How Flexible Grants Management System Platforms Can Bend to Suit Your Needs
We often hear a familiar refrain from foundations: we’d like to upgrade our grant process but have a variety of systems to manage different parts of our process. Where do we begin?
Many foundations today are choosing to use a mix of different systems to round out their grants process simply because there are so many good software options to choose from for every task. One approach to deploying this strategy is to invest in a mesh network with ‘best of breed’ software solutions. A Best of Breed strategy utilizes very specialized software from a variety of vendors. While there are some advantages, this requires a significant investment to find the right pieces of the puzzle, not to mention who will assemble and maintain it. Another option is to find a full-service enterprise product solution that has complete functionality.
While those two strategies represent two ends of the spectrum, there is a middle ground that we recommend because it’s the best of both worlds. We use the yoga analogy because, much like yoga provides enduring benefits for many years, when configured and implemented properly, a truly flexible grants management system is a healthy solution for a philanthropic foundation that has evolving needs. Instead of investing in a more rigid system that only satisfies current needs, flexible grants management system solutions address current and future needs while integrating with other mission critical platforms.
This blog post won’t give you the answer to which grants management system you should buy, mostly because it’s important that you research the market and understand your needs from both internal and external perspectives. That said, it’s not about buying the cheapest or most expensive grants management system. It’s about choosing the one that is good at managing the majority (90%+) of your requirements and has flexibility to integrate with other systems.
Case Study – Rotary International
Rotary is among the top 10 global foundations supported by 1.2 million Rotarians. Rotary approached Business Solutions, Re-Solved and SmartSimple with a goal to implement a grants management system that integrated with their existing Peoplesoft (Accounting) & Netforum (CRM) applications as well as their REST and SOAP based protocol services (for data communication) WHILE maintaining Rotary’s unique look and feel of its corporate brand in the grants management system.
Armed with a combination of best of breed principles along with SmartSimple’s GMS360° solution, the project was managed as a creative collaboration between Re-Solved and the Rotary Design & Usability teams. By employing the hybrid approach, the team achieved its objective of making Rotary’s system more efficient, faster and easier to use.
Re-Solved and SmartSimple will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, June 22 to tell the full story. Register here to reserve your spot.