CommunitySuite: New Software, Same Values

Each and every Foundant team member has a copy of the list you see pictured above. These are our Core Values – and we strive to live by them each day that we walk through the door, logon from our remote office, pick up the phone to talk to a client, or interact with one another. These values are what we set out to uphold when I and my co-founders sat down at my kitchen table to create a business plan 10 years ago.

Foundant Values

Fast-forward to today and we’ve found our “soul-mate” in the CommunitySuite (formerly Smalldog) company. These same values govern the way they interact with one another and the Community Foundations they’ve been working with for the past four years.

But it was that 5th value listed – the one with the big green circle around it – that really brought our companies together. Our commitment to the philanthropic community is the cornerstone of what we’ve built and, because of this, we felt taking the “next step” was simply the right thing to do.

We’ve recognized for years at Foundant that Community Foundations have a very broad set of technology needs that are quite different from a lot of our clients. In addition to the grants and scholarship management that our Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM) solution provides, they also require a donor portal, event management, CRM capability, fund accounting, nonprofit directory and crowdsourcing, and more.

Community Foundations are complicated entities that make a huge impact within their communities across multiple organizations, individuals, issues, projects, and more. They act as conduits between nonprofits and funders… reaching much further through the act of collaboration than a single individual or organization could on their own. Yet their complex technological needs have not been thoroughly met and the price for anything resembling a suitable system has been (in the past) outrageous.

The Next Step

When we started hearing the Smalldog story from other Community Foundations we came into contact with, we couldn’t help but be curious. Hearing things like it transformed our grantmaking and increased community donations or it was so simple we were able to teach our board to use it had us hooked. Something great was happening with Smalldog and we knew it.


Client TestimonialsThe client testimonials were uncannily in line with our own and we each had something to offer the other. Smalldog – a solution to benefit Community Foundations. Foundant – the client base, experience, and sales/marketing resources to help push forward into the market.

In July 2016 the Smalldog folks joined us for the first time in Montana during our mid-year planning meetings… and everything clicked. Just as we knew would happen, there was never a hiccup at all… they’re just good folks like us who are easy to work with and believe in the same values.

The Future is Bright

Foundant entered the grants management market 10 years ago at an average price of $3,500 when everyone else was charging $30,000 or more. “They” said we’d never make it. Well, here we are… our competitor’s prices have come down significantly and Foundant now sets the standard on fair pricing. And we’re going to do it again with CommunitySuite.

The Community Foundation market has been held captive by sub-par technology offerings and extravagant pricing. Our values dictate that we need to “do the right thing” here and we look forward to disrupting yet another market with a solution that truly helps Community Foundations achieve their mission.

To learn more about the Foundant-Smalldog merger, visit our information page. To learn more about CommunitySuite, watch this recent webinar.

About the Author

Daren Nordhagen

Daren Nordhagen is one of Foundant's co-founders and original investors. Daren’s high-tech career includes time with Portsmith, RightNow Technologies, and Extended Systems before launching Foundant in 2006. Daren is a Montana native with degrees in Marketing and Economics from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. His vision to maximize the impact of the philanthropic community has been passed down to everyone who works at and supports Foundant and its clients. Daren is actively involved in charitable causes, including as an active board member of the Bozeman Area Community Foundation and the Montana State University College of Business. Although he was raised on a small-town wheat farm on the Great Plains of eastern Montana, Daren has a passion for the mountains and spends as much time as possible enjoying the many outdoor activities available in the Bozeman area.

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