Should Grantmakers Move Online?

Online Grants and Scholarship Management vs. Online Applications

Do More With Less

Have you been considering online options for your grantmaking? If you answered “yes,” then you’re probably aware of all the options that are available. Everything from simple Google forms and spreadsheets to huge installed systems with all the “bells and whistles.” And all the information might seem overwhelming if you’re not sure of exactly what you need.

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering online options is to understand whether you’re looking for Online Applications or Online Grants and Scholarship Management. These are two different solutions, addressing separate problems.

Online Applications

Many people believe that “online granting” is just about capturing electronic applications through a website or email, but online applications actually include only a small portion of the bigger picture.

Grantmakers and scholarship programs post application forms on their website or purchase software specifically aimed at capturing online applications.
Primarily benefit foundation staff by saving time on data entry and envelope shuffling.
Do not streamline the entire granting process, nor deliver benefits to all users involved with the grant program.

Online Grants and Scholarship Management

Conversely, true online grants management is a far more robust system incorporating a host of capabilities that allow for better collaboration and more streamlined workflows, not to mention paper, money, and time savings.

Facilitate collaboration between the grantmaker and the applicant/grantee.
Capabilities well beyond simply capturing online application information.
• A more holistic approach that considers the unique workflow for each giving program and provides tools for the three major user groups involved in grant programs:

o Applicants/Grantees
o Administrators/Staff
o Evaluators/Reviewers.

Unique needs for each of the three major user groups are met:

o Applicants/Grantees: “One Stop Shopping” (i.e., a single location) for all interactions with your foundation, access to complete history of past funding requests and grants, ease of use and reliability, real-time status updates on applications/grants, ability to save in draft format, option to print all current and past submitted work, paper-based document conversion capabilities, and collaboration tools for working with the grantmaker.

o Administrators/Staff: Access to all information at a glance, including the number of submittals from applicants, how many grant reports, etc. are due, quick access to details of an application or grant record, ability to—quickly change all forms, reduce or eliminate hours of copying, collating, filing and mailing, total the amount of money the foundation has granted, research an organization’s past grant history, reduce tedious data entry tasks, print information stored electronically with the push of a button.

o Evaluators/Reviewers: Easy to use system, view only their assigned evaluations, print capability, receive applications for review as assigned (rather than all at once), access from anywhere to review and score applications, complete details about current and historical grant information and/or organization if needed, option to not participate in online system, hold more efficient decision meetings.

Should provide for the capture of applications, but also make it easy to receive and evaluate online applications, record decisions, capture grant reports, and measure outcomes.
Should include the option to simplify your workflow, make collaboration easier, and be more responsive to your grantees.

Instead of shuffling paper, manually entering data and performing tedious, time-wasting tasks— it might be time to take a look at managing your grants online with a cost effective, intuitive grants management solution.

Foundant Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM) is an online grants management solution that provides all of the online grants management benefits described above. We invite you to take a look, view a demo, and hear what our clients are saying at or by visiting our booth at any number of our upcoming events listed here


About the Author

Foundant Technologies

For more than a decade, Foundant Technologies has specialized exclusively in making philanthropy easier and more impactful through intuitive technology solutions. All of our cloud-based solutions focus on grantmaker, grantseeker, scholarship provider and community foundation needs with the goal to make day-to-day tasks streamlined and help maximize the impact of the philanthropic community.

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