One thing, is the wonderful technical support. The help link is invaluable when I am working in the system. If the help link does not have an answer to help me, then I can ask a question directly to a person. The patience of the staff and their experience has made the transition from paper to online management a positive learning experience.
Sending and receiving applications on time was one of the biggest challenges. Also, the task of making copies for the screening committee was difficult and expensive. A lot of time was also spent in keeping files and reports organized and updated. Separate files were needed for awarded grants and rejected grants. A lot of time that could have been spent supporting and visiting the grantees was spent on clerical work in the office. Many times when using a paper process, LOIs or applications were mailed on time, but not received on time.
With the online grants management system, there is no question about the time the form is submitted and accepted. The ancillary services available in the system (process manager, adaptation of forms, email services, GuideStar integration) are extremely helpful. Our applicants have found the online system easy to use and have commented on the support that is available to them in the system. Many of them had never used an online application process and truly felt that we value their time in serving the needs of others by having a streamlined, online grant process.