A talented grant administrator is a vital part of any non-profit organization, whether as a staff member or a freelance consultant. Grants are an important source of funds for most non-profits, so a grant administrator is a key member of the fund-raising team with a wide range of responsibilities.
Grant administrators are responsible for identifying grant funding sources, researching the application process, compiling application data, and coordinating deadlines. Depending on the size of the organization and its staff, the grant administrator may also write the grant application and associated materials. He also works with the other members of the fund-raising team to cooperate on the overall fund-raising plan, since grants alone are seldom enough to meet all an organization’s needs.
Since most organizations' grant funding comes from several sources, both large and small, the grant administrator is responsible for making sure that the right combination of grants totaling the right amount of support make up the grant portion of funding. Most grants are dedicated to one area or need, like computers or equipment, while others may be earmarked for administrative use, education or community outreach. The variety of grant funding has to cover the spectrum of needs an organization has.
The duties of a grant administrator continue after receipt of the grant. Most grants come with stipulations. The funds may be earmarked for certain purposes or there may be conditions on how the money is spent. The grant administrator is responsible for making sure that the funding is guided toward the right area and that everyone understands the conditions placed on the money and follows compliance directives. He also directs the billing and paperwork, so that the proper documentation is collected to demonstrate compliance to the grantor. He coordinates efforts with any public relations and/or marketing personnel to ensure a cohesive message that is grantor friendly.
The grant administrator is responsible for gathering information and generating the proper reports to the grantors in a timely manner, since most want to know the results achieved by their monetary investment. The grant administrator is the point of contact between the grantor and the non-profit. She promotes the non-profit and the effect it is having in the community in a persuasive and appealing way, in order to justify the continued support of the grantors.
Grant administrator positions typically require a four-year degree in a related field, as well as superior written and verbal communication skills, a good head for figures, organization and the ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines. Most administrators have a few years of grant writing experience and have worked before with non-profits in an administrative or fund-raising capacity.