Today is Grant Professionals Appreciation Day – the grand finale of International Grant Professionals Week, established by the Grant Professionals Association (GPA).

The day celebrates the more than 1.5 million professionals around the world who seek, implement, and award approximately $700 billion in grant funding each year.

If that doesn’t deserve a lunch out, I don’t know what does! If you’re still not convinced, allow me to remind you of all the reasons why you should treat the grant professional in your life to a little something special today …

Your Grant Professional

… Completes Your Grant Application Packages
This alone deserves steak and lobster, particularly when you consider that each grantor has different application procedures, forms, and requirements. Packages need to be well-prepared, thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged. Many require cover letters and other supporting documentation, and this doesn’t even include the sometimes 70-plus application form itself, that likely requires a summary; introduction of your organization; a problem (or need) statement; project objectives; project design; project evaluation; future funding; and budget.

… Has to Be an Expert on All of Your Programs
To develop a grant application package that is accurate, complete, and compelling, your grant professional has to know the finite details of the programs for which you’re seeking funding. In fact, he or she probably knows more about your programs than most executives in your organization.

… Creates and Maintains Cost Allocation Plans
These formalized documents detail how costs will be allocated by your organization. They’re tedious and time-consuming, but absolutely necessary because they help track what’s being funded, and by whom.

… Spends Hours in Allocation Spreadsheets
Not fun. But, absolutely vital, because these spreadsheets track program expenses such as payroll, benefits, and general overhead to ensure all items are charged out correctly to the grantor.

… Develops and Maintains Grant Budgets
The budget is an integral piece of the application package, but it’s not a one-and-done. Since it’s also part of the contract, the budget has to be constantly monitored and adjusted to ensure grant dollars are spent appropriately.

… Invests a Huge Amount of Time Reporting to Grantors
The relationship between you and the grantor doesn’t end with receipt of the grant. On the contrary, it just begins. Grantors require periodic reporting to ensure funding is being spent according to the contractual agreement. Funders also may use these reports to inform future grant making and justify/strengthen the support from their own stakeholders.

… Handles Internal Reporting
Keeping executives, the board, project manager, and finance department apprised of budget happenings – like, is the project over budget, under budget; what are projections versus actuals – also falls within the purview of your grant professional’s role.

… Ensures Compliance
With grant awards come compliance obligations. Some grant contracts require you to meet really specific (read: quirky) requirements, for example, filling out your timesheets with black, not blue, ink pens. So this task, alone (forget about the previous seven duties outlined in this post) is enough to warrant a special day.

So, on behalf of all of us at Abila, Happy Grant Professionals Appreciation Day!

Discover how Abila can help your grant professional increase funding, stay organized, and measure success with Abila Grant Management.