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Why reports are so important in a grant management system – and how to make them work better for you.

We know that the reporting function of a grant management system is critical in ensuring the effective allocation and oversight of your resources. It allows to you to take a structured, data-driven approach to decision-making. This supports transparency, accountability, and compliance. Reports offer valuable insight at all levels, aiding in the evaluation of project performance, and efficient resource distribution. Reports are a key communication tool between funders and stakeholders, allowing grant makers to showcase results and their impact.

Perhaps just as importantly, we see how the ability to generate customised, real-time reports streamlines operations and helps organisations adapt to changing circumstances.

Ultimately, a good reporting function empowers grant managers to make informed decisions, optimise outcomes, and maintain the trust of donors. All of this supports efficient and successful grant management – and here at AIMS, we want to help you give grants better.

  • Data-driven decision-making: Reporting provides valuable insights by presenting grant-related data in an organised and understandable manner. This enables you and your stakeholders to make informed decisions based on trends, performance metrics, and other key indicators.
  • Transparency and accountability: Detailed and accessible reports promote transparency within your organisation, and with external stakeholders. This transparency helps build trust and demonstrates accountability in the use of grant funds.
  • Compliance and audit preparation: Comprehensive reports help ensure compliance with grant requirements. When audits or compliance checks are necessary, having a well-documented reporting function simplifies the process and reduces the risk of compliance issues.
  • Efficient resource allocation: With accurate reports, you can identify where grant resources are being used most effectively and allocate further resources efficiently. This helps enhance grant-related activities in order to achieve better outcomes.
  • Performance evaluation: Grant reports can help evaluate the impact and success of your grant-funded projects throughout the grant lifecycle. This information can be crucial for ongoing project improvement and for demonstrating results to donors or funders.
  • Funder communication: Well-prepared reports enable you to communicate effectively with funders and grantors. This includes regular updates on project status, financial summaries, and evidence of grant impact.
  • Time and resource savings: Automated reporting features save time and resources. Instead of manually collecting and organizing data, your organisation can generate reports quickly and accurately, allowing staff to focus on other essential tasks.
  • Forecasting and planning: By analysing historical data and trends, your organisation can use reports to better forecast future grant needs and develop strategic plans.
  • Quick response to issues: Reports can highlight any issues or anomalies early in the grant period, allowing funders to take prompt action and perhaps prevent problems from escalating.

A robust reporting function in your grant management system can be an incredibly valuable tool for improving efficiency, transparency, and decision-making. It can help you meet compliance requirements, enhance project performance, and demonstrate the impact of your work to funders and stakeholders.

What to look for in the reporting function of a grant management system.

When considering the reporting function of a grant management tool, it’s essential to assess your specific needs and requirements. Before selecting a new grant management system, we suggest that grant makers thoroughly evaluate how well it aligns with their reporting requirements and overall grant management needs. It may be useful to consider seeking input from key stakeholders to ensure that the reporting function also meets their expectations.

Different organisations have varying priorities, of course. We have worked with many funders of all sizes, and these are some of the key aspects that we recognise to be universally important when considering the reporting function of your grant management system. As a side note, our decades of experience at AIMS Software Ltd can help prospective clients navigate some of these unknown questions, such as reporting function requirements, quickly and efficiently.  

Key aspects of a report function in your grant management system to consider

Customisation: The ability to create custom reports tailored to your organisation’s unique requirements is crucial. Look for a tool that allows you to select and arrange data fields, apply filters, and choose report formats. Would you like you customise these reports in-house, or would you prefer to have your software solution provider customise your reports for you? Some grant management tools provide pre-built report templates, making it easier to generate common reports without starting from scratch.

Data export options: A good tool should provide options to export reports in various formats such as PDF, Excel, or CSV. This allows you to easily share and manipulate the data.

Custom calculations: The tool should allow you to perform custom calculations within reports. This is especially important if you need to analyse financial data or other complex metrics.

Data visualisation: Visual representations, such as charts and graphs, can make your data more understandable and accessible, which in turn makes it more useful.

Real-time reporting: Ideally, the tool should offer real-time or near-real-time reporting capabilities. This allows you to access up-to-the-minute information on grant activities and status.

Scheduled Reports: The ability to schedule automatic report generation and distribution can save time and ensure that key stakeholders regularly receive updates without manual intervention.

User-friendly interface: We strongly believe that your reporting feature should be user-friendly and intuitive, so that staff members with varying technical skills can easily generate reports.

Role-based access: Grant management tools should offer role-based access control to ensure that only authorised users can access and generate reports, protecting sensitive data.

Data security: Ensure that the tool complies with data security and privacy regulations and offers encryption and access controls to safeguard sensitive grant information.

Audit trail: An audit trail or change history feature is essential for tracking any modifications to grant data, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Historical data tracking: Grant management often involves looking at historical data for trend analysis. Your reporting tool should allow you to generate reports that include historical grant information.

Mobile accessibility: In today’s mobile work environment, the ability to access and generate reports from mobile devices can be very beneficial. Cloud based grant management software solutions allow all members of your team and stakeholders to work from anywhere, on any device.

Customer support and training: Does your potential supplier offer enough customer support and training resources to help your team effectively use the reporting features of the grant management tool.

Cost: Finally, of course, it is important to consider any additional fees for reporting features or custom report development in amongst the overall cost of any new system.

A robust reporting function in a grant management system can enhance your grant giving by promoting transparency, accountability, and data-driven decision-making. It ensures efficient resource allocation, timely compliance, and effective communication with funders. At AIMS,we believe that accurate reports showcase impact, streamline the grant management process and ultimately foster trust and success in grant giving. We’ve been creating reports for grant makers and funders for decades, feel free to ask us anything – there are very few reporting questions we haven’t already had to consider. 

AIMS Software Ltd are experts in reports.

Get in touch today to ask us anything.

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