If your department or community received a grant to improve the wildfire safety of your jurisdiction, the next steps in properly managing the grant include proper project implementation, thorough financial reporting and putting together an acceptable grant report.
Grant reporting is an essential component of grant management. It demonstrates the grantee’s compliance with grant requirements, tracks progress and impact, and provides transparency and accountability to grantors.
Proper grant reporting is the process of providing timely updates about how the grant funds are being used and the status of the project work. It can not only adequately meet the requirements set forth by the grant funding entity, but also other philanthropic organizations are more eager to donate funds to organizations that can successfully use funding to complete the work defined in the application.
There are critical steps for properly documenting your project work as it is completed to ensure that you are creating a good grant report.
- Review your grant application (request) to confirm you address every task you stated you would complete. Make a list of these tasks and as you complete work, document the location, date, time, etc.
- Document success the way the funding entity requests, for example, using their metrics for quantities of vegetative matter removed from around structures. They may want that expressed as cubic yards as opposed to truckloads. If you have that information in truckloads you’ll need to convert it for the report (e.g., a full-size pickup bed 5 feet by 7 feet filled to top of bed is 1.94 cubic yards and filled to top of cab is 3.89 cubic yards. Multiply this by the number of trips; if the truck is filled to the top of the cab and takes away 5 loads of matter from a property, 3.89 cubic yards X 5 loads = 19.5 cubic yards).
- Take representative “before” pictures of the area or building you will improve, and then make sure the “after” pictures are taken of the same location from the same angle.
- Document any thank-you letters or positive input from residents and other participants. This can be used for future media outreach and social media communication, as well as in your grant report.
- Share your success with the media and document positive press and relevant social media for inclusion in the report. You can also use the media to share additional information with the public about how they can participate in making wildfire safety improvements. Amplify your social media messaging with USFA’s free resources.
- Use the same methods to document the effectiveness of the project work if the area is impacted by a wildfire event after the project is complete.
Strong grant reporting can provide many long-term benefits to your community in the future including additional funding success, increased engagement by residents and other stakeholders on other wildfire safety project work, and improved safety for residents and property in your jurisdiction.