eLINK User Guidance Header

Purpose: This document provides basic guidance on how to complete a grant workplan in eLINK. Each grant program may have unique requirements for the content of a workplan, be sure to review any communications from BWSR about your grant prior to completing a workplan.  If you have any questions on the specific requirements for how to complete a workplan, please contact your board conservationist.

Creating a Grant Workplan

A workplan can only be created after receiving notification of grant award and workplan requirements. To create a workplan, find the approved grant on the Home page by either typing the Grant Title in the search field, or scanning for the grant (Stage/Status = Workplan – In Process) in the Grants window.  Select the workplan activities action icon for the grant found in the Action column.  This will bring you to the Workplan Activities page with the Activities & Expenditures grid filtered by the grant selected. 

Creating the Workplan Activity Budget

  1. To begin developing your workplan budget, select the button “Add New Activity Budget” and take the following steps:
    1. Grant: select the grant for which you are developing the workplan from the dropdown.  As this drop down window contains all of the grants with which you are associated, please confirm that you have selected the appropriate grant. 
    2. Activity: Select “Create New Activity” from the dropdown.
    3. Activity Name: Enter a unique activity name, descriptive of the activity. BWSR recommends that users include the year of the activity in the name.
    4. Budgeted Amount.  Enter budgeted amount for this activity.   
    5. Source Type. Select the applicable Source Type. 
      1. Current State Grant: NPEA grant funds from BWSR will fall under this category.
      2. Federal Funds: Do not use this category for NPEA.
      3. State fund not in eLINK: Do not use this category for NPEA.
      4. Landowner Funds: Do not use this category for NPEA.
      5. Local Funds: A minimum 10% local cash match for engineering assistance in the TSA is required for NPEA funds. The local share does not include in-kind services, but can include local, other state and federal funding for shared technical assistance to and through the TSA SWCDs.
    6. Source Description: provide enough specificity so that you can differentiate between source types.  If you have questions relating to the level of specificity required, please contact your board conservationist for additional guidance.
    7. Match: Select yes if the source is to be considered match fund for the grant fund.
    8. Save:  If there are no errors, the system will indicate that this activity has been saved successfully.  If there are errors in one of the fields identified above, the system will display an error message above the line item with the error.  Users will need to correct the errors before they can save the activity.
    9. Close: Close out of the activity window.
    10. Repeat as many times as necessary to add all additional activities.

Entering Activity Action and Planning Information

Activity Actions are divided into different components that are related to the specific activities identified above by selecting each of four different action icons.  Changing the Activity Actions for any row of a given activity will change this information for all rows of this activity. 

  1. Click the (edit activity) icon to edit information about the activity such as the description, lifespan, category, and start date. Completion date and actual results will be filled in when the activity has been installed or implemented through progress reporting.  The eligible categories for NPEA grants include:
  • Administration/Coordination: select for administrative costs of the host district(s) and fiscal agent, as well as costs for training received by NPEA staff and coordination with the JPO, member SWCDs and partners.
  • Technical/Engineering Assistance: select for activities associated with technical and engineering expenses associated with the site evaluation, design, and/or construction of projects.
  • Education/Information: select for activities including training and related information provided to member SWCDs and partners.
  • Supplies/Equipment: select when acquiring equipment, hardware, software, and supplies. For expenditures greater than $3,500, the grantee must explain in the workplan as to how all equipment purchased will continue to be used for the same program through its useful life, or, if the use changes, a commitment to pay back an amount equal to either the cash value received or a residual value approved.
    1. Complete the Activity Name, Activity Description, and Activity Category fields, then click Save. Local Activity Number, Activity Lifespan, Start Date, Completion Date and Actual Results are not required fields for NPEA grants. Click Close to close the window and return to the Activities and Expenditures screen.
    2. Planning and Expense Actions: Planning and Expense Actions are used to edit budgets established in the steps above, or later on to report expenditures.  Selecting Planning and Expense Actions for any row will change the information for only that row.
    3. Click the edit icon  in this column to change a budgeted amount.  Note this amount can’t be changed after the workplan has been approved without a grant agreement amendment and/or workplan revision.
    4. The edit expenditures icon  is not needed until after the workplan has been approved and progress has been made on the activities
    5. The delete  icon can be used to remove an activity before workplan submittal.
    6. To identify additional Team Members for the grant, click on the Grant name in the grid.  This will take you to the grant record.  Select the Team Selection tab to add or edit Team Members.  To return to the Workplan & Activities page, click the Go to Workplan link in the header.

Linking an existing activity to a grant.

There are times when grants share funding for a single activity.  In these situations, an existing activity from one grant is linked to another using the “Link Existing Activity to Grant” button.  This linking feature prevents you from needing to double enter the activity and will associate all the activity and its related data, such as details and indicators to this new grant.  Linking rarely happens in creating a workplan, but can happen in progress reporting and through workplan amendments. See the eLINK Guidance Document Managing Activities for more information on how to link activities between grants and below for more information on amending a workplan.

Submitting the Workplan

To submit the workplan, select the Grant Title in the header of the Workplan & Activities page.  The current workplan stage will be displayed.  Select Submitted from the status dropdown in the header.  Click Go.  The system will lock the activities in your workplan and will notify your Board Conservationist that the workplan has been submitted and is ready for review.


Gwen Steel
Grants and Reporting Specialist