We Know Almost Nothing About the Cost of Grant Administration
Most Americans who make charitable contributions want to have an impact—not support administrative overhead. Whether their contributions are made to help feed the hungry, house the homeless, or fight muscular dystrophy, donors typically expect that the vast majority of their contribution will go toward achieving the charitable mission. And they expect that a very small part—typically 10% or less of their contribution will be used for administration and fundraising.
Surprisingly, we don’t have any similar rule of thumb for grants management, despite the fact that the federal government spends over $730 billion on grants, a significant part of the federal budget. In fact, we haven’t really had any idea what proportion of their budgets grantors and grantees typically dedicate to administrative costs until now.
REI Systems recently released the results of our Annual Grants Management Survey which provides insights on how much grantors are spending on administrative costs, how do grantors compare to grantees in administrative spending, drivers of these expenses, and more.