The COVID-19 pandemic has undisputedly accelerated the modernization of grants management. As a result of mass telework, grants administrators and professionals have had to rethink processes by moving activities to virtualized environments.
While this will be challenging for many governments, the good news is digital transformation is still achievable and can result in maximizing relief funding. Here are four examples of governments across the state and local levels that are successfully modernizing their grants processes and improving their chances for long-term pandemic recovery.
Arizona Expedites Disbursement of COVID-19 Relief Funding
The state of Arizona is leveraging cloud-based grants management during a critical period where timely funding could mean the difference between long-term economic recovery and financial struggle.
In an effort to expedite the disbursement of COVID-19-related funding across the state, the governor’s office launched the Arizona Public Assistance Express Pay Program. Managed by the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA), the program centralizes the disbursement and tracking of funding from FEMA’s Category B Public Assistance Program to ensure continued delivery of critical services for Arizonans.
Through digital grants management, the state expects to accelerate the timeline of reviewing, disbursing and reimbursing grants from months to as little as five business days. Additionally, the state’s grants management system helps centralize the tracking of those funds, improving performance, visibility and data transparency.
Los Angeles County Increases Funding Opportunities
By moving their pre-award grants process online, Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors and County leaders are centralizing their funding research in one portal that connects key priority areas, including child protection, environmental health oversight, homeless initiatives, immigration services, justice reform and sustainability.
Each county department can automatically receive grants related to its priority areas, reducing the time it takes to determine the viability of each funding opportunity. This has opened up thousands of active funding opportunities for the county.
City of Atlanta Streamlines Subrecipient Management
The City of Atlanta used full life cycle grants management software to reduce administration time, redundancies and audit findings in their subrecipient management. Additionally, with cloud-based grants management, the city was able to scale performance, adding more users and integrating more data to improve tracking and follow up with subrecipients.
Overall, they increased the number of qualified proposals by 44% over the previous year.
California Department for Housing & Community Development Improves COVID-19 Grants & Loans Performance
By digitizing grantor management that integrates with the state’s financial system and the Housing and Urban Development Department’s (HUD) reporting system, California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) was able to reduce the risk of human-prone error while achieving improved outcomes for grants and loans, from both state and federal housing programs.
HCD is now successfully managing $900 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and CDBG-DR (Disaster Recovery) funding across the state while speeding delivery of disaster relief.
As Chief Customer Officer for eCivis, Merril Oliver leads the company’s key business strategies, product development and growth initiatives. Having served four governors, both Democratic and Republican, Merril served as the Director of the Maryland Governor’s Grants Office, where she revolutionized an enterprise approach to full lifecycle grants management during 2015-2017. Merril is a past president of the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), having served three consecutive terms (2009-2012). During her presidency, Merril launched the industry-recognized standard professional certification of Certified Grants Management Specialist (CGMS®) and participated on the credentialing exam development team as a Subject Matter Expert (SME).