Save the Bay, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with an operating budget of $3.4 million and a staff size of 33. They are an environment and education-focused nonprofit whose mission is to protect and improve Narragansett Bay while inspiring environmental stewardship for those who live in and visit the region.
- Deadline difficulties
- Losing data
- Excel’s reporting limitations
We used an Excel spreadsheet for all our grant tracking and reporting prior to GrantHub. The file had become so large, with so many filters, that we had to keep a whiteboard with a four-month outlook calendar to keep on top of deadlines—and we would still miss them. The Excel file was used by multiple staff members and constantly re-saved, so it was exceptionally easy for things to get missed, disappear, or be filtered out without knowing.
Reporting in our Excel format was another challenge. It took me eight to 10 hours to filter out every program area of the organization to report monthly to leadership and the board on pending, denied, and received requests. I needed to find a way to streamline the reporting process for the organization. Tracking deadlines for requests and reports was pivotal in why we needed software, as we missed some deadlines for both. The ability to have a system that kept a calendar and sent reminders and a system that no one else on the team could “break” was really important to us. You're bound to lose data when constantly making changes and re-saving an Excel file.
I came across GrantHub in 2016 while doing a general online search for grant management software. I researched multiple systems and sat in on numerous demo calls before landing on GrantHub. I was really impressed with the responsiveness of the Foundant team in scheduling demos for me, the price point, and my ability to make suggestions that might make the software easier for our organization to use, as well as other organizations in the future. I just couldn’t walk away from that personalized service, the price point, or the system’s functionality for our organization, which led us to choose Foundant as our software provider.
GrantHub has changed the way my organization works in several ways. Our grant team (of 1.5) is much more efficient now. It’s easy to see what deadlines and tasks are coming up, assign them to the appropriate team members, and plan accordingly. It’s so easy to train new grant writers on the system—especially when we’re working remotely. As an organization that raises funds for multiple programs, the ability to tag each opportunity by program area and fiscal year makes monthly reporting and ad hoc reports easy. Additionally, the ability to duplicate opportunities within funders has been such a time-saver, allowing us to focus on raising funds. We receive many multi-year grants and federal contracts for our programs. Being able to duplicate those opportunities from year to year and change the award amounts each year has helped us see what money is coming in and what the staffing needs are for these grant-funded programs in advance. This allows us to always have a clear picture of where we are financially with grants and federal contracts. GrantHub has also improved our ability to establish our pipeline of grants and budget for the next fiscal year. Managing our pipeline was a full-time job before GrantHub; now, it’s just a part of my overall position and day-to-day work. This opens additional hours for research, writing, grant management with staff, and cultivating relationships with new funders.
Aside from GrantHub, partnering with Foundant has benefited our organization in so many ways. I have taken advantage of the on-demand chat feature many times, and the team is so helpful and responsive. Even when there are issues that can’t be addressed immediately, the follow-through by the Foundant team is exceptional. I wish all companies ran their customer service this way. This team consistently goes above and beyond for their customers.
In addition, the pricing of GrantHub is nonprofit-friendly. I looked at systems that do half as much for double or triple the annual cost of GrantHub. When my role is to bring in funding to the organization, the last thing we need to do is put out thousands of dollars a year to help us with that. The price point isn’t even something we blink at anymore because of how efficient the system makes us as an organization.
Overall, the partnership we’ve had since 2016 with Foundant has been incredible. From developing ways to track multi-year awards to figuring out how best to pull reports where opportunities fall in multiple categories, working with Foundant’s team has been easy, productive, and helpful. Our early adoption of GrantHub has helped us transform and use the product how we best need it and hopefully helped pave the way for other organizations and their use of the system. GrantHub has made my job a million times easier and more productive.
Using GrantHub has helped us develop a robust, multi-year pipeline of foundation requests and anticipated funding to better prepare organizational budgets.
Grant reports went from taking an average of eight hours to complete to approximately an hour.
Completing our pipeline and budget for each fiscal year has gone from taking months to weeks to complete.