TRUST, RESPECT, ETHICS, GROWTH
As a grant professional in a non-profit agency you are tasked with managing grants of all sizes -- federal, state, foundation, and local united way allocations. Each funder has its own guidelines on spending. Some allow you to spend money on refreshments; some on snacks only if during training at meal time, some don’t allow a food expense at all. And then there is record keeping…IF food is allowed, you better be sure to have sign-in sheets of the event where you had your yogurt and granola bars. You’ll need that as back up documentation and your audit. Sound familiar?
So, what do ethics have to do with approving food as an expense? Believe it or not, a lot. After over ten years of managing grants you can’t imagine how many times I have been asked about whether or not the project manager on a particular grant can buy food for a meeting, an event or provide dinner at a retreat with grant funds. Each time, I answered in the same way. I showed the project manager the funder guidelines for that specific grant and believe me; I kept a copy because inevitably I was asked again in a few months, six months and then again in year two and three of the grant.
The role we have as grant managers is often as gatekeeper, facilitator, convener, researcher, mediator and enforcer. The ethics we bring personally and professionally to the job are as important as the guidelines spelled out in the funding contracts we are lucky enough to be awarded. As a Grant Professional Certified, I also follow the Grant Professional Association Code of Ethics, which will be discussed on April 3rd at my “Grant Management for Beginners and Beyond” workshop (see my training page) and can be downloaded here: http://www.grantprofessionals.org/files/Ethics/Revised%20Code%20of%20Ethics%20100511%20GPA%20ONE%20PAGE.pdf