to other categories and transfer or contracting out any work. OMB cost principles will state other exceptions. The staff in the Department of Strategic Planning and Grants Development is the resource to provide any assistance on specific guidelines and requirements regarding project changes.
MSDE grant budget forms available on their website: http://www.marylandpublicschools.org, click on Grant Budget Forms. We suggest that you always retrieve your grant forms from this website and you will always access the most recent version of the form in case there are any revisions.
TIME EXTENSIONS AND PROGRAMMATIC MODIFICATIONS
The system’s Budget Director approves time extensions and programmatic changes before the submission to the funder. Time extensions and programmatic changes must be approved by MSDE before implementation of the changes. MSDE requires that any requests for grant extensions, when allowed, must be submitted at least 45 days prior to the end of the grant period. Program manager must receive prior written approval from the MSDE Program Monitor before implementing any programmatic changes with respect to the purposes for which the grant was awarded.
USDE will allow one-time extension for up to one year without prior approval. USDE requires a written notice submitted to the Program Officer no later than ten (10) days prior to the project ending date requesting time extension. Program manager must state reason for extension as well as include revised expiration date. No time extensions will be granted for using unexpended /unobligated fund balances. As the program manager, you should carefully consider time extension needs.
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ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM OF COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
Grants are not gifts. They almost always come with strings attached—and in the case of federal grants, the requirements may be so numerous that the grant is practically indistinguishable from a contract. When we accept money from a government source (federal or state), expect to be held accountable in ways that may seemingly have little to do with your approved project activities.
These compliance requirements exist because government grants are often given to promote certain policies (and discourage others). The requirements may derive from the enacting legislation, agency regulations, executive orders or government-wide grant policy documents issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The vast majority of federal compliance requirements will be found in four places:
- OMB management and cost circulars;
- Annual compliance supplement to OMB Circular A-133;
- The standard Assurance for Construction and Non-Construction Grant Funding; and
- Various government-wide grant rules
Evaluating the Project
Why Measure and Evaluate?
- To justify the existence (budget) of the program and how it contributes to the organization’s goals and objectives;
- To understand how the program is working;
- To make real improvements to the program;
- To drive program and policy outcomes;
- To fulfill legislative requirements; and,
- To keep funded programs accountable to the taxpayer.
Each project proposal includes a description of the evaluation of project outcomes. Federal and state funded projects require significant data-based reporting on outcomes. The program manager may be working with an external evaluator to collect and analyze project data and project successes.
Therefore, at the beginning of the project, the program manager will need to establish a working relationship with the evaluator and create a timeline for data collection and evaluation. The evaluator is the resource for determining the kinds of data that are needed.
The project evaluator is responsible for preparing evaluative reports on the project outcomes. Evaluation during the project informs project implementation. In other words, regular evaluation of the project will help to make programmatic adjustments in order to more effectively achieve program outcomes. External evaluators can provide guidance in making these adjustments.
If you have purchased equipment with your grant funds, as program manager, you must record the information about the purchases as well as tag the property with the grant name, fund code number and date. Accurate and current equipment records help to safeguard grant program assets and document their use in grant-funded programs. Such records serve another useful purpose when project activities associated with a particular grant are concluded. The standard federal property disposition rules permit the system to retain property assets whose net present value is less than $5,000. Grant assets, whether retained or not, will affect your balance sheet; accurate records document asset values in audit reports.
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END OF THE YEAR GRANT MANAGEMENT TIPS
Most grant programs operate on the fiscal year (July through June) or something close to it. Some federal programs operate from September or October through August or September. One of the most important pieces of information you need as a program manger is the exact dates of your grant year. That information will drive your implementation plans, your evaluation plan, and the rate at which you spend your fiscal resources.
When you enter the final quarter of your grant year, it’s time to start thinking about closing out the current year and planning for the next. Here are some grant management tips to help you finish your grant year well.
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REVIEW YOUR BUDGET CAREFULLY
While you should always stay on top of your budget, you should review your budget and expenditures very carefully as you enter the final quarter of your grant year. Ask yourself some important questions:
- Have you spent your funds as planned?
- Are you expecting to have any funds remaining at the end of the budget period? Why?
- Do you have a plan for expending these funds?
- Do you know if it is allowable to carry unexpended funds over to the next grant year?
- Are you aware of the procedures for requesting to carry funds over to the next year?
- If you have not expended your grant funds at the rate you had expected, have you still been carrying out the activities necessary to achieve your project objectives?
