Perspectives

Driving Impact for Federal Grant Programs

From Data to Impact

Grants are a critical tool for the Federal government—for many agencies, they are the primary vehicle to drive better public services and achieve their overall strategic goals. In fiscal year 2013, the Federal government distributed an estimated $633 billion in grants. With so many taxpayer dollars funding grants, there is a clear need for programs to be thoughtfully designed, implemented, and monitored to achieve real impact. This notion is underscored by OMB’s recently published Grant Reform guidance which aims to “more effectively focus Federal resources on improving performance and outcomes while ensuring the financial integrity of taxpayer dollars in partnership with non-Federal stakeholders.” But how should an agency manage its grants programs to increase their impact? What role can performance data play in improving the impact of grant dollars?

The six principles described in this paper present a series of strategies agencies can use to improve the impact of their grant programs. By employing the approaches described, agencies can put themselves and their grantees in a better position to use scarce taxpayer dollars to drive greater impact. In particular, these approaches help agencies to identify and employ successful practices among grantees, while also encouraging and rewarding innovation and building new evidence for future success. Download the full article to learn more. 

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