Smarter Grants Summit

  • Start: January 14, 2020 8:00 am
  • End: January 16, 2020 12:00 pm

Learn the latest about compliance, funding diversification, and financial management, for your grant-funded programs when you attend the special, three-day Smarter Grants Summit in San Antonio, Texas, on January 14-16, 2020.

Start 2020 the smart way, by learning how to better manage your Federal grants at the Smarter Grants Summit in sunny San Antonio, Texas.  The Smarter Grants Summit features a unique program that focuses on three key areas for today’s grants management professional:  legal compliance, funding diversification, and fiscal management.  When you attend the summit, you will learn the major compliance requirements under the Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Grants Guidance (commonly called the “UGG” or “OMB Super Circular”), including recent revisions to the Uniform Guidance.  However, the conference does not stop with legal compliance, as compliance is just one element of smart grants management.  Because sound fiscal management goes hand-in-hand with legal compliance, the training also explains best practices for managing and protecting your grant funds, with an emphasis on internal controls and fraud prevention.  In addition, the conference also explores a topic of growing importance for grant-funded organizations, over-reliance on government grants, with a step-by-step explanation of how to diversify your organization’s funding streams.  Become a smarter grants management professional by attending the Smarter Grants Summit in San Antonio, Texas, on January 14-16, 2020.




During this three-day training, you will learn about the three critical topics for managing Federal grants today:  legal compliance, funding diversification, and fiscal integrity.  At the Smarter Grants Summit, the following are just some of the subjects that you will discuss:

  • Recent legal, administrative, accounting, and policy developments affecting grants management, including changes to the Uniform Grants Guidance (a.k.a. the “OMB Super Circular);
  • Major administrative requirements under the Super Circular;
  • Procurement and contracting requirements and best practices for grant-funded organizations;
  • Establishing effective internal controls;
  • Effective strategies for diversification of funding streams;
  • Preventing fraud, waste, and abuse, in nonprofits and other grant-funded organizations;
  • Best practices in efficient fiscal management;
  • Recordkeeping requirements and systems for grant-funded entities;
  • Treatment of direct and indirect costs, including indirect cost rates, under Federal grants; and,
  • Avoiding compliance problems with your grants in 2020 (and beyond).

In addition to exploring these subjects and more, participants will have multiple opportunities to speak with our expert presenters and get answers to their individual grants management questions.  When you attend the Smarter Grants Summit, you will gain the knowledge about legal compliance, funding stream diversification, and financial management, that you need to effectively manage your grants in today’s challenging environment.


The Smarter Grants Summit will be held over three consecutive days from January 14-16, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas.  The planned agenda for each day is as follows:

Day One (Tuesday, January 14, 2020)

Check-in for the Smarter Grants Summit and enjoy a continental breakfast before the first session.

Grants management requirements continue to evolve.  Staying in compliance means staying up-to-date with these changes.  This opening session will discuss recent developments affecting management of Federal grants, including expected revisions to the Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Grants Guidance (a.k.a. the OMB Super Circular).  Along with revisions to the Uniform Guidance, this session will also review major compliance requirements under the Super Circular that have proven challenging for grant-funded organizations.

Take a quick coffee break between morning sessions.

Procurement is a major area of expenditure for most grant-funded organizations.  The Uniform Grants Guidance (a.k.a. the "OMB Super Circular") contains detailed standards for entering into procurement transactions.  Failure to follow these requirements can be costly for grant-funded organizations.  This session will explain the right way to procure (contract for) goods and services using grant funds.

Join your fellow attendees and conference hosts for a luncheon featuring the flavors of San Antonio.

Recordkeeping is essential for both sound fiscal management and legal compliance with grants management rules under the Uniform Grants Guidance.  The recordkeeping burden rests squarely with the grantee.  Therefore, establishing and maintaining an effective recordkeeping system is a key task for all grant-funded organizations.  During this session, you will learn how to create a compliant recordkeeping system as well as how to satisfy records retention requirements and access rights.

