Managing your organization’s grant-making process can be tough. There are critical community needs, often more requests than can be fulfilled, reporting requirements to keep up with, and just about a million things more.
The tools you use to help you with this work shouldn’t make it even tougher. That’s why finding your best grant management system is so important.
You may have noticed we said “your” best rather than “the” best. There’s a good reason for that! Finding your best grant management system means finding that “just right” fit for your unique needs as you serve your one-of-a-kind community.
The journey to your best grant management system starts long before product research begins. Let’s look at some first key steps:
• Create a list of what’s going well with your current system, so you can be sure you have it in your new one.
• Take note of the pain points you are experiencing with your current system, so you can avoid these in your new one.
• Pinpoint the must-have features and functions for your future grant management system.
• Determine what goes on your nice-to-have features list.
• Gather input from team members who will also be using the system to incorporate their likes, dislikes, must-haves, and wish list features in your decision-making process.
• Develop a picture of ideal applicant/grantee and application reviewer experiences and consider how your new system could accommodate it.
• Look five years into the future and note what features will be needed as your work evolves.
• Define expectations for the service behind your future system, including upgrade schedules, maintenance, support, and what, if any, fees are associated with these.
• Determine short-term and long-term budget considerations and how it will fit into your organization’s budget.
• Create a project timeline that includes an internal needs assessment (you just did it with the steps above!), vendor engagement and research, decision deadline, and implementation target dates.
Would you look at that? You now know what you are looking for, your timeline for implementing it, and are ready to explore which grant management system is the best fit for your team.