Progress Report Guidelines

In addition to allowing the Foundation to provide oversight and fulfill its fiduciary responsibility for the grants it gives, progress reports provide an opportunity for reflection on what has been learned during the project. It is an opportunity for project staff to think about the program, its successes, and propose changes that may improve the project. Progress reports not only inform the Foundation of the project’s progress, but also provide us with valuable learning experiences that enable us to improve our grantmaking and to help other non-profit organizations.

The reports should summarize the progression of work proposed in the grant application for the relevant quarter. The size and scope of the progress reports are largely a function of the size and scope of the project. The Foundation recognizes the time commitment involved in preparing thoughtful reports and seeks to balance the need for information with the demands on project staff. These guidelines are intended to provide some general guidance in preparing quarterly progress reports and to answer some commonly asked questions.

What information should be included in a progress report?
Please include the contact person, the agency name, period of time covered and grant number (which may be found in the grant agreement). Please inform the Foundation of any changes in address, phone numbers, or personnel involved with the project.

The quarterly progress report should include a narrative describing the project’s progress toward its stated program objectives, as well as a financial report indicating the expenditures for the reporting period (please use the quarterly Financial Report template).

What information should be included in the narrative portion of the report?
Briefly restate the project’s purpose, goals and objectives.

For each objective, discuss:

  • Accomplishments;
  • Any problems encountered, and their solutions (planned or implemented); and
  • Any proposed changes in the stated objectives. (Project changes should be discussed with your assigned Program Officer prior to submitting your progress report.)

Highlight:

  • Lessons learned or best practice takeaways;
  • Anecdotes (stories or examples about a person or population affected by or participating in the program); and
  • Conclusions or next steps.

What information should be included in the Financial Report?
The Foundation requires a quarterly Financial Report to be submitted with the written narrative. The Financial Report should itemize expenditures for the specified reporting period, and should be based on the project’s approved budget. The Financial Report is a valuable guide for the grantee and the Foundation to determine if the project is progressing according to plan or if adjustments need to be made. The Foundation requests that all financial reports be formatted using the Foundation’s Financial Report template, which may be downloaded here.

When are progress reports due?
Progress reports are due on a quarterly basis, 30 days after the close of the quarter, and their complete and timely submission is considered as a factor in the Foundation’s evaluation of the project. Please see the Grant Agreement for the timetable of reporting on a project’s progress. If a progress report will be submitted late, please contact your Program Officer to provide an anticipated delivery date.

If there are desired changes in the budget what should be done?
The Foundation will only consider proposed changes to a project’s budget if the request is made in writing. The designated Program Officer will review the request and will contact the grantee to discuss the request. Budget changes are not effective until the project has received written approval from the Foundation.  Please refer to the Budget Revision Guidelines for additional information. 

If the project’s timetable appears to be longer than what was originally proposed what should be done?
Please contact the Foundation to discuss the possibility of a no-cost extension on the grant.

Download the Progress Report Guidelines here