One of the most critical components of any organization's financial management system is internal control.  Internal control is considered essential for minimizing fraud, waste, and abuse.  Misappropriation of assets, material misstatements in financial reporting, and noncompliance with funder-imposed restrictions can often be traced to an inadequate system of internal controls.  Do you know whether your organization’s controls meet expectations? Learn the answer during this interactive session.  Participants will learn about effective internal control structures, internal control frameworks and the components of internal control, areas of internal control posing the greatest risk, and ways to strengthen controls.

Enjoy a late afternoon break before the final session of the day.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that all organizations lose, on average, about 5% of revenues to fraud every year.  However, the costs of fraud extend far beyond financial losses, including possible risk to the organization’s reputation and even the personal reputation of officials, managers, and staff.  Organizations often feel pressure to keep quiet to avoid scandal and to protect their funders and funding.  However, as an organization, official, or manager, you control the exposure to fraud and fraud risks.  Financial fraud often occurs because of a lack of resources or knowledge necessary to implement anti-fraud controls, but the presence of anti-fraud controls reduces significantly both the amount and duration of fraud.  This session is designed to assist in identifying areas of heightened fraud risk and  mitigating those risks.

The first day of the Smarter Grants Summit will conclude at 5:00 pm on January 14, 2020.

Day Two (Wednesday, January 15, 2020)

Check-in for the second day of the Smarter Grants Summit and enjoy the complimentary breakfast buffet before the day's first session.

Many grant-funded organizations have begun to question reliance on Federal grants as their primary source of funding.  Diversifying funding streams can provide greater assurances of long-term viability for organizations, but the thought of diversification often leaves traditional grant-funded organizations with more questions than answers.  Is the organization ready and where should it start? What is needed to be successful with donors, sponsorships, and events? This session will discuss how to create a diversified funding plan and identify the success factors for each funding source.  The first half of this two-part workshop is filled with practical ideas and information to answer those questions and help any organization succeed in generating revenue from a variety of sources.

Enjoy a coffee break between morning sessions.

Most people do not join a board of directors expecting or wanting to fundraise, but generating the necessary revenue to fund the mission is one of the most important aspects of this role.  This session discusses how starting with honest recruitment is key, and how to motivate and inspire board members to share their passion for your mission using a "Menu of FUNdraising Opportunities for Board Members."  The session will also explore how to help board members get over the fear of asking and hearing “No.”  By helping your board members become FUNdraiser, you will also help your organization in diversifying its funding streams.

Have lunch on your own and explore San Antonio's vibrant dining scene.

Social enterprise is a component of many organization's funding diversification strategies.  In this two-part session, we will delve into how to develop your organization’s assets to diversify organizational revenue and protect against reductions in Federal funding.  Learn the 7 steps required to launch a social enterprise, including:  organizational focus, assets and opportunities inventory, market research (customer), market research (competition), sales planning, costing and break even analysis, and business plan development.

Enjoy a refreshing break between afternoon sessions.

Explore how social enterprise can be a part of your organization's efforts to diversify its funding streams during the second half of this two-part session.  In this workshop, we will delve into how to develop your organization’s assets to diversify organizational revenue and protect against reductions in Federal funding.  Learn the 7 steps required to launch a social enterprise, including: organizational focus, assets and opportunities inventory, market research (customer), market research (competition), sales planning, costing and break even analysis, and business plan development.

The second day of the Smarter Grants Summit will conclude at 4:30 pm on January 15, 2020.

Day Three (Thursday, January 16, 2020)

Check-in for the final day of the Smarter Grants Summit and enjoy a Southern-style continental breakfast before the first session.

Learn about treatment of direct and indirect costs under the Uniform Grants Guidance (also known as the "OMB Super Circular" or "UGG").  This session will explain the differences between direct and indirect costs and will answer common questions about indirect cost rates.  This session will also explore cost allowability for some frequently encountered (but tricky) items of cost.  Participants will learn about the major concepts and requirements related to direct and indirect costs under Super Circular's cost principles.

Enjoy a morning coffee break between sessions.