This is the time to prepare to speak with the funder about any budget issues you may have. If this is your last year of funding, you should make a plan to spend the last of your project funds before the end of the year. However, be sure that you spend wisely. Spending just for the purpose of exhausting the funds is never a good idea. Think about sustainability and purchases that will help you continue meeting your objectives in the future.
If it is not your final year and it is permissible to carry funds over to the next year, develop a detailed explanation for why you have unexpended funds and a detailed plan for how you would like to spend those funds in the coming year. Remember to always stay focused on your project goals and objectives.
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GATHER AS MUCH EVALUATION DATA AS POSSIBLE
As program manager, hopefully, you have been reviewing data documenting the degree to which you are making progress toward the achievement of your objectives on a monthly or quarterly basis. Even so, most grants require an annual outcome or performance report. The beginning of the last quarter of your grant year is the time to start preparing that report. Now, some data may not be available until after the end of your grant year, but you should be gathering as much as you can right now. If you are planning an annual survey or focus group interviews, this is the time to do it.
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REVIEW YOUR IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
When you are busy implementing your project throughout the year, it is easy to forget some of the activities that were in your original plan. Now, is the perfect time to pull out your original implementation plan, read it carefully as if you are reading it for the first time and determine if there are any activities that need a little more of your attention during the final quarter of the year. Adjust your calendar as necessary and get yourself back on track.
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CHECK IN WITH YOUR PROJECT PARTNERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to arrange to have a formal conversation with your project partners and stakeholders about how the year has gone. Bring any relevant evaluation data you have and ask them to bring any information they have to the table. Have a candid discussion about what has gone well and what needs to be improved, and make some plans for the future. Make sure those plans include regular opportunities to meet with your partners to review progress.
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THINK AHEAD TO THE COMING YEAR
Thinking ahead to the implementation plan for the coming year is an important part of closing the current year. Plan the next logical steps for moving your project closer to final goals and benchmarks. Be as specific as possible in your planning. If any of your plans require permission from your funder, now is the time to prepare the written request.
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DONT FORGET TO CELEBRATE SUCESS!!!
If it looks like you are on target to achieve your annual objectives, plan a celebration with your staff, partners, and service recipients. This is an excellent time to set the tone for the coming year.
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FOLLOW SOUND ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
While most organizations are honest and run clean grant-funded programs, a few do not. Ethical issues vary according to the program and focus of the grant. Organizational and personal conflicts of interest are matters that can affect grant-funded programs. As program manager, you must follow the system’s written policies that preclude system employees and contract personnel from personal gain associated with federal funding.
Read the grant application to make sure you know what is required of you.
Reread the grant application.
Discuss the program and budget with the district-level grant administrator(s).
Follow directions and grant requirements.
Meet all deadlines.
Put all budget requests in writing and make sure the program justifies the expenditure.
Spend the money in a timely manner; do not spend money on items that are not in the budget; and do not spend more money than you have been allocated.
Implement the program as it is written.
Keep the district leadership informed of all matters pertaining to the grant.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. I am a new Program Manager for a system grant project. How will I receive my funds?
Generally, the grant announcement specifies how the funds from the fiscal agent will be sent to the grant recipient. The payment terms on most grants are on a reimbursement basis. As a Program Manager, your ability to spend appropriated resources from the approved grant project budget will begin as soon as the funds are loaded in the Oracle Financial System by the assigned Budget Analyst, which requires copies of the following documents:
- Approved grant application; and
- Notice of grant award
2. How do I request technical assistance on managing a grant project?
To request technical assistance on the managing of your project contact the Department of Strategic Planning and Grants Development at 301-952-6361.
3. Who is the system’s authorized official to provide signatures on all grant documents to the funding agency?
The authorized system official to sign grant documents is the Superintendent of Schools.
4. Who should I contact regarding questions relating to the spending of grant funds?
As Program Manager, you should contact your assigned Budget Analyst or Grant Accountant concerning the spending of your grant funds.
5. How do I change the Program Manager on an existing grant award?
If the program manager’s (PM’s) absence is temporary, the grantee must notify the grantor in writing of arrangements for the continuing implementation of the project (such as identifying who will be in charge during the PM’s absence and including his/her resume).
If the PM is no longer affiliated with the system, the grantee must request, in writing, the grantor’s approval of the replacement PM as well as include a copy of his/her resume.
6. What are the allowable grant request changes under the grant award?
Most requests for changes that are allowable under the grant award should be directed to the grantor’s Program Monitor listed on the Notice of Grant Award. Such requests include, but are not limited to:
7. How do I request a no-cost extension of time?
- Re-budgeting requests that cannot be approved by the grantee.
