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Reimagine Grantmaking with a Salesforce Solution 

Posted in: Blog
By: Pamela Fitch

For many foundations, managing grantmaking can be a highly manual process. Information may exist in multiple places, systems, or live exclusively with specific individuals working on the grantmaking team. The intellectual capital may not feel like it belongs to the organization itself. In contrast, a purpose-built foundation management system can transform every aspect of vital organizational processes including grantee relationship management, grants management, measurement and evaluation, compliance, fundraising, event management, and finance.  Implementing the Salesforce platform, combined with other best-in-class products, can improve efficiency, streamline processes, and ultimately improve and expand the impact of any nonprofit organization. 

Our Approach: Solutions to Reimagine and Advance Foundation Management

The first step in any Salesforce implementation project is a deep and detailed discovery process. Clients need a trusted guide to take inventory of their system requirements and find opportunities for organizational transformation. We offer advisory services for best practices on Change Management as well as helping you develop organizational theory of change and program logic models. We are transparent and realistic with our clients about the scope of their journeys because the launch of a new system is just the beginning. Long-term success is defined through high-level, strategic conversations and requires buy-in from all stakeholders involved. 

As a Premium partner founded in 2005, Exponent Partners has one of the longest running practices serving philanthropic institutions using the Salesforce platform. With decades of combined experience in the sector, our team has seen it all. Not only have our consultants worked on large, complex grantmaking technology projects, many of them have been on the other side of the equation in previous roles at grantmaking organizations.  

We understand the wide range of unique challenges that organizations face:

  • Defining success. High-level strategy and planning that ensures your project aligns with your organizational mission and that there is staff buy-in throughout the organization.  
  • Finding the best solution. Selecting the right product that will not only be an improvement from the current system but also continue to grow as your organization’s needs grow.
  • Exceeding technical expectations. Building successful integrations across all the large scale systems used by all the teams at your organization, including the smaller tools grantmakers rely on to accomplish their day-to-day tasks.  

This understanding also allows our consultants to guide clients away from the common pitfalls of a technology implementation. We frequently bring client focus back to the project objective and the mission of the organization as a whole. Staying grounded in your organization’s mission and desired program outcomes can serve as a critical reminder throughout the course of a complex implementation project. 

Looking Ahead: Events & Industry Trends

We invite you to join us at two upcoming virtual conferences, the annual PEAK2021 Grantmaking conference from May 4 – 13, 2021, and the Good Tech Fest from May 18-19, 2021. Both events provide an invaluable opportunity for the leaders in our philanthropy practice to hear and learn from colleagues about emerging trends and innovation, which ultimately allows us to serve our clients better. 

PEAK2021 Grantmaking Conference

This year, we are particularly excited to dig into the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion in the grantmaking process. As more organizations work towards ensuring equity is interwoven into all aspects of organizational culture and practices, we also must consider how this translates into the technology that grantmakers use to design their grantmaking systems. Our May 10th PEAK2021 session —featuring our client changemakers at the United Way Bay Area — provides an example of how grantees can use Salesforce technology to ensure more equitable program outcomes. The session titled “Equity Dashboards: Moving Beyond Theory Towards More Equitable Program Outcomes for BIPOC” is ideal for grantmaking professionals who seek to develop and/or fund more equitable programs. Also, our virtual booth will offer a spotlight on a handful of small, below the radar, BIPOC-led nonprofits curated by our staff.

Good Tech Fest

Then, join us on May 19th for our Good Tech Fest session titled “Philanthropy at a Crossroads: An Inside Look at the Latest Salesforce.Org Grants Management Solutions to Meet this Moment.” The session will discuss the unique opportunity the pandemic has presented to engage grantees and grant making differently. The philanthropy sector can loosen the fetters of institutional processes to ramp up impact, to fund innovatively, and encourage projects that address structural issues limiting equity during this public health crisis and beyond. Listening, flexibility, speed, and leveraging data with an equity lens are all hallmarks of the new moment in philanthropy. Our colleagues from will provide a live demo of their new Grants Management solution, answer questions, and discuss how it fits in the new paradigm.  

Get Started on the Path to Strategic Grantmaking and Foundation Management

As seismic shifts rattle through the sector, many grantmakers are undergoing major change to meet the moment. Projects—whether strategic, change management, fundraising, events,  or grants management—can be huge undertakings, and can seem overwhelming especially to an organization where time and investment is limited. Given our significant philanthropy portfolio and extensive expertise in the grantmaking process, this is where the consultants at Exponent Partners can help. If you are considering a Salesforce implementation for your organization, we want to talk to you! Schedule a free initial consultation with the Philanthropy Team at Exponent Partners to learn more about how a Salesforce implementation could transform grantmaking, and more, in your organization.