Five Things We’re Thankful For in Covering the Grants Community

November 25, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

thanksgiving-turkey-white-background-667872-mWe gather together this week to celebrate one of the greatest holidays on the calendar. You just can’t beat a holiday that essentially revolves around eating, not to mention the glorious side order of hours of football while you digest your meal. Now, as long as you can avoid the Black Friday madness, the Thanksgiving holiday is the perfect holiday weekend.

Thus, in honor of the season, I wanted to offer a list some of the things that those of us here covering grants at Thompson are thankful for:

First, we’re thankful for the issuance of the uniform grant guidance. Sure, it has initiated a world of change in the grants community, and has created a ton of work for us here at Thompson as we continue to update our manuals and keep you informed on how these changes will affect you. However, the uniform guidance was designed to relieve some burden for grant recipients and encourage flexibility. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but we give the Council on Financial Assistance Reform and the Office of Management and Budget credit for listening to the grants community to implement requested changes. The guidance also has offered Thompson a chance to be the leader in providing news, analysis and trends on the guidance through our handbooks, our digital service (grants.complianceexpert.com) and our webinars. Grants development and management is no longer the same-old, same-old that it was for many years. It’s fresh and exciting, and there’s lots to learn.

Second, we’re thankful for the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, better known as the DATA Act. Right on the heels of the uniform guidance comes the DATA Act, which could eventually help recipients in their financial reporting, and make financial data more useful and transparent to all. As data standards evolve over the next few years, we’ll continue to let you know what to expect.

The third thing we’re thankful for is the federal government’s efforts to reduce fraud, waste and abuse. This is one of the primary goals of the uniform guidance, and it is a crucial endeavor. One out of every six federal dollars is improperly spent, so eliminating fraud cannot be stressed enough. I’ve attended several conferences over the years where session speakers have given case studies of examples of fraud, waste and abuse, and I can honestly say that what goes on out there can simply boggle the mind.

(On a personal level, the fourth thing I’m thankful for is sweet tea. The nectar of the gods! It has given me the energy boost I’ve needed to keep up with these rapidly evolving changes in the grants world. I highly recommend it!)

Lastly, the fifth thing I’m thankful for are all the grant recipients out there and the great work you do in providing services to the community and making this country what it is. You are the ones we aim to help with our services, and if there is any way that we can help you comply with regulations, perform better and succeed, that’s what we’re here for. Let us know help we can better serve you to meet your needs.

Everyone have a happy Thanksgiving!

What grants-related events are you thankful for? Let us know.

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