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Ten Criteria For Evaluating A Grant Management Solution

Written by abilainc on . Posted in Grants & Giving, Technology

Below is an excerpt from Joan Benson’s recent article in the April 2012 edition of Canadian Fundraising & Philanthropy magazine online.  Read the full article here. If your organization relies heavily on grant funding, you’ll need an automated system to address every stage of the grant life cycle. The top ten characteristics I recommend you look for when you’re evaluating a grant management solution are:
  1. Ability to track and measure success or outcomes – Every nonprofit is different.  When evaluating a grant management solution, make sure it allows you to define, measure, and report on the key outcomes important to your organization.
  2. Intelligence dashboards – Quickly communicate the performance and results for any program, grant, or application giving you the ability to quickly respond and make adjustments.
  3. “Right” reporting – You should be able to configure reports just the way you want or need them. Look for a solution with a user-friendly interface and workflow that employees at all levels of experience will find easy to use.
  4. Collaboration capabilities – The best solutions feature communication and collaboration elements to help you keep track of contacts and deadlines, create budgets and better manage the grant pipeline.
  5. Document management – Seek out a solution that enables you to quickly store, access and update documents for each grant, relationship and application across the entire organization.
  6. Advanced budgeting capabilities – Make sure any grant solution you are considering includes budget building tools by item or dollars, quickly creates pro-forma budgets for grant applications, and integrates with your financial accounting solution.
  7. Access – Grant writers and program managers are often offsite. A web-based grant management solution will allow staff members to maximize productivity and efficiency across the organization.
  8. Grant application tracking – Complete date tracking, reminders, shared documentation and a common contact list allow faster compilation of application components and, therefore, a higher funding ratio.
  9. Strong internal controls – Help ensure the highest levels of accountability and security, building your organization’s credibility and ensuring donors’ trust.
  10. Seamless integration with fund accounting and CRM solutions.
What criteria have you used to evaluate a grant management solution?   Joan Benson Product Marketing Manager Sage Nonprofit Solutions

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