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Learning From Others: Grant Management Case Studies

The city of Detroit and the state of Arizona are two government entities that benefited from embracing lifecycle grants management, which is an automated process of managing grants.

Detroit Fuels Its Comeback Through Grants

Climbing out of the hole of bankruptcy in 2013, Detroit needed to revisit its approach to citizen services. After years of operating over-budget and on the radar of loan providers, the city had faltered financially, and audits had found tens of millions of questioned costs in its grant programs. It was clear that something needed to change for the city.

In 2014, under emergency financial management, the city acquired a new web-based grants management solution provided by eCivis to support compliance and reporting. The solution boasted a user-friendly interface, integration with financial systems and assistance with securing grants and complying with regulations.

With its new grants management system, Detroit has realized an 88% reduction in audit findings and had a balanced budget for three years from 2015 to 2017. In 2018, Detroit racked up a surplus of $36 million.

In the years since the rebound, Detroit’s communities have surged, with a thriving downtown business district and reinvestment in historic neighborhoods. Grants played a major role. In 2017, Detroit received $202 million in grants and donations for neighborhood revitalization and service improvements.

Arizona Standardizes Grants Management Throughout the State

With more grants than ever, many governments are struggling to keep up. But not Arizona.

Through its central Office of Grants and Federal Resources, Arizona coordinates the grant activities across more than 55 participating agencies with eCivis’ grant management platform.

By running the same system throughout departments and agencies, Arizona reduces duplicative labor across its government. Moreover, when agencies work from the same system, compliance is significantly easier.

The system kicks in at the start of the process and stretches to the end. Grants professionals receive automated emails of programs that might be a good fit. As a result, they can spend less time searching for grants and more time implementing the $14.5 billion worth of grant dollars that Arizona receives.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent pocket guide, “Making the Most of Grants in State and Local Government.” Download the full report here.

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