- Carry over from one budget period to another of restricted funds or when a grant is not included under expanded authorities.
- Extensions of time during the final budget period that cannot be approved by the grantee.
If this is a first-time request for an extension and the grant has not expired, and you are under the general terms and conditions of the grant award, the grantor may approve a one-time no-cost extension of time. The request must be received by the grantor (MSDE) at least 45 days prior to the expiration date of the award and 30 days for (USDE). MSDE requires the c-1-25-B form to be completed when requesting a no-cost extension of time. Other funders will require that the request contain:
The length of additional time required to complete project objectives and a justification for the extension.
A summary of progress to date.
An estimate of funds expected to remain unobligated on the scheduled expiration date.
A projected timetable to complete the remaining portion(s) of the project.
Signature of the system’s authorized official and the Program Manager.(Signed in Blue ink only).
A status of cost sharing to date, if cost sharing is applicable.
8. Will I be notified that my no-cost extension of time has been approved?
You will be notified in writing if the grantor approves your request.
9. How do I request a budget change?
To request a budget change from MSDE requires prior written approval to the Program Monitor on budget amendments of $1,000 or 15% of the total object, program or category of expenditure, which ever is greater. The following forms must be completed and signed in Blue ink by the system’s authorized official, Chief Financial Officer and Program Manager:
10. Who processes the spending of project funds for my project activities?
The grant Program Manager is responsible for facilitating and initiating the financial transactions that relate to approved activities in the grant. This includes, but not limited to:
- Purchase orders and other types of internal requisitions;
- Payroll…(If grant supports any full-time or part-time positions);
- Disbursement Authority and I-Expense payments for select direct expenditure transactions and travel reimbursement;
- Grant budget amendments and project period extensions; and
- Program & financial reporting—(Interim & Final)
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Administrative regulations: Regulations that implement 1) guidance from OMB contained in circulars that apply to the administration of all federal grants and cooperative agreements, 2) Presidential executive orders (where regulation is necessary), and 3) legislation that affects all applicants for or recipients of federal grants and cooperative agreements.
Allowable cost: Expenditures under a grant project that are specifically permitted (or not specifically prohibited), by law, regulation, or guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, federal accounting standards, or other authoritative sources.
Application for Federal Education Assistance or ED 424: The grant application form, sometimes referred to as the application “cover page,” used by the US Department of Education.
APR: Annual Performance Report required on federal grants
Assurances: A listing of a variety of requirements, found in different federal laws, regulations, and executive orders, that applicants agree in writing to observe as a condition of receiving federal assistance.
Audit finding: A conclusion about a monetary or non-monetary matter related to an auditor’s examination of a grantee organization, program, activity, or function, which frequently identifies problems and provides recommendations for corrective action in order to prevent their future recurrence.
Authorizing legislation: A law passed by the Congress that establishes or continues a grant program.
Budget Modifications: Changes in your approved budget that allow movement of money from one budget category to another. A budget modification does not include a request for additional funding.
Budget period: An interval of time into which a project period is divided for budgetary purposes, usually 12 months.
C-1-25: MSDE’s budget and reporting forms for grant programs
Closeout: The award closeout process by which a determination is made by the funding agency that all applicable administrative actions and all required work have been completed.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Compilation of all final regulations issued by federal agencies and published annually by the National Archives and Records Administration. The CFR is divided into numbered titles. Title 34 contains the regulations of the Department of Education.
Continuation award: Additional funding awarded to the same grant for a budget period following the initial budget period of a multi-year discretionary grant or cooperative agreement.
Cooperative agreement: A type of federal assistance; essentially a variation of a discretionary grant, which is awarded by the Department of Education when it anticipates having substantial involvement with the grantee during the performance of a funded project.
Cost sharing/matching/in-kind funds: Fairly synonymous terms that refer to the portion of the project costs that are not paid by the funder. These are real dollars or in-kind contributions (such as facilities and/or personnel salaries) that the applicant is willing to set aside and commit to the implementation of the project. Cost-share, matching, and in-kind funds must comply with the regulations for allowable costs.
Deadline date: The date by which an applicant must submit a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement application for it to be considered for funding by the funding agency.
Direct costs: Costs which are specific to the project (i.e. salary, project materials, transportation).
Discretionary grant: An award that is made based on a competitive review process in which applicants submit proposals to the awarding agency.
Dissemination: The results of the project that are shared with others.
