The DG Murray Trust: Grantmaking that Realizes South Africa’s Potential



In 2011, the South African-based DG Murray Trust began the process of looking for a replacement for its existing grants management solution. The team was feeling constrained by the rigid workflows and lack of an online application. Knowing that a more modern solution was likely available, Sandra Ngwena, the director of operations at DGMT began exploring options.

“The system had to be flexible but we didn’t want to build a solution from scratch. Homegrown solutions often turn out to be clunky and cumbersome,” Ngwena said.

DGMT wanted a solution that not only brought greater efficiency to the way the foundation went about its work, but also it wanted to bring even greater value to its grantees.

The DGMT team decided to implement Fluxx to streamline its operations and shorten the foundation’s grant lifecycle. The initial discovery and mapping process during the implementation gave DGMT the opportunity to re-examine its workflows and optimize its grantmaking processes.

Using Fluxx means that everyone at DGMT, no matter where they are, has access to any grant at any time and can see where it is along its lifecycle, thanks to the cloud-based solution. “Certainly from an oversight management standpoint that has substantially made my life easier,” Ngwena said.

As a result of the implementation, DGMT was able to offer its grantees a better way to keep track of the business end of its relationships. The grantee portal allows the foundation’s grantees to keep track of the application process, seeing what grants they have and what reports they have due, dramatically improving the transparency between DGMT and its grantees.

What’s more, the portal has allowed Ngwena and her team a new way to engage with not only their grantees, but also the entire development field. DGMT believes deeply in what Ngwena calls a “learning culture.” Many development NGOs work in relative isolation and sometimes have fewer opportunities to share their knowledge and experience with the rest of the community.

So DGMT built a community website where all of their grantees could post their projects using a Fluxx API. For example, when a group submits a report to DGMT through Fluxx, it becomes part of a workflow, and when the report is approved it is pushed through to the community site.

Ngwena explains, “We can easily pull through their contact details, project description, and reports and share on this platform, so people who aren’t grantees of ours can see the type of work these organizations are doing and connect with them. We are able to do this because of Fluxx.”


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Topics: Grantmaking

Written by Aaron Lester