In the 1920s, H.P. Lovecraft said:
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown
Deciding to change your grant applications or submission process might feel like a monumental task. You have thoughtfully built a grant management system to deliver what you need. Why fix what’s not broken?
Looking at the grant management process when we started in 2013, we asked the following questions of our clients:
- Is the current process simple for applicants?
- Could it be more efficient for administrators?
- How do you manage a complicated review process?
- Is sensitive data secure?
What we found was a labour intensive paper process which relied on applicants downloading PDF application forms. Applicants then completed these offline and posted them back to the grant management office.
This wasn’t simple, efficient, streamlined or secure.
We set about intimately understanding, in this case, the Local Enterprise Office workflow for grant applications. Our challenge was to mirror where possible what was working offline and bring it online. Implementing new innovations and efficiencies to satisfy each stakeholder, while saving significant administrative time and costs.
Are you currently researching the move to an online grant management system? Or do you already understand the huge benefits, but your managers & colleagues aren’t yet convinced? Whatever stage you’re at, here are some benefits of making the switch to help bolster your argument.
Presenting applicants with a process that includes downloading and printing forms; completing them by hand, scanning, and finally either emailing or mailing creates unnecessary pain for candidates. We have proven that moving your process online can increase grant applications significantly. Applicants particularly appreciate the ability to save a draft online and return when it suits. With Submit, you can see how many drafts are in progress and even reach out to offer support in completing the application. This level of transparency was never possible with the old way of just allowing applicants to download a form from your site.
Our clients have also found by using Submit’s professional grant management system it helps attract professional, better-quality applicants who appreciate the convenience & accessibility of a digital interface.
Save valuable time
Submit encourages regular feedback sessions with our clients. Through this, we have learned that our grant management software has saved up to 17,493 work hours a year for some of our clients.
Your time is best spent with your clients maximising their chances for success. Importantly, with a digital submission system like Submit you don’t have to worry about manually tracking applications, emails or regularly troubleshooting human-error. Above all, Submit saves you valuable time significantly reducing admin and support effort, allowing you to concentrate on the high-level priorities that will fuel you and your clients succeed.
Significantly enhance communication
How many times has it happened to you that the communication piece of your application process has broken down into areas such as:
- The physical post went missing.
- Email addresses misspelt or going into spam
- Applications only partially or incorrectly completed
A grant management system such as Submit can significantly reduce these errors by securely centralising the whole process online.
Another significant benefit to grant management systems is collaboration tools. Allow reviewers, third-party committee members, and administrators access to the system securely anytime and anywhere. They can share notes, apply labels, give detailed feedback on applications and, communicate with all parties all without leaving the platform. No more email back-and-forth, long group meetings, or searching for review notes.
You can also quickly and quickly update applicants throughout the process. Automated communication eliminates time spent manually providing status updates for every application, while preventing applicants from feeling “kept in the dark”—a real win-win.
Security, compliance & data protection
When we set out to build Submit security and data protection was always at the core of how we structured the app. One of the major flaws with a manual grant application process is the use and sharing of physical paper applications. In some cases, these forms hold very sensitive personal information with which you as the data controller has legal responsibility.
With the introduction of GDPR on the 25th of May, the requirements on you the data controller of all that grant application information is significant. It raises a lot of questions
- Can you continue to use paper?
- Can you continue to share sensitive grant applications with external reviewers via post?
- Where does the paper forms end up?
- Are they physically locked away in the office at the external reviewer’s place of business?
Having a secure online grant management system significantly reduces your risk to all of the above. But, we decided to take it even further. We spent the past six months consulting with data protection specialists building additional layers of security and transparency into our system. In addition, we made changes to our forms to make sure all the information gathered is compliant with GDPR.
No two clients of Submit are the same. They all have different workflows. Yet, what all our clients have in common is the requirement for versatility from a grant management system. We work with clients to ensure their workflow is only ever improved upon not replaced.
Want more reasons? Check out five benefits of a grant management system.
So, are you ready to:
Streamline your workflow?
Radically improve and professionalise your communications?
Embrace positive change?