In the dynamic world of grantmaking, staying ahead and staying adaptable are crucial for achieving real social impact. The recent Salesforce announcement to retire foundationConnect on January 31, 2026, with subscription renewals ceasing after January 31, 2025, has created a clear deadline for grantmaking organizations currently relying on foundationConnect. With the retirement of foundationConnect on the horizon, nonprofit organizations are actively seeking alternatives that not only match their mission but also elevate their grant management capabilities.
Welcome to the first chapter of our blog series, where we embark on a journey to explore a range of options for replacing foundationConnect. Our initial focus: Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking. Be sure to stay tuned for more installments in this series, where we’ll dive into custom builds, Amp Impact, and Outbound Funds. As we prepare for the forthcoming transition from foundationConnect, we understand the importance of finding solutions that amplify our collective mission of driving even greater social impact. In this blog, we’ll shed light on Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking, uncovering its distinctive features and benefits, and why it stands as a compelling choice to succeed foundationConnect.
Understanding Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking
Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking is a robust and adaptable solution designed to empower grantmakers and grantseekers throughout the grants management process. Whether you’re creating funding opportunities, processing applications, reviewing proposals, or granting funds, Nonprofit Cloud streamlines the entire journey. Launched in the Summer of 2023, Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking provides a suite of features to facilitate the end-to-end management of funding programs, from proposal to award distribution. While the licensing model may entail a higher cost for organizations, it grants access to Salesforce’s Industry Common Components, including Omnistudio, Decision Rules Engine, and Document Generation. Despite its relative youth in the market, Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking offers functionality similar to foundationConnect, ensuring a more seamless transition. Moreover, this platform digitally connects systems, enabling the centralized management of the grantmaking lifecycle. It unifies grants and programs within a single system, fostering cross-team transparency and operational excellence, and supports the integration of multiple systems via the Salesforce platform for enhanced efficiency and accelerated funding processes.
Features and Benefits of Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking
Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking distinguishes itself with its remarkable flexibility, setting it apart from other grant management systems. Unlike more rigid, one-size-fits-all solutions such as CyberGrants, Fluxx, or Blackbaud GMS, Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud allows organizations to tailor the solution to meet their organization’s grant-making needs. This adaptability is crucial for organizations with unique and evolving requirements.
This feature-rich platform empowers users with a comprehensive suite of capabilities, including the creation of program and funding opportunities, management of program budgets, administration of grant applications, and the ability to review and decide on grant applications. Additionally, it enables grant seekers to submit proposed budgets, manages award requirements, handles award disbursements, and streamlines the review of amendment requests. Nonprofit Cloud also offers a range of valuable features such as a grantseeker portal template, internal grantmaker outcome management, grant agreements, amendments, and dynamic assessments for site visits.
Chances are with all of these features and the inclusion of Common Components like OmniStudio, you gain the flexibility to create streamlined grant application experiences for both your grantees and staff. However, in cases where the platform doesn’t support a critical feature essential to your business processes, Salesforce offers a wealth of solutions through the AppExchange. There, you can access thousands of apps to support your organization. Furthermore, the open API allows seamless integration with various non-Salesforce-based systems.
Advantages of Choosing Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking
By choosing Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking as a replacement for foundationConnect, you gain access to a platform that’s not only flexible but also scalable, adaptable, and capable of integrating with various systems. Nonprofit Cloud, as a relatively new innovation from Salesforce, will continually receive updates and enhancements. This focus on development ensures that the platform remains at the forefront of grant management innovation, with advanced tools for administrators and developers to create an excellent user experience for both grantees and staff. This choice ensures that you’re selecting a future-proof solution, as it’s where Salesforce will continue to invest, and one that will continue to evolve and improve, aligning perfectly with your long-term goals and commitment to driving social impact in the grants management space.
You can harness the power of data and outcomes with ease, empowering you to make informed decisions and maximize your impact. This flexibility, combined with a rich feature set, makes Nonprofit Cloud a compelling choice for grantmakers looking to drive social impact effectively and efficiently.
Key Considerations when Transitioning to Nonprofit Cloud
Transitioning from foundationConnect to Nonprofit Cloud is a substantial leap that necessitates careful consideration. Beyond evaluating licensing costs, two crucial factors to account for are the intricacies of your architectural setup and the challenges associated with data migration. In the realm of Salesforce architecture, actions, and experiences were historically confined by the underlying data model, thereby constraining organizations to a specific operational framework. However, the emergence of Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking marks a pivotal shift, introducing an unprecedented level of flexibility.
This newfound adaptability underscores the importance of collaborating with seasoned and knowledgeable experts capable of skillfully guiding your architectural decisions. It’s essential to recognize that while you may possess the capacity to implement an array of features, it doesn’t imply that you should. Instead, the focus should be on aligning your architectural choices with your organization’s well-defined business processes. In this innovation, your underlying business processes should take the lead in shaping the user experience, rather than adhering to a prescribed structure.
Additionally, when transitioning to Nonprofit Cloud, factors such as data migration, training, and integration with existing systems remain essential. When moving from foundationConnect to Nonprofit Cloud, you will need a fresh instance. This requires careful consideration of what stays and what goes. Having an intimate understanding of your data is crucial as is the need for thorough data cleansing before the migration process commences. Therefore collaborating with a seasoned data migration specialist, well-versed in your organization’s data intricacies, is highly recommended. In essence, meticulous planning is indispensable to ensure a seamless and efficient transition from your existing platform to Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking.
Expert Guidance for Your Transition
As the foremost experts in grants management systems, Exponent Partners consistently offer invaluable guidance to organizations in the midst of transitioning from one system to another. This holds true for those transitioning from foundationConnect to Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking or exploring alternative replacement options. Whether you’re migrating between systems, the key steps to prepare for the transition encompass:
- Review and optimize your business processes, creating process flows to map out the ideal state.
- Set clear organizational priorities and align them with your mission.
- Engage with various stakeholders, including your grantees, to learn from past experiences.
- Assess historical data and identify essential information for retention.
- Determine the necessary integrations, such as an ERP.
- Work with your finance team to define points of integration and identify critical data and activities that need to be shared between the grants management solution and financial system
By diligently following these steps, you can lay a robust foundation for a successful transition. However, when you’re ready to embark on the next phase of your journey, Exponent Partners is here as your trusted partner. Our comprehensive service offerings encompass the entire lifecycle of your information systems transformation. We can assist with foundationConnect Migrations, Full System Implementations, and Managed Services based on your organization’s specific needs. Notably, our foundationConnect Migration Planning Engagement is tailored for those who might be uncertain about an immediate transition, streamlining the replacement project to ensure efficiency and instill the confidence that you’re headed in the right direction. It’s a cost-effective option for those who need recommendations quickly. With our wealth of expertise, you’ll boldly navigate the intricacies of change and arm yourself with the systems and tools essential for thriving in an ever-evolving world. We’re here to empower your journey.
As the nonprofit sector continues to evolve, it’s crucial to embrace solutions that empower your organization to fulfill its mission. Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking presents a realm of opportunities with its flexibility, scalability, and ongoing enhancements. It’s your chance to future-proof your grantmaking operations and amplify your social impact. In our upcoming blog posts in this series, we’ll delve deeper into additional considerations for replacing foundationConnect. Be sure to check out our upcoming webinar on November 14th, A Nonprofit’s Guide to foundationConnect replacement. In the meantime, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation to explore your options further. Together, we can unlock your organization’s full potential in grantmaking and create a profoundly positive impact.