I’m looking forward to traveling to Portland next week for the Grant Professionals Association Annual Conference on October 15-18. And I’m especially pleased to have the opportunity to lead a workshop session, Communication and Transparency: The Key to your Success, on Saturday, October 18 at 10:30-11:45am. I wanted to provide this quick overview of my session for those of you planning to join me at the GPA conference, as well as those who can’t make it this year.
Grant managers deserve some recognition for all they do. They are storytellers, leaders, coaches, project managers, and shepherds. They have an extremely tough job because they have to constantly scan the horizon for new grant opportunities, while coordinating due dates, deadlines, and timelines associated with securing and administering grants. They also have to coordinate with the finance and program teams to make sure they are all aligned on the goals of the grant, the mission they serve, and how the funds should be appropriately allocated. That is a lot!
To be successful, grant managers have to think like team leaders even though the “team” most likely does not report directly to them on the organization chart. In my conference session I’ll be providing some tips on how grant managers can bring together team members from across the organization to successfully apply for, implement, and report on grant funding.
Here are my Top Tips to build a winning grant team:
1. Build your team first. Recruit your cross-team members from finance and programs, in addition to your grant team.
2. Get leadership buy-in. Your leadership team should be aware of the importance of the grants your team is working on and what they can do to help you be successful.
3. Bring the decision-makers together. Make sure the people on your grant team can make decisions about what needs to be done in order to complete their tasks effectively.
4. Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and goals for each team member.
5. Secure team agreement on project timelines so that everyone completely understands their part.
6. Hold short, but frequent, check-ins with your team so that they continue to keep each grant at the top of mind and can see progress on the project.
7. Be succinct and respectful of team members’ time. Keep meetings short, on-topic and productive.
8. Provide all team members with easy access to key information.
9. Celebrate your team successes and learn from your failures.
The entire Abila GPA Conference team (Bianca, Clegg, Heidi and I) is looking forward to meeting you in Oregon. Abila will be sponsoring the Welcome Reception on Wednesday in the Lloyd Center Foyer as well as a Booth (#6) in the Exhibitor Area. Be sure to stop by to hear more about how the Abila Grant Management solution can help you more efficiently collaborate as a grant management team. And of course I’d love to see you at my session on Saturday and look forward to answering any questions you may have.