Being awarded a grant is not the end of the line for your grant department.
Nearly all major grantors require some form of grant report or funding accountability statement.
Some are primarily narrative-based, while others require some form of formal financial statement or utilize a grantor-provided spreadsheet in an Excel-based format.
There is no one-size-fits-all template. Each grantor usually has their own preferred format.
If one is provided or guidelines given via a website or upon request, I like to download or obtain the information at the same time I research the grant application. That way I can be sure that any budget or information categories will correspond to the grantor requirements from the start. Occasionally the report also gives insight into what areas are of particular importance to the grantor.
In general, the larger the grant, the more complex the reporting becomes. Very large, collaborative or multi-year grants may require interim reports at either quarterly, semi-annual or annual intervals.
In addition to the obvious need to prove to your funding partners that you are spending the money as required by the terms of the grant, these reports also provide a snapshot in time of your progress for your Board of Directors.
In general, grant reports might require you to restate your organizations legal description, i.e. your EIN, address, responsible party or parties, date of determination and occasionally even a copy of your financial statements for the year immediately prior to and during the grant period. Some reports will require you to attest that you are still in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service.
If requested you will have to include any identifying information for the grant, such as its CFDA number or grantor specific-identification (similar to a case number).
It is important that your report reflects alignment with the programs that were funded. If you submitted a line-item budget, the report should reference back to that budget. If the grantor placed restrictions on the amounts used for administrative or capital expenditures, they will want to see that you adhered to those restrictions.
In the case of very small grants from local agencies or private foundations, they may not require anything more than an acknowledgment that you actually received the funds. Still, it never hurts to include a short thank you letter or memo acknowledging the uses of and benefits received from the funding.