The 2018 Peak Grantmaking conference just wrapped up, and what a fantastic time we had connecting with old friends and making new ones. So many members of the Fluxx family come to Peak every year in search of new skills, ideas, and fellowship, and this year was highly successful on all fronts.
For foundations big and small, grants management software not only streamlines your operations, but can also give you a new perspective on your organization's work. From revealing insights through data to automating processes to improving operational transparency, the right software can be a critical component to achieving your mission.
For foundations, cloud-based grants management software has evolved rapidly since its relatively recent introduction. Cloud-based systems have quickly become more common than local server systems, providing both casual and tech-savvy users with increased access to the data they need.
Undoubtedly, your foundation is equipped with the staff, tools, and expertise to make strategic grants, and maximize your impact. However, sometimes it really helps to bring in some outside assistance – especially when it comes to technology. Maybe you need help with selection and implementation, cloud computing and security, or CRM customization. Hiring a tech consultant allows you to get ahead of your tech to-do list and free up your time to work toward your mission.
Nonprofits are often forced into a “grantseekers dilemma.” For example, sometimes an organization applies for a grant that requires a certain kind of capacity, knowing they don’t have it, but hoping that with funding they can obtain it. It’s a lose-lose, for both funder and grantseeker, and reveals the critical importance of capacity building grants for effective nonprofits.
When you bring up the idea of implementing new technology at your organization, you can be met with skepticism from your team. They might say, “Yes, the technology sounds great, but the implementation will take too long and is difficult," or, "We simply aren’t ready for the change.”
This is a normal response, if not based on myth. Don’t worry. We can help get your team on board, and we can help you prepare for your implementation.
Cloud computing is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. “[Cloud] technology is no longer novel. In fact it has become the dominant paradigm in IT,” says Jim Lynch, of TechSoup. But despite its pervasive use, 39 percent of all foundations maintain their software and infrastructure in-house, according to a 2014 report co-written by the Technology Affinity Group (TAG) and the Grants Managers Network (GMN).
Grantmaking can be a complex and time consuming venture, even for relatively small or mid-sized grantmakers, to say nothing of the foundations paying out grants in the millions or even billions of dollars. Managing the entire process – tracking scores of applications, reviewers, requirements, and payments all simultaneously – takes serious planning, foresight, and a good grants management software solution.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: Best Practices for a Successful Grants Management Software Implementation
Anne McKissick, the director of grants management and information services at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is well-known in the philanthropic community, having spent decades successfully managing grant operations and information services for private foundations. She inherited GIFTS, the grants management platform, when she joined Sloan but she knew that it wouldn’t provide the features that she needed.