Most organizations require grantees to submit interim and/or final progress reports that allow funders to assess the success of their investments in various projects. The grant report is your opportunity to thoughtfully reflect on your work and to highlight your achievements. A well-written, timely report can positively impact both your and the college’s reputation with the funder and can inform a funder’s decisions about grant renewals or future awards.
Occasionally, it may be appropriate to communicate with a funder more frequently than required by the reporting schedule. For example, you may want to invite your funder to attend a major event that is being sponsored by their grant, or you might want to send them photographs, media, or other materials produced under the grant. This type of stewardship can be effective in supporting a positive relationship with the funder and in advancing the progress of your shared goal.
Tips for Narrative and Financial Reports
All organizations have their own specific reporting requirements that typically are detailed in the grant award letter or on the organization’s website. As you describe your project activities, you will want to ensure that you comment on each of the items you promised to complete when you wrote the initial proposal while also clearly responding to each element of the funder’s guidelines.
Effective narrative reports maintain a balance between attention to project details and recognition of how the project strategically impacts the larger issues at stake in the work. For example, a researcher will want to describe both the activities that she performs in her lab, and the ways in which her research contributes to solving a strategic problem or closing a gap in scholarship. Whenever possible, use concrete examples and stories about real experiences with students to enrich your report. As with proposals, we encourage you to seek feedback on your report during the writing process. Both Bridget Wiffin, Assistant Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations, and Stephanie Dunson, Director of Writing Programs, are happy to assist you with developing and/or editing narrative reports.
Financial reports inform the funder that you have been a responsible steward of their award. In most cases, the interim or final financial report should directly address the spending categories that were established in the budget using the actual expenditures reported to the controller’s office through PeopleSoft. For assistance with financial reports, please contact Bridget in the CFR office or Christina Gregory in the controller’s office.
Reporting Policies and Samples
Faculty members with federal grants are subject to special reporting requirements, including semi-annual conflict of interest disclosure and grant effort reporting. Details about specific federal reporting policies are available here.
As you write your report, feel free to refer to our Grant Report Archive for sample reports provided by your Williams colleagues. You can also download a sample financial report template for your reference. The Grant Report Archive is located in Glow under the “Faculty Funding Resources” course.
Please Note: This resource is currently under construction and the report samples available are limited.