5 Ways to Boost Grant Management Efficiency with Salesforce

5 Ways to Boost Grant Management Efficiency with Salesforce

With an ever-increasing demand for grants, grant makers are having to get smarter in the ways they select and manage their grantees, and evaluate the impact of their support. To do this, they are turning to digital, using solutions like Salesforce and other third party apps to reduce administration, streamline processes and increase intelligence.

At Economic Change CIC we have supported over 30 infrastructure organisations who work with non-profits to improve the work they do and the value they give to their beneficiary organisations, so we wanted to share some top tips.

 

Too many applications to manage?

Providing free support has its implications. Demand is high and quite often resource is limited. It’s also a competitive and selective process. To help you quickly sift and filter suitable applicants, you can introduce initial EOI online forms* on your website to check eligibility of applicants. Those which meet the initial eligibility criteria are then emailed an online application form to complete. You could limit the number of applications you receive and cap entries. If an online application has a set of open and closed questions, a CRM can enable more quantifiable questions to be quickly sifted against criteria to shortlist suitable applicants within the CRM.

Need to increase assessment teams?

An increasing number of applications inevitably increases need for more assessment resource. You could expand access to your CRM via Salesforce Community Licenses to give external stakeholders the ability to login into the CRM to access and read applications and to complete a series of fields related to assessment criteria. This approach ensures transparency and consistency in the assessment process and speeds up administration for all those involved. If you don’t want to invest in community licenses, you could invest in Conga Composer, to enable you to print off applications in bulk!

Grantees want to connect?

You could create an online directory of grantees which exposes data from Salesforce to share with others, or to introduce a Salesforce Community with public and private chatter groups to help grantees develop partnerships for B2B sales, referrals or tenders.

Want to offer more than just money?

If you want to offer training, consultancy or mentoring, you can use Salesforce to gather information about organisational need, match suitable consultants/volunteers and track deliverables around this support. You could also use online forms or community licenses to empower the stakeholders who deliver the support, to feedback on their deliverables and subsequent outcomes of the beneficiary.

Want to shout about your impact? 

If you want to monitor the impact of your support, you can create online reporting surveys that trigger at timely intervals by email, to request impact data back from grantees. Once the beneficiaries have completed their report, the data is automatically entered into the CRM system and aggregated into an impact analytics dashboard to give the big picture.

*Online form tools mentioned above include the use of Form Assembly and Clicktools, or alternatively a visualforce page within a Salesforce Community environment. We’ve found these have been the best solution for our clients.

Check out what some Grant Makers have to say..

 The Fore

The Fore is based on a funding model successfully piloted by the Bulldog Trust and Golden Bottle Trust between 2012-2016. The pilot showed strong results as well as high demand from small charities, and so the founding funders decided to scale up the model. With scale as the aim, it was crucial that The Fore’s funding processes and grant-making systems would be compatible with growth. The Fore invested in Salesforce and worked with Economic Change to customise it to meet its needs.

The Fore runs several open application processes a year and experiences very strong demand, so it is important that the registration process—which is managed via Form Assembly—can be capped. During the first funding round 400 charities registered within 26 minutes, and the cap worked perfectly. The information generated during the registration and application process is captured and categorised in Salesforce. Applications can then be grouped and shared with consultant grant assessors, who document their assessment on the system. They work on the system through a limited Community License, which keeps the costs low. The due diligence process contains several stages, and all assessments are captured in Salesforce. This can be quality controlled by the Head of Grants, before generating funding panel reports via the use of Conga for the decision-making panels. Monitoring and payments are also managed via the system, making it a highly scalable end-to-end process.”

Plunkett Foundation

“Salesforce CRM has revolutionised the way Plunkett supports the communities we work with. It has enabled us to manage the whole process, from allocating consultancy support to awarding bursaries to start-up community co-operatives, more effectively and efficiently and has meant we can support even more community co-operatives to begin trading. Using a third party online form app has meant we now have a closer relationship with communities in determining their impact on the communities they serve. The expertise of Economic Change and their understanding of what Plunkett wants to achieve means we have not only been able to implement a system that fits our needs and greatly improves Plunkett, but we also now have the confidence and ideas to develop our Salesforce CRM further.”

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