The drive to obtain financial excellence is a key component in the success and viability of any organization's operation, including grant-funded entities.  Recruiting and retaining the right talent, sound financial practices, and strategic planning, are just some of the areas essential for success.  In this session, participants will engage in an interactive discussion covering some of the most important topics in today’s economic environment necessary to achieve financial excellence.

The Smarter Grants Summit will conclude at noon on January 16, 2020.


Attendees at the three-day Smarter Grants Summit in San Antonio will learn how to comply with the Uniform Grants Guidance’s legal requirements, how to diversify their programs’ funding sources, and how to manage and protect grant funds.  After attending the training conference, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the major requirements of the OMB’s Uniform Grants Guidance and list recent changes;
  • Identify effective internal controls for grant-funded organizations;
  • List at least three strategies for diversifying funding sources;
  • List the elements of an effective recordkeeping system for grant-funded organizations;
  • Identify the requirements for procurement under the Uniform Guidance;
  • Describe three methods for preventing fraud in grant-funded organizations;
  • Distinguish between direct and indirect costs and allowable and unallowable costs under the OMB Super Circular’s cost principles; and,
  • List at least three recent developments affecting management of Federal grants.


The Smarter Grants Summit is intended for all types of grant-funded organizations and grants management professionals.  This training will benefit governing body members and government officials, executives, management, fiscal staff, program staff, and other members of the grant-funded community.


Attendees at the Smarter Grants Summit may earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit.  Up to 18 hour may be earned in accordance with the rules of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.  The experience level for this training is overview/update.  There are no prerequisites for attendance, and no advance preparation is required.


Jean Block is a nationally recognized consultant and trainer on nonprofit management, board development, FUNdraising and social enterprise.  She is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has held leadership roles as both board and staff in local, regional, and national nonprofits.  Jean has written several books on nonprofits, including “The Nonprofit Guide to Social Enterprise: Show Me The (Unrestricted) Money!”; “180+ Great Ideas to Raise More Money”; and others.  Visit her websites at and to learn more and sign up for her free e-newsletters.

Keith Hundley is a CPA and partner with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC (CRI), and has a combined twenty years of experience in private industry and public accounting.  Keith is a part of the firm’s governmental services and nonprofit practice recognized throughout the South for its knowledge of auditing standards and business practices.  Keith specializes in providing audit, tax and consulting services to nonprofits, as well as federal, state and local governments.  Keith regularly serves as a continuing education leader for CRI as well as a certified facilitator in the CRI Leadership Academy.   Keith is an active member in the American Institute of Certified Accountants (AICPA) and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA), and is a 2011 inductee to the Troy University Accounting Hall of Honor.

Stephanie Sample is a respected authority on social enterprise and nonprofit management.  For over a decade, Stephanie has provided development services to nonprofits in the Northeastern and Southwestern United States, including board training, grant writing, major donor development, and social enterprise training.  For more information visit: and

R. Brian Tipton is a practicing attorney with more than two decades' worth of experience working with nonprofits, governmental units, and other grant-funded organizations across the United States. Currently, Brian is Managing Director with The Private Client Law Group, P.C., in Atlanta, where he heads the firm's tax-exempt and grant-funded solutions practice. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the Louisiana State University and the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University. Brian regularly represents grant-funded entities of all types in the areas of regulatory compliance, audits, funding source disputes, administrative appeals, and litigation. Brian also consults with organizations on governance, human resources, programmatic, and corporate matters, and develops and presents training programs for nonprofits and grant-funded organizations.


The Smarter Grants Summit will be held at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio, Texas.  A local landmark, the Hilton Palacio del Rio is located on the famous San Antonio River Walk and is just steps from Alamo Plaza.  Room are available for a special, discounted conference rate starting at just $169 per night (plus applicable tax) for double or single occupancy.  These special rates are available for January 13-17, 2020, and may be offered for additional nights, subject to availability.  Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667) and asking for the special “Federal Grant Summit”  or “The Private Client Law Group” or “C-TPC” rate at the Palacio del Rio.  Please book your rooms early as the number of rooms available is limited.  The deadline for making hotel reservations is December 16, 2019.


Registration Details


$549 / Early Bird
(By December 16)


$599 / Regular
(After December 16)