As foundationConnect approaches its sunset on January 31, 2026 (with subscription renewals concluding after January 31, 2025), the pursuit of information systems that seamlessly align with grantmaking goals has reached a pivotal moment. In this latest installment of our series, crafted to guide grantmaking organizations toward solutions that not only mirror their mission but also elevate their grant management capabilities, we continue to delve into the unique advantages of Amp Impact—an end-to-end program and grants management solution that has witnessed incredible growth over the past three years. Bringing together portfolio management and impact measurement capabilities, Amp Impact provides the foundational structure for managing a portfolio of grants, projects, or programs, along with their associated financial data, impact data, and risks.
If you missed our earlier installments on foundationConnect, such as “Replacing foundationConnect with Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking” and “Replacing foundationConnect with Custom-Built Salesforce Solutions,” now’s the time to catch up and stay ahead
Introduction to Amp Impact by Vera Solutions
Amp Impact, introduced by Vera Solutions in 2017, stands as a robust grants management and impact reporting solution meticulously designed for organizations managing portfolios and seeking to track impact across programs, projects, and grants. Recognized for its excellence in outcomes definition, indicator tracking, and comprehensive reporting, Amp Impact has become a leading choice for grant-makers worldwide.
Elevating its capabilities further, Amp Impact provides robust functionality to manage the entire grantee lifecycle, from concept notes to full applications and reporting. This comprehensive tool goes beyond the conventional scope, facilitating seamless monitoring of program budgets, disbursements, and risk management tied to grants or grantees. Amp Impact stands out as a versatile solution, not merely enhancing the efficiency of grants management but providing a strategic framework for organizations to measure their social impact. Unlike traditional Grants Management Systems (GMS) that primarily focus on application processes, Amp Impact goes beyond by providing robust impact measurement functionality.
Key Features for Grantmakers
- Grants Management: Amp Impact brings data and teams from across the grantmaking lifecycle. From templated concept notes to full applications and subsequent grant reports, it guides organizations seamlessly. Not only that but it supports the entire application process including templates, reviews, due diligence, and of course, budgets.
- Grantee Experience: For grantees, Amp Impact offers a user-friendly online portal that facilitates easy access to calls for proposals, application submissions, progress tracking, and financial and impact reporting. Within the application interface, grantees experience a user-friendly journey, effortlessly identifying and defining the grant’s intended outcomes and associated indicators. Amp Impact not only facilitates this definition process but also establishes a comprehensive reporting framework, empowering grantees to seamlessly input results and report progress against the specified indicators.
- Comprehensive Portfolio Management: Amp Impact offers a suite of features to enhance collaboration and oversight across various initiatives. Some of these features include portfolio details, classification for SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) and themes, implementation work planning, activity tracking, Gantt chart capabilities, excel downloads for budgets, feedback templates, multi-language translation, and a built-in form builder.
- Financial Oversight and Transparency: Amp Impact stands as a guardian of financial transparency and oversight, offering essential tools for effective program budget monitoring. It ensures a seamless process of fund disbursements, allowing grantmakers to schedule and track disbursement status meticulously. This level of transparency provides grantmakers with instant answers to critical questions: “What is my budget for this year? What’s my budget for next year? Where is my money going? And what are the resulting outcomes?” Amp Impact goes beyond supporting grantmakers, equipping grantees with features to define grant budgets and report against actuals, further enhancing financial clarity and accountability in the grant management process. In addition, budgets can be more effectively managed with budget download and upload capabilities, both for the grants management system and the grantee portal.
- Risk Management: Amp Impact also incorporates sophisticated risk management functionality, enabling organizations to identify, monitor, mitigate, and evaluate risks associated with specific grants or grantees.
- Impact Measurement: Grantmakers can identify what outcomes they are striving to achieve while seamlessly measuring, tracking, and reviewing the indicators that feed into a specific outcome. These insights can be used to inform decision-making and improve delivery, and are supported by a variety of features that enable you to not only understand but communicate your impact. These features include Logframes, indicators, targets, auto-aggregation, narrative reporting, IATI (International Aid Transparency Initiative) publishing, and disaggregation. The disaggregation functionality alone makes Amp Impact one of the most sophisticated reporting tools available on the Salesforce platform, one that we’re particularly intrigued by. For example, with Amp Impact you could track the number of people served in the south side of Chicago but by disaggregating the data you can determine how many female Asian Americans within a certain age group were served in that specific area.
