4 Reasons Why Your Foundation Should Manage Grants with a Whole Organization Solution

Posted in: Blog

This is a special guest post with roundCorner.

As foundations expand in size and scope, siloed legacy systems become increasingly ineffective for grants management. We find that more foundations are placing their trust in whole organization platforms to handle all their processes around philanthropic giving. Salesforce is one of the most powerful and flexible of these platforms.

Here are four ways that moving your grants management to a whole organization solution on Salesforce can help your foundation have a greater impact:

1. Streamline Daily Operations by Empowering your End Users.

Salesforce’s user-friendly interface leverages the latest in cloud technology. foundationConnect is an intuitive system that lets you manage grants directly on the Salesforce platform. Adopting the Salesforce model of “clicks not code,” foundationConnect is approachable for your system administrators even if they don’t have a technology background.

Many of our clients have used grantmaking systems that didn’t give them the independence to tweak or evolve their day-to-day operations over time. These non-customizable systems keep foundations dependent on vendors to build costly enhancements. foundationConnect allows for increased self-sufficiency, enabling you to easily customize layouts and fields yourself.

Salesforce’s infrastructure also offers state-of-the-art security that is designed to meet the needs of organizations of all shapes and sizes, including more than 30,000 tax-exempt organizations who are using the platform.

2. Integrate Features You Need, When You Need Them.

foundationConnect is not limited to grants management – it leverages a platform that can be applied across your entire organization. By integrating apps from the Salesforce AppExchange, you can use Salesforce for project management, case management, accounting, fundraising, email marketing, human resources, fundraising and more.

Here are some apps we recommend to our clients:

  • SpringCM addresses all of your document generation, document management, and workflow needs.
  • Cirrus Insight brings your email and Salesforce contact record information together, without you ever leaving your email inbox.
  • Salesforce Wave helps you use business intelligence to perform complex data analysis and measure your results over time.
  • Mass email tools like MailChimp, Predictive Response, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot help you track every email with your contacts in one place on their contact record. Select a tool that caters best to your needs for automation and other functionality.

“foundationConnect is a great product with insane amounts of flexibility. It’s able to grow and change with your organization. It’s also really easy to scale up or scale down, and can do just about whatever you want it to do!- Anna Lindgren, Assistant to the President, The Campbell Foundation

3. Manage Your Performance Efficiently in the Cloud.

Reporting inconsistencies are a problem we often hear foundations talk about. How can you make informed decisions in the future when you are unable to measure impact now? foundationConnect lets you customize reports and dashboards in the way that works most effectively for your foundation. When you can schedule and automate the sharing of data across teams, you facilitate faster collaboration and a greater control of your organization’s performance. As your foundation evolves, you can move beyond simple operational tracking on Salesforce, beginning to collect data that helps you make wise choices and drive better outcomes for your grantees.

4. Tap Into a Community.

When you use the Salesforce platform, you access an entire community working together for the Salesforce nonprofit sector. This includes local user groups, the Power of Us Hub, MVPs, training tutorials in the form of Trailhead, and much more. This incredible support system, free for Salesforce users, lets you tap into the collective wisdom of the community when building, adopting, and iterating on your solution.

Salesforce also has the largest partner ecosystem of any tech company in the world. Salesforce customers can trust these partners to help drive innovation and productivity across the foundation. Consultants and system integrators (SIs) provide expertise, deep technical skills, and guidance for foundations that are looking to implement Salesforce and foundationConnect. Exponent Partners is one of foundationConnect’s implementation partners.

In Conclusion…

We believe that a grantmaking system should not only keep up with your organization, but empower your foundation to transform its philanthropic giving. Salesforce technology allows you to put grantees at the center of your foundations, providing the support necessary to focus more on your mission and less on administration. To learn more, visit the teams of foundationConnect and Exponent Partners at the the PEAK Grantmaking 12th Annual Conference (GMN2017) this March!