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With increased amounts of federal funding available due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), it’s important to consider what it will take to fulfill the requirements of any new or expanded funds. Keeping these top considerations in mind will help ensure your organization is well-positioned for success.  

Be Proactive: Seek Out & Apply for Funding 

  • It can be difficult to identify new funding and for whom it’s available. Take the time to understand the CARES Act and types of additional funding that have been provided. 
  • Identify the federal agency that administers your existing grants and determine if there’s additional funding being provided for a similar purpose under the CARES Act by accessing its direct website. Federal agencies have been updating their websites to make information as easy to access as possible.   

Be Strategic: Assess the Risk of Noncompliance

  • Think strategically about the potential increased risk you’re taking on when receiving new or expanded federal funding.
  • If this is your first time receiving federal funds, have you fully vetted what it takes to stay in compliance? If you’re new to receiving funds, are you interested in implementing this as a short- or long-term strategy? This will be necessary to evaluate when getting ready to assess the needed infrastructure. 
  • Have you determined the key compliance areas and what the organization’s risk of noncompliance is for each? 

Be Ready: Determine Whether You Have the Infrastructure to Support Grant Management

  • Identify gaps and plan to implement:
    • Do you have the right people in place for grant management?
    • Are there processes in place to effectively administer new grants?
    • Do you need to consider enhancements or new technology? 
  • Do you need help making this assessment? Consider asking a trusted advisor to assist you.
  • Consider compliance requirements that may not have been applicable before. Are you now responsible for executing an award with subrecipient monitoring for the first time?  

Be Compliant: Understand Compliance of Available Funding

  • Once you receive a new award, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the specific requirements.
  • Develop a compliance checklist for new funding to assess whether all key grant compliance areas are identified and addressed for compliance monitoring. 
  • As deemed necessary, hold internal trainings to clearly communicate compliance expectations. 

Be Agile: Stay Current & Ready to Make Changes

  • Most importantly, stay current! There will likely continue to be clarity and guidance put in place as questions arise, and the responses will vary by federal agency.  
  • Don’t assume, and don’t be afraid to ask. Reach out to your grantor, read all correspondence from granting agencies, and visit each granting agency’s website periodically for news and alerts.  

As with most topics related to COVID-19, changes are being made rapidly. Please note that this information is current as of the date of publication. Reach out to your BKD Trusted Advisor or submit the Contact Us form below if you have questions.

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