The U.S. federal government awards more than $600 billion in grants each year to state agencies, local and tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations. To track grantees’ use of taxpayers’ money, federal grants trigger a complex array of reporting requirements
It’s been an interesting three months. As I’m in the midst of the long slog to the final draft of our first paper on grant data, I thought I’d let others do the talking this time. Below, anonymous and in no particular order, are some of the more interesting, insightful, or colorful comments from the past three months of conversation with current and former state and federal employees, foundations, technologists, researchers, and members of the nonprofit community.
In 2016, the federal government disbursed $651.7 billion in grant awards. Of that, 84% went directly to state and local governments in the form of either mandatory (also known as ‘formula’) or discretionary (‘block’) grants.
On January 12th, almost 50 stakeholders from all across the Federal grant sphere met at the Gates Foundation to discuss the state of data in grant reporting. For the first time, representatives from multiple federal grantor agencies and departments joined nonprofit researchers, members of the public sector, and technologists to share experiences, challenges, and opportunities to harness data for the public good.
No one starts working in or around the nonprofit sector without wanting to make a positive impact. From those who provide direct services within their community to the federal legislators seeking the best solutions to their constituents’ needs, and all the program managers, state budget officers, researchers, foundations, and technologists in between, we get involved to help.