As digitization strategies are adopted across businesses large and small, it’s no wonder that government operations are looking to see what strategies and tools can benefit them as well. Numerous tools originally designed for private use are proving to be just as effective in the public sector – and grant management systems are a perfect example.
Local governments are often just as reliant on state or Federal grants as a private operation such as a research university – but until recently, were still using 20th Century paper-based techniques for managing their grants. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Government grant management systems can be adopted at low cost, and provide huge ongoing benefits that easily justify the tax dollars spent.
In turn, these systems can also be made available to the public, to help private entities apply for their own grants. It’s a win-win proposition because modern grant management software improves the process in numerous ways.
The Benefits of Government Grant Management Software
1 – A single centralized repository
Perhaps the biggest single benefit of modern grant management system is that it ensures all grant-related processes and information are kept in one place. At all levels, navigating the bureaucracy of grants can be difficult, when necessary information is spread across numerous databases or departments. Centralization eliminates this issue.
When all relevant information, forms, data, etc, relating to a grant can all be found in one place, it radically reduces the chances of error. This will also speed up the process in general, and may even eliminate redundant paper-based processes which are unnecessary in a digital system.
2 – Start-to-finish grant tracking
The process of applying for, receiving, and continuing to receive a grant can be a burdensome process. This is particularly true in situations where the grant is ongoing but must be re-applied for regularly. What happens when the person in charge of the grant leaves their position, and a new supervisor is brought in?
Without digital solutions, the newcomer may be looking at an uphill battle to fully understand the situation they’ve become part of. However, when a single software interface collects and tracks all grants, end-to-end, it becomes far easier for them to acclimate themselves and take over the position without disruption.
3 – Improved accuracy and compliance in submissions
Due to their nature, grants typically have numerous requirements in terms of data submitted, as well as regulations that must be followed. Even a minor error in reporting or compliance can endanger the grant, or potentially even cause it to be rejected – which can be devastating if that grant is mission-critical for an office or operation.
By keeping all data in one place, the chances of errors in submissions go down substantially. In addition, government grant management software is “smart.” It can be set up to automatically send alerts for upcoming deadlines, or to scan documents for obvious errors before they’re submitted.
In more complicated fields, the software can even track regulations and ongoing regulatory changes, advising users if they’re in danger of falling out of compliance.
4 – Better data security
Few modern issues are more important than data security, especially for a government institution that potentially has huge amounts of protected non-public information in its records. A single breach could be disastrous, impacting most or all of the citizens whose data is stolen. This is a big enough problem in private operations and must be guarded against in government.
In some cases, increased data security is simply a good idea as a matter of public policy. In other situations, such as handling medical records covered by HIPAA or dealing with any European entities that require GDPR compliance, strong data security may be a basic legal requirement. Modern grant management systems come with strong security and best-practice recommendations for keeping your data safe.
5 – Improved citizen engagement
Government grant management systems also benefit the public, in two ways. On one hand, these systems can make it easier for citizens to track a local government’s activities, and see how their tax dollars are being managed.
On the other hand, these systems can be made available for citizens who are applying for government grants. So, all the same benefits a government office sees from digital grant management can also apply to citizens who rely on government grants. It’s a win-win situation where everyone benefits from easier submissions, better data compliance, and stronger security.
So, it’s little wonder that governments at all levels are increasingly adopting business-style grant management systems. The benefits are numerous, with very few drawbacks once the new systems are implemented.