Grants management is one of the most intricate processes for grantee and grant seeking organizations alike. The number of constituents involved can vary, compliance requirements may change over time, reporting will depend on what information is needed and by whom, and the overall management of grant tasks and activities can be unique to the organization.
Salesforce has great options for all involved in the grant making, grant management and grant seeking aspects of funding programs. The Elevation Solutions team has extensive experience partnering with organizations to streamline their donation, fund, and/or grant management initiatives. Below are the top 5 things we believe it’s important to know about managing grants with Salesforce.
Outbound Funds Module can get grantees up and running with ease
Outbound Funds Module (OFM) is a free set of products that provide the foundation of a grant management program and form the basis of the Salesforce Grants Management offering. This solution combines standard and custom objects to give organizations the ability to quickly disburse funds with little org stand up. Custom objects included in the OFM are Funding Program, Funding Request and Funding Request Role, Requirement, Review and Disbursement.
Once added to your Salesforce org, your team will be able to define funding programs, create an application process via Funding Request, track the lifecycle of requests, capture reviews and feedback, manage requirements like tasks and activity owners, utilize verification tools, schedule and track disbursements, and view pre-built reports. Want to see the analytics on a specific program? No problem. Need to know the available budget and all requests associated with that fund? You got it.
Other things to keep in mind: Enablement flow is intended to set up most configuration for the user within a day so teams can focus on engagement vs. community set up. Also, OFM can get a little extra power from native Salesforce tools as well. We often see teams utilize forms to automate capturing constituent information.
Grants Management takes things up a level for grantee organizations
In addition to having the capabilities OFM provides, teams gain access to features like Self Registration, Application Mapping, Action Plans, Status Checks, Budget Management and more. More automation and native templates means less manual processes and configuration. Since Experience Cloud is included with the Grants Management license, grant seekers have the ability to apply for your grants, check in on the status of grants, update their profiles, and see personalized reports your team may have created.
Other things to keep in mind: Grants Management is a great solution for teams with a more robust and complex outbound fund process. With this solution you’re going to see a bigger focus on the application process and experience, as well as the reviewer experience. The goal is delegation of key application process components while keeping roles and security in mind. In other words, your Grant Manager’s new best friend.
Nonprofit Success Pack is the go-to tool for in-bound grants
With Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) the entire donor lifecycle is out-of-the-box, including the Opportunities and processes related to various donation types. NPSP’s data architecture is customizable without requiring code and extendable with apps from the AppExchange. This solution is definitely intended to scale with growing teams.
The major theme with NPSP’s grant-related functions is automating tasks so your team can focus on development and constituent engagement.
Other things to keep in mind: Your Salesforce NPSP platform is flexible and can support multiple other processes at your nonprofit like fundraising, program management, communications, and events. It’s best to think holistically about how your other processes tie together with grants so you can have one single source of truth for your processes and data.
Think big picture
When deciding how your team will utilize a grants management solution, keep the big picture in mind. How are your constituents related to not only grants, but other aspects of your organization? Here are some examples of what we mean by that:
- Do you have constituents that receive funds from more than one program?
- Do you have partners that are associated with other partners?
- Are there constituents that are a part of other programs at your organization?
- How else should your constituents be segmented?
- What are the various campaigns one donor has contributed to?
- How are you communicating with your constituents and can these communications be automated?
This is the 360 visual Salesforce bases its product features on. For OFM, Grants Management and NPSP that means comprehensive relationship tracking from one place.
Tap into native reporting and collaboration capabilities
Each of the three solutions we reviewed in this post produce native reports and dashboards that aim to break down silos, disperse relevant information, and empower teams to take action based on accurate and communal information. NPSP has 70 native reports and dashboards for teams to utilize, and your Salesforce implementation partner can help you build even more customized dashboards and analytics.
Lastly, take advantage of collaboration opportunities presented by having all your processes, opportunities, contacts, partners, ect. in one system. Your team can use Chatter for coordination and Task Management or Action Plans for assignments and action items. Don’t forget that mobile is an option with all three of these solutions and makes collaboration that much easier for your team.
Over half of the Elevation Solutions’ consulting team brings strong nonprofit experience to their implementations. We’re ready to share our knowledge with your organization and elevate your technology. Have questions or just want to learn more? Contact us by using the short form at the bottom of this page or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.