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Grants Best Practices

Please reference the following information addressing continuous improvement efforts, recommendations, and quality grants practices. 

Government Grant-Making

Grants Performance: Federal Reporting Requirements
U.S. Government Accountability Office
GAO-13-552 - June 24, 2013

Grants Management: Improved Planning, Coordination, and Communication Needed to Strengthen Reform Efforts
U.S. Government Accountability Office
GAO-13-383 - May 23, 2013

Grants Management: Oversight of Selected States' Disbursement of Federal Funds Addresses Timelines and Administrative Allowances
U.S. Government Accountability Office
GAO-13-392 - April 16, 2013

Grants to State and Local Governments: An Overview of Federal Funding Levels and Selected Challenges
U.S. Government Accountability Office
GAO-12-1016 - September 25, 2012

Nonprofit Sector: Treatment and Reimbursement of Indirect Costs Vary among Grants, and Depend Significantly on Federal, State, and Local Government Practices
U.S. Government Accountability Office
GAO-10-477 - May 18, 2010

Grants Management: Action Needed to Improve the Timeliness of Grant Closeouts by Federal Agencies
U.S. Government Accountability Office
GAO-12-360 - April 16, 2012

The Nonprofit Sector and Government: Clarifying the Relationship
The Aspen Institute
An overview of key principles for government-nonprofit relationships

Guide to Opportunities for Improving Grant Accountability
Domestic Working Group - Grant Accountability Project
Ideas and best practices for grants management at government agencies (PDF)

Grants: Additional Actions Needed to Streamline and Simplify Processes
Government Accounting Office
Reviews progress made on P.L. 106-107 and additional actions needed (PDF)

Grants: Grantees’ Concerns with Efforts to Streamline and Simplify Processes
Government Accounting Office: Concerns with Streamlining and Simplifying Processes
Federal grantees’ views of streamlining efforts and suggestions for further action (PDF)

Accelerating Grants Streamlining
National Grants Partnership
Recommendations for grants streamlining at Federal agencies (PDF)

General Grant-Making

The Ford Foundation
A collection of guides, cases and videos on the art and the science of grant-making
Grantmaking & Philanthropy: GrantCraft – Practical Wisdom for Grantmakers, Foundations & Philanthropic Organizations

Improving Grant Application and Reporting
Project Streamline
Ideas for how funders can streamline application and reporting requirements
Project Streamline

Grant Reviewer Handbook
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Instructions for grant reviewers
Reviewer Handbook (PDF)

State Grantee Focus Group Synopsis
Office of Grants Management
Report from three focus groups held with state grantees
State Grantee Focus Group Synopsis (PDF)

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Grant Manual
Minnesota Department of Public Safety - Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM)
Clear, concise overview of all federal, state, and HSEM-specific grant management requirements
HSEM Grant Manual and Information


Risk Assessment and Control Activities
Minnesota Management and Budget, Internal Controls and Accountability Unit
A useful guide to preparing risk assessments, including an example for a state grant program
Risk Assessment and Control Activities
Guide to Risk Assessment and Control Activities

Risk Assessment Examples

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
A useful basic guide to designing and conducting basic program evaluations
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaulation Handbook

Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model
Authenticity Consulting
A basic guide to creating logic models
Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model

What is Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement?
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A broad overview of program evaluation, with useful links to other resources
EPA/ESD - What Is Program Evaluation?