Is Your Grants Process Efficient?

Is Your Grants Process Efficient?

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Is Your #Grants Process Efficient? @Versaic blog looks at question from @grantsmanagers #GrantsManagement

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Versaic looks at the how of grantmaking in a 6 part blog series.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 3:15pm

CAMPAIGN: The How of Grantmaking


Are we efficient in our internal processes? This is the third of five core questions the Grant Managers Network suggests grantmakers answer as part of its informative report Assessing The How of Grantmaking. What is the average processing time from grant application to payment? How much does it cost to process grants? How many proposals can each grant manager handle? These are critical questions that help foundations understand if they’re accomplishing all they can with the resources they have available.

Help clients spend time on the things that matter is something of a mantra around Versaic. Repetitive tasks, inputting data into a system, integrating information from different formats, creating cover letters from scratch, manually processing check requests – these are things that keep grant managers from focusing on the mission-focused work of the foundation. Sure, it’s important to process the grant payment but making that single task – and others like it – as efficient as possible makes all the difference for busy grant managers so they can spend time choosing the best proposals and engaging with grantees to ensure success. It’s hard to create an impact if you can’t even quickly create a simple report.

Here’s a common scenario that we encountered recently with a client. A big goal for this corporate foundation is to continue increasing the amount of giving in their focus areas. They’re experiencing success with their program and it’s a huge source of pride to the small team of two who manage the grantmaking that the board continues to increase their budget. When this client started working with Versaic, they were beginning to hit a wall. The grants team was spending copious amounts of time on administrative work – gathering data from prospective grantees, tracking contracts and financials, coordinating volunteers, preparing for audits. They were buried under the details and unable to spend time on the work that inspired them in the first place. Onsite visits, going to events, connecting with grantees are some of the things that fell by the wayside.

For this client, automating their process was the answer but it had to be done carefully and deliberately. The personal touch is important to this organization and they didn’t want to lose that in the process so we helped them understand that automating routine tasks frees up time to connect in more direct ways, in person or by phone or personal note. Some software products still require the customer to input data manually, which defeats the purpose of automating your grants process. By putting the right solution in place to meet their needs, the team at the foundation was quickly back to focusing on the rewarding work that brings them so much gratification. Projects like board reports that had previously taken days to produce now get handled in a fraction of the time. The team not only feels more satisfied with their work but they know they are doing the most they can to help grantees and ultimately move the dial on social change.

Check out Versaic Grants.

Read the previous post in this series.

Read our blog post on the Automated Personal Touch.