Key Actions by:

Standard 15: Engaging donors appropriately throughout implementation.

Engage with donors throughout project implementation to ensure accountability and compliance and to strengthen donor relationships. 

Prepare donor reports that are high-quality and meet donor requirements, and submit them on time.

  • Why

    Regular project financial and narrative reporting is a standard requirement of institutional donors. Donor expectations and requirements for report content and timing are usually clearly described in the agreement CRS signs with the donor. Effective project management and donor accountability includes ensuring CRS submits timely, high-quality reports that meet donor expectations. Timely, quality project reporting to donors:

    • Promotes accountability and helps both donors and CRS to assess progress in managing project scope, time, and budget.  
    • Offers regular opportunities for analysis of and reflection on project successes, challenges, and learning.
    • Creates a historical record of the project for both CRS and the donor.
    • Provides an opportunity for strengthening the CRS-donor relationship through a shared understanding of the project.
    • Demonstrates CRS capacity to provide relevant information in a timely manner.
  • When
    • As per donor regulations and requirements outlined in the award agreement.
  • Partnership
    • Use the Award Management Deliverables Calendar to establish a reporting schedule for partners that provides an adequate buffer between the deadlines for partner reports to CRS and the deadline for CRS report submission to the donor. This will facilitate review, clarifications, and revisions as needed before the PM/CoP must incorporate this information in the overall project report.  
    • Before the first report is due, work with partners to identify the major challenges and bottlenecks that partners experience with reporting. Plan how to address these challenges, such as through mentoring, shadowing, or on-the-job learning. Consider accompanying partners as needed and feasible during preparation of the first reports, to support them to develop high-quality reports and ensure they are submitted to CRS in a timely manner.
    • Provide partners with constructive feedback to improve their reports. Good practice includes joint CRS and partner drafting of reports, which allows for conversations regarding project good practices, lessons learned, challenges, and how best to articulate these. If adopting this approach, consider linking joint drafting of the narrative report with regular project review and planning meetings and/or field visits to partners.
  • When CRS is a sub-recipient
    • Follow the same process when preparing CRS reports to the prime.
  • Emergency projects