EDGAR: Is the Education Department General Administrative Regulations: Administrative regulations that govern USDE’s discretionary grant and cooperative agreement programs.
e-Grants: A term for the Department of Education’s electronic grants initiative and website tht permits applicants and grantees to do business with the Department over the internet.
e-Payments: A module of the Department of Education ‘s e-Grants system that allows grantees to carryout financial transactions over the internet such as requesting grant funds, returning funds, adjusting expenditures among awards, and monitoring the financial history of a grant.
e-Reports: The Department of Education’s electronic reporting system which makes it possible for grantees to submit their annual grant performance reports (ED form 524B) to ED via the internet.
Encumbrances: Money that you have committed to spend but has not yet been paid
Fiscal Year (FY): The budget year for an agency or organization. The federal government’s fiscal year is October 1 to September 30. The state government and PGCPS fiscal year is July 1 to June 30. Other funders may have a fiscal year of January 1 to December 31.
Fixed charges: Required costs above salary (i.e. unemployment insurance, workman’s compensation)
Formula grant: Funds from the federal government to eligible applicants (usually state agencies) for which the amount is established by a formula based on certain criteria that are written into the legislation and program regulations. State agencies receive and distribute most formula grants. Title I is an example of a formula grant.
Fringe benefits: “Optional” personnel costs in addition to salary (i.e. health insurance, retirement).
GEPA: General Education Provision Act. Grant applications are required to include in their proposal a description of steps that they will take to ensure equitable access to and participation in a federally funded project. The statute highlights six types of barriers that can impede access: gender, race, national origin, color, disability or age.
GOAL: A general outcome that a project will achieve over the entire period of the grant. The goal addresses the main problem that is identified in the needs assessment.
GPRA: Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. This Act requires at all federal projects demonstrate their effectiveness based on specific indicators and standards, which serve as benchmarks. Grant projects are measured based on certain levels of performance annually.
Grant Award Notification (GAN): Official documentation notifying the recipient of funding. This document often includes information on budget and reporting. It provides the name of the program officer in the funding agency, award number, the award amount, and terms/conditions of the award.
Grant closeout: The final stage in the lifecycle of a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement. During this period the funding agency ensures that all applicable administrative actions and required work of a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement have been completed by the grantee.
Grantee: An individual or organization that has been awarded financial assistance under one of the Department of Education’s discretionary grant programs.
Grant: Funding provided by a government agency, foundation, corporation, or other external source that requires a written proposal for a particular purpose over a specified period of time. Grants may be awarded non-competitively or through a competitive selection process.
Grants.gov: Is a central location the internet that allows prospective grant applicants to find and apply for funding opportunities across the federal government. Applicants can search for information on different topics and review posted synopses of grant opportunities from 26 federal departments and agencies, and apply for a grant. Applicants can access Grants.gov at: http://www.grants.gov/.
Grantmaker: Is an agency that gives money.
Grantseeker: Is an agency that is looking for money.
Guidelines: Procedures laid out by the funder that grantseekers must follow when approaching a funder for money.
Impact Evaluation: It focuses on outcomes or payoffs that result from a project.
Implementation Evaluation: Assesses how a project is delivered and whether it is delivered as it was proposed.
Indirect Costs: Costs difficult to itemize, because they are part of the normal operating budget. Often these costs are negotiated between the applicant and the funding agency. These may be listed as administrative costs or overhead costs.
In-kind support: Sometimes referred to as cost share. The amount of money which the applicant is spending on the project (i.e. cost of facilities, cost of salary not paid through the grant, volunteer time).
Key Personnel: The management team on a grant project.
Monitoring: Are activities undertaken by the funding agency’s staff to review aspects of a grant recipients’ program under a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement.
MOU: Memorandum of Understanding—spells out the duties and responsibilities (including cash match or in-kind services) of each partner in a project.
MSDE: Maryland State Department of Education
No-cost Extension: An extension of time-not money-given by the funder to complete a project.
NOGA: Notice of Grant Award - Official documentation notifying the recipient of funding. This document often includes information on budget and reporting. It provides the name of the program officer in the funding agency, award number, the award amount, and terms/conditions of the award.
Objective: An outcome statement with a deadline. Objectives reference specific measurable data and progress toward a goal.
Outcomes: Outcomes are statements that explain how the target population will improve a result of the project. Outcomes are measurable and have deadlines.
Project period (Also referred to as the performance period)—The total amount of time for which the funding agency promises to fund a grant and authorizes a grantee to conduct the approved work of the project described in the grant application.
PR/Award number: The identifying number for a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement award.
Regulations: For the purposes of this website, federal rules of general applicability that are authorized by federal laws or other federal authority and contained in the CFR.
USDE: United States Department of Education
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