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News & Events | Best Practices

Build Trust Through Grant Process Transparency

July 1, 2023

Ideas to turbo-charge grant transparency

You know your organization is trustworthy. Every member of your team and your board shows commitment to making a difference in your community through their actions and work every day.

Here’s the big question: Does your community know your organization is trustworthy?

Are agencies that request funding from you confident the process will be fair? Do volunteer reviewers know their time and input will be honored when it’s time to make final funding decisions? Do donors know how their contributions were used and how they made a difference?

Transparency is a key component of cultivating trust. Chances are, your transparency game is already strong. You likely share your audit and 990, publish an annual report, and more. However, how much are you sharing about your grant processes?

If you are thinking about turbo-charging transparency around your grant-making to boost trust, here are a few quick ideas to get you started.

  •   Provide minimum eligibility criteria up front to potential applicants.
  •   Share clear guidance on priorities for each funding opportunity.
  •   Communicate the steps included in the funding decision process.
  •   Reveal what’s required of agencies that receive funding before they apply.
  •   Disclose your conflict-of-interest policy and how it’s implemented to help eliminate bias in the funding decision process.
  •   Share the criteria by which applications will be evaluated.
  •   Invite applicants to meet to discuss why they did or did not receive funding.
  •   Detail how funded activities and programs align with your goals and contribute to your mission.
  •   Connect community members with the impact of their investment of time or money (or both!) by regularly providing updates on the activities and outcomes of funded agencies.

Are your trust-building transparency wheels turning? Fantastic! Now, how do you facilitate this efficiently? To start, lean on your grant management system to:

  •   Provide a customized description of each funding opportunity for agencies to view before requesting to participate.
  •   Guide potential applicants through eligibility criteria and quizzes.
  •   Guide reviewers through your policies, receive their agreement on those policies, and collect their conflicts of interest.
  •   Track and share feedback on applications and reports with agencies or reviewers.
  •   Keep agencies and reviewers in the loop via a variety of personalized communication features.
  •   Easily view, analyze, and share impact data with your community.

Looking for a grant management system you can lean on to accomplish all this (and much more!)? Reach out to to learn how you can leverage e-CImpact to share your good work and build trust in your community.

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