By Andy Cummings
If you have a flood of incoming grant requests, you need a solution that makes it as simple as possible to collect the right information, route requests through the organization for approval and payment, and report on your program results. Still, more than 75 percent of foundation executives don’t fully understand the benefits of technology, according to the Grants Managers Network (GMN) and Technology Affinity Group’s (TAG) 2014 Grantmakers Information Technology Survey Report.
What is holding them back? Like any habit or process you have become accustomed to, the change of adopting a new system or technology with perceived complexity can cause hesitation.
At my company, Versaic, we understand this fear of change. We have worked with hundreds of companies, from small to Fortune 500 and across a spectrum of industries, developing a wealth of best practices and insights. Let us debunk the following fear-inducing myths about grants-management systems:
1. It’s too expensive
The truth is many grants-management platforms are too expensive. This is because they fail to share the hidden costs of implementation of their software. With these systems, when the program goes live and changes need to be made, the company will then charge significant fees to incorporate these changes or add new features to their modules.
Before selecting a grants-management system, make sure there is a dedicated client-service team behind the software at no additional cost. This allows for ongoing product improvement based on your feedback, which saves you time and money.
2. Implementation will be a long and difficult process
Software companies don’t always have the best reputation for making implementation a painless process. Who wants a slow, painful process when you're already super busy? It is paramount that software providers focus on client’s needs and goals during implementation.
Research what the software provider's current clients say about their implementation experience. What we hear from Versaic clients is that they care about making their teams as productive as possible, as quickly as possible. Thus, the Versaic system is typically implemented from start to finish within about a month. That’s no different if you’re switching over from another vendor (in fact, in most cases it is much quicker).
3. Extensive IT involvement will be required to administer the system
There are many grant solutions out there, but not many that value a partnership approach as an integral component of their system. Packaged solutions have more of a do-it-yourself (or have-IT-do-it) model. A versatile software platform and an expert client-success team are necessary ingredients for impact. Make sure to look for a software provider that partners with you, ensuring your system is up to date and reflecting any and all changes and updates that need to be made.This eliminates the need for your IT team to get involved in either the set-up or ongoing management of the system.
So there you have it. There is no reason to fear an online grants-management system that works the way you work. In fact, an online system allows you to better align your grants program with the mission of your organization and engage more effectively with your community and stakeholders in a way that is accessible, transparent and responsive. In turn, you are able to make better philanthropic investment decisions and gain insights about your impact on the community.
Image credit: Pixabay
Andy Cummings has been with Versaic since 2003 and has been instrumental in building Versaic’s leadership position in the sponsorship and philanthropy markets. Over the years, through his extensive knowledge of Versaic’s product architecture and thousands of conversations with clients, Andy has built a solid understanding of how the Versaic platform can be adapted to create the most relevant applications and client solutions.You can reach out to Versaic via Twitter (@Versaic) and Instagram.
To learn more about how Versaic's software can help your corporation gain insights, save time, and build your brand email email@example.com or call 877-712-9495.