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Our Philosophy: Meaningful Monitoring

At the Vander Weele Group, our work is guided by a philosophy we call Meaningful Monitoring. It's a mindset, a skill set, and a strategic approach to grants monitoring.

  • A rigorous review process, tailored to individual organizations

  • Comprehensive intelligence gathering that begins with frontline practitioners and flows upwards to administrators

  • The unique mission and objectives of each grantor and grantee

  • The ethical and strategic use of grant funding

  • Evidence-based findings and corrective action plans which are grounded in specific legal or policy standards

  • Robust quality assurance

We believe that for a grant monitoring program to be successful, asking the right questions is critical. It isn't enough for a grant program to be technically compliant; a grantee can meet all the required legal standards and still have an inefficient or underachieving program.

When we work with clients, we want to know if the end goals that federal funds were allocated for are being met and met well. With that in mind, Meaningful Monitoring compels us to ask:

  • Are the grantees supported and successful?

  • What are the day-to-day realities of executing the grant program, stories that aren't always revealed in budget documents?

  • What are the grantor's pain points, and how can we support efforts to address them?

  • Where can expert guidance, education, monitoring tools, and process changes be leveraged to increase the strategic, efficient, impactful use of grant funds?

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What Meaningful Monitoring is Not:

1. Intended to minimize the importance of compliance monitoring.

 

We seek to contextualize fiscal data to better understand the story it tells and its impact on organizations.

2. A way to penalize well-intended grantees for honest mistakes.

 

Our approach digs deep because we want to see grantees succeed. By identifying areas for improvement early, grantees avoid the dreaded audit and findings of non-compliance later.

 

3. Designed to contravene grants monitoring standards required by the Uniform Guidance or other regulatory frameworks. 

 

Meaningful Monitoring is grounded in a deep understanding of federal regulations; our expert knowledge is what allows us to approach monitoring in a meaningful way. Meaningful Monitoring both identifies areas of legal non-compliance and suggests best practices while maintaining a clear distinction between these two types of feedback.