It is an unprecedented age which has seen huge disruption to businesses and communication worldwide, so naturally it has never been more important to plan for the next stage of development.
The grant management system exists to provide businesses with clarity in an efficient way, to ease the stress and confusion caused by much of the current landscape. With employees now remaining and working from home more than any other productive time in history, the tide is clearly turning.
It’s important to discuss how grant management exists across such a wide-ranging number of industries. From local enterprises, to construction companies, to fundraisers…the list continues and is always changing on top of that. So, the question is, what needs to be done, particularly for companies who have not attempted this approach before?
It can be a confusing time for everyone from small business owners to private or public corporations, but getting to that next step is broadly the same. What is important, is in choosing something which will give direct answers and not muddle the message with complications.
Making this application process transparent and smooth to navigate at all parts of the process is what defines the mission statement at Submit. Further on, we will detail specific examples of businesses that have already benefitted from this approach, as well as outlining what to expect in a grant management process and the steps that should be taken along the way. The main aspects of a successful grant management system here are divided into their main purposes, talking about the advantages. These include;
- Application management
- Communication for everybody involved within the system
- Tracking prospects of grants
- Managing overall workflow
A great system ideally makes all the information and data available efficiently and builds towards success. This practice, in turn, will help when finding and obtaining more grants and build funding to achieve goals and grow the business.
This is achieved by co-ordinating staff to stay on message, with respect to the system information and what should be put into it. That would include a given client’s name, contact history and their own funding priorities, how much they would likely award in single grants, and the company’s interactions and grant history with them. The system compiles and organises all of this information, from the company’s own strategy to data on grants and projects, while being applicable for room to grow and manoeuvre in the meantime.
The important factor here is the ease of navigation, and how to operate the system to maximise business success.
Communication and Messaging
A successful grant management system will tell you what is happening within the various facets of a project. It will help manage and link the staff that are managing the tasks, and keep the sponsors informed of any progress of this. Being able to see, even at a quick view, will keep you informed of who is in charge of different aspects of the work, and what they should be tracking or reporting. It puts all the information and data at your fingertips, so you can respond quickly to any problem areas and write accurate reports in the correct timeframe.
In line with being able to follow these projects, the grant history can be accessed by all team members, for the benefit of planning. This would be a full list of applications, deadlines, reports and status of grants that were applied for or pending approval. All related documentation could then be saved to build up a very thorough library, so that everything would become available and easily manageable for team members accessing it.
The more certain and on point all team members are, the more that each member will understand his/her role and this is another positive factor to add to the overall productivity.
Tracking prospects and grant status
This will help with finding additional details on the funders that you would like to work with, keeping the information accessible and providing input for the future. The system would also keep track of any previous companies worked with, while monitoring the present situation of any active grants and the status of proposed ones. This is particularly important to keep track of any that are pending or in progress, so that all parties involved are up to date at any given time.
In addition to this, you can list and follow grantmaking, or funding organizations that may be a good fit for you at a future stage. By assessing their funding enterprises and interests, you could then think about applying for grants should you have a project that lines up with their specific targets.
The status of the grant itself is also important, in terms of making sure deadlines are met and potential is fulfilled. It’s always crucial to know exactly what’s expected at any given time (which refers back to the messaging mentioned above) and a successful system will provide easy access so that the responsible parties can track their progress towards the given targets.
It is important to stay on task for each client and in a successful grant management system, this can be done by ensuring the work does not build up too much. The application should refer to a calendar in order to have each point catered for, to avoid a build-up of deadlines and unnecessary overflow. This will help to streamline and manage the work successfully, giving the opportunity to adjust timetables and duties for the grant program where it would be necessary. In order to manage these projects continuously, sharing the dates with other managers and referring back to the calendar would increase the opportunity for better understanding, and giving access to all members of the team. It is also possible to look at past projects and see what has been accomplished!
One relevant example worth focusing on, in terms of a Submit client; is that of ‘The high fives foundation’, who are based in Lake Tahoe, U.S. This company provides grants for rehabilitation support to outdoor athletes who have had life-altering injuries, and they also work on the awareness of injury prevention. The grant managers previously used Microsoft programmes, word, excel and others to chart spreadsheets and track progress. For small projects, this is perhaps acceptable, but dealing with large amounts of correspondence in the grant management system instead meant that the work was streamlined far more sufficiently. The High Fives Foundation mandate, and their subsequent experience of Submit, can be read along with other examples here.
Why it’s a good decision to use a Grant Management System
To summarise the main points, as the market continues to mature and evolve, trustworthy businesses will be more essential than ever in the online marketplace. In a competitive environment, it is important to relay business information accurately and correctly, making sure that all of these steps (as well as others) and the functions within the software remain clear.
Members of governing bodies can make alterations to their documents easily, and overall have a convenient working approach to features that make a digital filing system so much more secure than a paper one, not least as it can be accessed remotely, or backed up fully in the event of a disaster. This is an additional type of insurance in itself for any company that is practically a free benefit, in a way that a filing cabinet could simply never be.
Another advantage which a lot of companies are mindful of when seeking grant management systems is that of the environmental aspect. Digitization does not affect the natural world in the manner that mountains of paperwork, constant printing and photocopying do. At this stage of the 21st century it is a positive outlook to think of a business that looks to the future in this way, reflecting sustainability and reputation boosting in the process.
The ease and understanding of navigating the system is such an essential part of the business world that it can’t be underestimated. That is why Submit have made it such a priority to have something in place that is transparent, manageable and where you will similarly have help at your disposal along each step of the way.
Members of Submit.com are available to guide your business through all the necessary steps and demonstrate the methods through each phase of the procedure. Any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to get in touch, and we’ll deliver on the very thing your business needs!
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