Resilience Planning: How Local Councils Can Prepare for Unforeseen Challenges in Grant Management

February 29, 2024

Many external variables can affect local councils and disrupt the flow of critical funding to community projects. Current issues include the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and its consequences, the housing crisis, and sustainability – to name but a few.

This complex landscape presents councils with quite the challenge when it comes to ensuring the wellbeing and development of communities.

Whether it’s a matter of policy shifts, economic downturns or global crises, councils need to implement a robust approach to resilience planning. This not only helps in navigating immediate obstacles but also in securing the long-term success of grant initiatives.

So, join us as we review some vital measures councils can take to build their resilience.

Strategies for Resilience in Grant Management

Digital Integration

Digitisation has long been on the cards for organisations from all walks of life, and councils are no exception. This transformation is vital for improving service delivery on the whole and, of course, it’s a fundamental ingredient of modern resilience planning.

The use of advanced digital solutions, including grant management software, helps councils automate and streamline the grant management lifecycle, making it easier to adapt to changes with agility.

To give some concrete examples, consider the core functionality of our software:

  • Applications: Tools such as our form designer and question banks vastly cut down the time needed to prepare applications for new programmes.
  • Offer letter generation: Flexigrant allows you to accept applications online and automates the process of generating offer letters.
  • Review management: The shortlisting tool, reviewer dashboards, and reviewer assignment tool take the hassle out of an otherwise labour-intensive process.
  • Reporting: Bulk scheduling, reporting forms, and automatic data capture from form fields ensure you collect the data you need with minimal effort.
  • Financial management: The system comes with a range of tools for managing finances and payments.

These features handle much of the heavy lifting in grant management, reducing the administrative burden and removing the complexity from many tasks. But it doesn’t stop there – we offer a range of premium features and integrations for added efficiency and resilience.

Developing a Reactive Framework

Strategic resilience planning involves more than just preparing for known challenges. Councils should be proactive in identifying potential challenges and their possible solutions – and part of the solution in many cases is to have a reactive grant management framework.

Such a framework supports adaptable policies that can be quickly revised in response to new legislation or other external events. This establishes a solid foundation for ongoing success and the smooth execution of vital projects.

Adaptability to Changing Needs

Reactive grant management frameworks allow funders to quickly adjust their priorities and strategies in response to emerging needs or crises. This ensures that efforts are always aligned with the most pressing needs, maximising the impact of every penny spent.

It could mean reallocating resources to more urgent causes, modifying grant conditions to provide recipients with greater flexibility, or introducing new funding streams to address immediate challenges. Another option is to consider alternative funding strategies.

Flexibility in Grant Terms

To expand on what we said above about flexibility, a reactive framework may involve offering more flexible grant terms, such as simplified application processes, accelerated funding disbursements, and adaptable reporting requirements.

This flexibility is crucial during times of crisis when traditional timelines and procedures may hinder a rapid response.

Again, grant management software is key in making this happen, as discussed earlier.

Enhanced Collaboration and Partnership

A reactive framework fosters stronger collaborations between funders, grantees, and other stakeholders by encouraging open communication and shared learning.

In times of change or uncertainty, being able to quickly share insights, resources, and strategies with partners can lead to more coordinated and effective responses. This enhances the resilience of the local funding ecosystem as a whole, creating a more united front against shared challenges.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Reactive grant management frameworks are supported by robust data collection and analysis tools, which enable funders to make informed decisions rapidly, adjusting their strategies based on evidence. This ensures that funding decisions are based on actual needs and outcomes. (Flexigrant Insights can assist here.)

Building Grantee Capacity

Capacity building is yet another component of a reactive framework, in which grantees can be equipped with the tools, skills, and resources they need to navigate challenges. This might involve providing technical assistance, training, or additional support services to help grantees adapt.

Skills Development

Training and developing grant management teams is another cornerstone of resilience planning, enabling councils to better respond to challenges and recover from setbacks. Of course, there are many ways that different roles can develop, but here are a few highlights to keep in mind:

  • Risk management and scenario planning: Grant management teams should be trained in risk assessment techniques to foresee potential issues that could impact grant programmes, and this should cover a broad range of risks. Scenario planning can help them prepare for various outcomes and ensure the continuity of projects.
  • Stakeholder engagement: Skills in clear, transparent communication are vital for managing expectations, engaging with community stakeholders, and ensuring the successful delivery of projects.
  • Digital and data literacy: As digital integration becomes increasingly important, teams need skills in using grant management software and data analytics tools. The ability to use data within stakeholder communications is vital, and is assisted by data visualisation.
  • Leadership and team building: Building a cohesive team is critical for resilience, as it ensures that teams can work together effectively under pressure.

Enhancing Communication Strategies

Effective communication, both internally among teams and externally with applicants and other stakeholders, is critical to establishing resilience.

Externally, maintaining open lines of communication keeps all parties well-informed and engaged throughout the grant process, enhancing transparency and trust. It also enables quick responses to any arising issues, ensuring that projects remain on track regardless.

Regarding internal communication, team members should be proficient in using their grant management software to its full capacity, and have access to comprehensive documentation and community support (which we provide through our grant management community).


Grant management is influenced by a myriad of variables beyond the control of local councils. Economic factors, policy changes, and global events will continue to pose challenges to the effective distribution of grants, but through comprehensive resilience planning, navigating these challenges becomes much easier.

To summarise, a few keys to effective resilience planning include digitisation, implementing reactive grant management frameworks, skills development, and enhancing internal and external communication.

As mentioned, grant management software like Flexigrant does far more than drive efficiency – it gives funders the flexibility and insights needed to adapt to changing circumstances. To request a demo, contact us today.

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