Grant management essentials: How to keep your donors happy 

"Very interesting and insightful - worth every penny!"

Course code: FM8
Course Title: Grant management essentials: How to keep your donors happy
Duration: 2 days
For: Finance and non-finance staff new to grant management
Fee basis: Non-residential: fee excludes accommodation


This course aims to build the confidence and skills of NGO staff who are new to managing institutional donor grants, to meet donors’ financial terms & conditions when implementing programmes. 

Target Audience

This course is specially designed for NGO staff who are new to grant management. It is suitable for those responsible for managing donor funds where programmes are implemented directly or through operational partners.

The course provides an introduction to the essentials of grant management and is not therefore suitable for experienced grant managers or those looking for detailed guidance on specific donor rules and regulations.

We recommend that you read this course outline carefully to make sure the content is relevant and meets your learning requirements. If you are not sure if this course is for you, please contact us.

Course Content

The final balance of course content will be decided by those attending the course, according to their interests and training needs.

The course includes:

  • Key challenges in grant management
  • The grant management life cycle
  • Responsibilities and routines in grant management
  • The flow of donor funds
  • Assessing the terms and conditions in grant agreements
  • How grant agreements impact on accounting and procurement systems
  • Complying with donor reporting requirements
  • Managing multiple-donor funded projects
  • Managing key relationships for successful grant management

This course does NOT cover proposal writing, fundraising or specific donor requirements.

Also see the Programme Guide.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • identify and assess the critical terms and conditions of grant aid for donor-funded projects
  • ensure compliance with donor terms and conditions including: providing supporting documents; correct procurement of goods and services; and meeting financial reporting requirements
  • use a grant schedule to managing multiple-funded programmes
  • prepare a donor financial report to match with a project narrative report
  • describe the four phases in the grant management cycle
  • clarify key responsibilities and routines needed for successful grant management
  • describe the impact of foreign exchange on grant management
  • identify the requirements for closing off a donor grant
  • manage the relationship with donors, head office and implementing partners with greater confidence
  • appreciate that finance and programme staff must work closely for successful grant management. 

Training Approach

The Mango training approach is highly practical, participatory and often fun!

We focus on real issues and help participants to use the tools covered, rather than just discuss them.  We work especially hard to explain and take the mystery out of financial concepts to overcome the fear of finance.

“Mango training really does take the fear out of finance!”

We train in small groups to meet the needs of individual participants and use a variety of learning methods to stimulate interest and meet different learning styles.  Participatory techniques include interactive presentations, practical problem-solving activities, case studies and quizzes.

Courses are supported by extensive materials for participants to take away and apply after the course, including a detailed course manual.  We also offer a free follow-up service by email or phone to all Mango trainees.

How to Book

All courses can be booked online or by completing a booking form and sending it to the training team.  Full terms and conditions are also available on our website, as well as the latest calendar, current availability and course fees.

You are also welcome to telephone us with enquiries on +44 (0)1865 423818.

Course Fees

The course fee covers: tuition, all course materials including a course handbook and workbook; complementary Mango pen, ‘jargon ball’ and calculator; lunch and refreshments during the course; and a course certificate.

The course fee does not include the cost of overnight accommodation or travel to and from the training venue.

Programme Guide

 Module Session Topics
Day 1  
Welcome and Overview
  • Introductions and expectations
  • Course purpose and aims
Overview of Grant Management
  • Challenges in managing institutional donor grants
  • The four phases in the grant management process
  • Who does what in grant management?
  • The flow of donor funds
  • Partnership relationships
Phase 1: Contract Assessment & negotiation
  • Assessing the terms & conditions of the grant. Are they reasonable and can you comply?
  • The impact of new projects which grow the NGO
  • Negotiating with the donor
Phase 2: Implementation
  • Getting the basics right – adapting internal systems to meet donors obligations:

- Procurement procedures
- Supporting documents

 Day 2  
Phase 2: Implementation (continued)
  • Accounting challenges

- Cash vs commitment accounting
- The impact of exchange rates
- Coding structures

  • Managing and monitoring funds to meet donor obligations:

- Managing multiple donor-funded projects
- Reporting systems
- Grant management meetings

Phase 3: Reporting 
  • Meeting donor reporting requirements
  • Getting the narrative report to work for you
  • Budget revisions and no-costs extensions
Phase 4: Closing off the grant
  • A grant closure checklist
  • Preparing for a donor audit
Summary & Close
  • Review of key messages
  • Evaluations