Mission Alignment: Exponent Partners x Vera Solutions
We would be remiss if we did not mention our impactful partnership with Vera Solutions. In 2022, Exponent Partners proudly announced a strategic partnership with Vera Solutions to advance data solutions for grantmakers. With over 15 years of expertise in philanthropy, Exponent Partners is committed to efficiently transforming grantmakers’ work. Amp Impact, Vera Solutions’ flagship product, aligns seamlessly with Exponent Partners’ mission, empowering organizations to unlock the real value in their data for real-time clarity and sustainable capabilities.
“We are always seeking trusted partners who align with Vera’s mission and values. We’ve had the privilege of collaborating with and learning from Exponent Partners throughout the last decade and are excited to have formalized a partnership to grow our impact together. Exponent Partners is much more than a rockstar team of skilled Salesforce professionals. We share a mutual passion for driving better data management and impact intelligence in the philanthropic sector and are looking forward to embracing that synergy.”
– Zak Kaufman, Co-founder & CEO, Vera Solutions
As an official implementation partner, Exponent Partners brings its proven experience to deliver top-notch Amp Impact implementation services. Lara Hoke Kimberley, one of the blog authors, holds an Amp Impact Administrator Certification, highlighting our team’s dedication to excellence. Together, Exponent Partners and Vera Solutions are amplifying the impact of the social sector, offering tailored solutions to organizations seeking transformative outcomes and impact management systems.
Key Considerations for Transitioning to Amp Impact
As a partner, we deeply understand the transition from foundationConnect to Amp Impact involves critical considerations to ensure a smooth and effective migration:
- Data Migration, Training, and System Integration: Amp Impact and foundationConnect diverge significantly in their data models and naming conventions. Assembling a team of data specialists, adept not only in data migration but also in change management, is essential. Key factors such as migration, training, and integration with existing systems will be pivotal during the transition.
- Licensing Costs: Keep in mind that licensing costs for Amp Impact will be higher than that of foundationConnect. Despite higher costs, Amp Impact offers extensive functionality and is best suited for organizations managing portfolios above $20 million. It’s also important to note that Amp Impact can work with any Salesforce licenses, including lower-cost Platform licenses. In fact, for those considering Nonprofit Cloud, Amp Impact is compatible.
- Ownership and Product Releases: Shifting away from foundationConnect, which is built on and directly owned by Salesforce, to Amp Impact introduces a shift in relationships. The use of Amp Impact will require managing distinct relationships with both Vera Solutions and Salesforce, each operating on its own release cycle for future innovation.
- Complexity of Transition: Moving from foundationConnect to Amp Impact introduces complexity due to Amp Impact’s unparalleled features. Deep expertise in implementing, maintaining, and supporting the system is crucial, considering the architectural changes that will need to be made. With so many features available to you, collaboration with seasoned experts is necessary to optimize the solution thoughtfully. As a Vera Solutions partner, Exponent Partners is fully trained and enabled on Amp Impact. We work closely with Amp Impact’s product team and solution engineers on client projects to guide organizations through this complexity.
- Navigating Advanced Concepts: Transitioning from foundationConnect to Amp Impact is akin to moving from a sedan to a high-performance sports car. While foundationConnect offers limited functionality (when compared), Amp Impact propels you from zero to sixty, introducing advanced concepts like theories of change, logic models, and comprehensive outcome measurement.
In this journey, having a partner acquainted with the foundational layer becomes crucial, especially if your organization lacks a theory of change. This partner acts as a skilled driver, bridging the gap and smoothly accelerating you toward your mission. Exponent Partners’ specialized team of advisors has a proven track record of guiding organizations in establishing the groundwork for these advanced concepts. Whether your organization is new to these ideas or needs assistance refining them, Exponent Partners ensures a seamless and successful transition, unlocking the full potential of Amp Impact’s capabilities.
As you embark on the next phase of your organizational journey, consider Exponent Partners as your trusted companion. Our comprehensive service offerings span the entire lifecycle of information systems transformation, offering expert assistance for foundationConnect migrations, full system implementations, and advisory services for your organization’s unique needs. For those in transition planning or those who need to make decisions swiftly, our foundationConnect Migration Planning Engagement is a strategic choice. It streamlines your migration project, ensuring efficiency and confidence in the chosen direction.
Whether you’re evaluating existing products or contemplating a custom build, our foundationConnect Migration Planning Engagement provides valuable insights into your needs and potential solutions. With our wealth of expertise, we can help you navigate the intricacies of change with confidence, equipping your organization with the essential information systems you need to thrive in a continually evolving landscape. Reach out for a free consultation, and let’s discuss how we can help you make a meaningful difference. Stay tuned for more in-depth insights and practical advice in this blog series.