Discussion Board

   post two 250–300-word replies to 2 classmate’s threads. 

Discussion Board #1
Time is money, and “crafting a winning grant proposal requires an investment of time, and the size of the award is not always commensurate with complexity of the proposal” (The Non Profit Times, 2014). If we are already committing the time to write the proposal, why to pursue small grants? According to authors of the article cited above, going small can help the organization. Small grants can be a great asset to any non-profit, a great starter to a better future. The amount of effort required to manage the grant depends on type of grant you received, and the size of the funding (Crum G. E., n.d., p.1), but in my opinion, no matter on a size or type of a grant, someone has to be responsible for administering the project, complying with regulations, reporting to the funder, and that someone, is a grant manager. Grants managers require skills and experience, they come with a variety of educational backgrounds, they are usually knowledgeable in the particular funding agency’s forms, deadlines, and other expectations (Crum G. E., n.d., p.2).
From a grant manager’s standpoint, I would rather manage a federal grant to develop a highway for Eastern Louisiana, rather than a small grant to start a class at a local high school. Regardless of whether we are seasoned professionals in a large institution, or a small non-profit volunteer, the grant managers job always involves a difficult act of balancing the program with meeting obligation of funding sources. Grant management depends on core principles, they need to be organized, establish a system of compliance, develop a task management plan, managing sound financial systems, maintain a sound purchasing system, follow necessary personnel practices, establish auditing procedures, and list goes on. Adhering to those principles is especially important in the case of federal grants, where compliance and reporting requirements tend to be highly rigorous. “To establish your organization’s ability to receive and manage grants, it’s necessary to establish adequate accounting practices and systems” (Floersch B., 2016), and it does not depend on the organizations size.
           “In 2011, the federal government provided $607 billion in grants to state and local governments” (Congress of The United States Congressional Budget Office, 2013, p.1). According to the brief, grants to state and local governments can promote economic efficiency. The grant proposed in the discussion board falls under the form of project grant. This specific grant type is limited to specific projects selected (Congress of The United States Congressional Budget Office, 2013, p.1), or activities within organization, and are usually time limited. Project grants do not give flexibility on how we want to spend money, however, we would like to build a highway, and that is what we received the grant for.  In project grants, grant managers are responsible for the projects from the beginning to the end, but we are supported in this case by staff of 200 people, including experienced federal grant experts. We have a comfortable time line of 10 years. Challenges may be the building the system on the swamp land, however, with the technology available to us today, we can build roads through swamp areas with ease. I believe, that submitting my grant proposal and to secure the funding, I had to prove to the federal government that building roads there, is not just a possibility. I had to show the sustainability of the project. I had to be able to provide surveys and investigation reports, to be able to prove the construction failures can be avoided or minimized. I should be able to prove that I have reliable contractors, and bidding on the jobs should be done at that faze as well. Most of the hard work was done through the grant proposal.
           Work reveals something about the one doing the work. It shows their character, skills, abilities, motivations, and traits. In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus said: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly and ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits…so every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit” (ESV). We should not be afraid of work; work done by us should give the world an accurate picture of God in His excellence. So if we decide to take upon the small projects or the great ones, we out to do them to glorify the lord with all the talents he gave us.           
Reference
The Non Profit Times. (2014). Is it worth it to go after small grants? The Nonprofit Times.
Retrieved from: http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/management-tips/worth-go-small-grants/
Crum G. E. (n.d.). Managing grants. HLTH 553 Resource document. Liberty University. P. 1
Floersch B. (2016). Managing the grant. The Grantsmanship Center. Retrieved from:
https://www.tgci.com/articles/managing-grant
Congress of The United States Congressional Budget Office. (2013). Federal grants to state and
local governments. Retrieved from: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43967_FederalGrants.pdf
Discussion Board #2
There are many responsibilities for a grant manager. They make sure the funds are spent wisely and keep any problems with the funding agency at a minimum. As a grant manager, choosing option A would be better to manage as it is a grant for Coco-Cola and not a federal grant. Federal grants have extra complicated policies. “Federal grants have numerous regulations, Congressional Acts, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars that will pertain to your management, and your “notice of award” may have special grant exclusions and caveats,” (Crum). Each policy and regulation needs to be looked at closely and taken seriously. New policies and regulations that have been produced would also need to be studied. The federal grant for a highway for Eastern Louisiana also needs a bigger grant which would cause the corporation of foundation to go through many hoops. “Even foundations and corporations that provide funding, especially if there are large amounts of money involved, may, like federal agencies, run you through many ‘hoops’,” (Crum). There is also a more of a timeline of events for the class at the local high school. There is a year to plan the class along with developing an extensive evaluation process. The only timeline given for the federal grant for the highway is that is will take ten years to complete. Having a deadline of completion of ten years is also risky. “In any event, the uncertainty of future events makes project planning a slippery endeavor,” (Crum). Ten years makes room for a lot of uncertainty. “One thing we can say for certain is that experienced project managers realize that environmental realities figure prominently when determining what risks jeopardize a project,” (Crum). The conditions outside is a risky fact of the highway project, mainly based on weather along with the highway going through swampy land. For option A, there is a year to plan the class along with an extensive evaluation which will determine the effects of the required class for all students. The project will not take as long and will have a better idea of the outcome. It does not seem as risky to pick this option over the second option. There is more of a timeline given as well as exactly who is working on the project itself. 
Mark 11:24 states “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” In which ever choice is picked, having faith and believing in God is the answer. There must be faith that the right choice has been chosen and believe in God that He gave us the right choice. Christians need to believe that the decision they made was the one God wanted them to make.
Reference:
Crum E. G. HLTH 553 Resource Document: Managing Grants.

 

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