Social Post October 30, 2015 at 10:02AM

#ProTip: For my social sector friends, a lesson I just learned the hard way.

I know we all desperately need money, but when you are looking at potential grants, be sure to carefully analyze the cost of that money. Today, I just completed two different grant after-action reports. (For those not familiar, those are the reports due after the program has been completed and the grant money spent.)

One report was for a $6000 grant and the report took literally about 40 hours to complete. That was JUST for the report, and not the actual time spent on the program.

The other report was for a $4000 grant. That report took, not exaggerating, about 20 minutes.

So, which grant was bigger?

This was entirely my own lack of experience. I did not look close enough at the requirements for the first grant. In addition, even though it was more or less clear in the grant description what the reporting requirements would be, I did not have the experience to properly estimate how much time that would take.

I think a lot of do-gooders get caught in this trap of spending so much time on insane amounts of paperwork for just small amounts of money that it presents a significant drain on our resources. So, please be careful when evaluating the cost of money you are going after. Obviously, reporting is important, to understand how the money is being used, but if it goes too far, it can really take away from time for programming. This, coupled with the fact that many funders do not fund administration time (the people who actually create the reports) means that too much of this could actually cripple an organization. via Facebook

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