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Investing in Grants Management

Investing in Grants Management

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Investing in Grants Management

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  1. Investing in Grants Management Moderator: Guenevere Crum, The Able Trust Presenters: Deborah Hessler, Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation Loretta Duvall, The Children’s Trust Danette Peters, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

  2. Is this your system?

  3. Can a System Get Betterthan Just a Stack? • Of Course! • And that is why we are here

  4. In the Next Hour • Short Activity • Each Presenter on the panel will have 15 minutes • Questions and Answers of the Panel • Final Questions and Comments • Please complete a session survey

  5. Audience Questions How are you currently invested in grants management? What are your anticipated investments in the next year or two in grants management?

  6. Investing in Grants Management Creating A Plan Deborah HesslerEdyth Bush Charitable Foundation dhessler@edythbush.org

  7. Creating the Plan • Preparation • Get the project off and running • Staff buy-in

  8. Preparation • Clear picture of current process • Historical perspective

  9. Optimize Data Systems • Efficient and powerful use of software • Invest in software vendor consultant

  10. Workflow Inquiries Requests RFP Site Visits Determination Notification Payments Reporting Accounting

  11. Off and Running • Think BIG • Engage Staff • Remove redundant tasks • Staff meeting to finalize

  12. Staff Buy-in • Value others opinions and input • Include everyone in the process • Organization-wide change

  13. Benefits of Investing in Grants Management • Eliminate redundancy • Optimal use of software system • Efficient use of Staff time and Foundation resources • Respect of grantees time and resources • Save Time and Money

  14. Investing in Grants Management Presenter: Loretta M. Duvall Senior Internal Operations Manager loretta@thechildrenstrust.org 305-571-5700

  15. The Children’s Trust Mission: To improve the lives of all children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their futures. Vision: The Children’s Trust will become the recognized leader in planning, advocating and funding quality services to improve the lives of children and their families.

  16. The Children’s Trust Revenue and Staff 2007-2011

  17. Reasons to streamline application process Early information systems investments in support of funding were intentionally minimal. Release of the first funding applications in 2004. All major program strategies currently funded were nearing the end of 3-year funding cycles. This, combined with an increasingly scarce funding environment, led us to expect we will receive an unprecedented number of funding applications.

  18. What we had and…… Funding opportunities are posted on website for download and printed for hard copy release. Multiple bound paper copies of applications with electronic copies of documents saved on CDs are submitted via mail or in-person delivery, with paper copy of each retained for public records at off-site paper storage facility. Submissions, reviewer assignments and ratings, and funding recommendations are tracked manually using multiple spreadsheets and lists, separately for each competitive funding request.

  19. …what did we seek? Ability to easily manage and update custom application forms and requirements for various funding opportunities, collected in a centralized database over time. Validation of applicant eligibility prior to allowing a submission to save staff time in technical reviews for identification of fatal flaws. Reduce applicant frustration in investing time on a submission that is not appropriate.

  20. What did we seek? Simplify due diligence by requiring supporting documentation such as Form 990, an automated link to GuideStar to access the tax information so applicants would not have to add those manually. Ability for applicants to save and reuse applicant/program information as well as to maintain a complete history of all interactions. Online management of reviewer assignment and rating processes. Increase reviewer accuracy of scoring and comments since there would be required fields and automated calculations. Reduced time and expense in preparing reviewer materials since all would be accessed online.

  21. Why we needed this change? Realize efficiencies and reduce manual errors in receipt and management of large numbers of funding applications. Reduce frustration, expense and crunch time for applicants to bind, package and physically deliver applications to our doorstep on time. Automatic imported into provider reporting and contract management systems to eliminate staff data entry and reduce time to negotiate contracts.

  22. Why we needed this change? To join the modern grants and funding era. Reduce need to pay for outside storage/archiving of paper documents. Reduce cost for monthly pick up and storage of over 600 boxes at a cost of $2,800 per year. Eight staff is assigned responsibility each month to box, complete inventory forms and pack documents. We average 10 new boxes a month. Each person assigned spends an average of 8 hours/month readying the materials. Reduce need to pay for destruction/disposal of additional copies of submitted applications. Cost is $1,700 per year to pick up three large containers of discarded papers for destruction.

  23. Implementation Project planned with involvement of all staff after buy-off from executive management. Budget approved by board. Implementation period was 6 months from idea to implementation, April 2010 through December 2010. Weekly status meetings, weekend work, quick turnaround on key decisions

  24. Impact The Children’s Trust engaged an independent third-party survey firm, to collect this anonymous survey applicants experience with on-line application. Focus groups with staff and users were also held. Overall both applicants and reviewers were satisfied with the on-line system. The most dissatisfaction was shown in the areas of ease of navigation, print/preview functions, saving comments and marking forms as complete. This issue was discussed within the focus group and most expressed that with practice, the web based review process will help them move towards a paperless process as was intended.

  25. The Reason We Do This

  26. Investing in Grants Management Danette Peters

  27. The Foundation at a Glance • Family Foundation founded in 1953 • Located in Winston Salem, NC • Our mission: Help to move people and places out of poverty • Fund in the Southeastern United States • Current assets $163 million • 9 full-time staff and 2 part-time staff • Process approximately 400 summaries & 100 proposals annually • Award approximately 70 grants annually

  28. Investments made so far... • Started accepting online applications in 2006 • Application questions revised multiple times since implementation • Created outcome tracking system in Microedge • Monitor each grant • Track outcomes across all grantees • Streamlined proposal review process using Microedge • Due Diligence Questions and Answers • Initial and Final Staff Recommendations • Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) survey in 2008

  29. What still needed to Change... • Progress Report • Why ask so many questions? • What do we really need to know? • Final Report • Why aren’t we getting the information we need? • Had to ask clearer questions! • Where are my reports? • Reports not logged in, missing or LOST in ACTION (LIA) • Launched online reporting • Including Outcome and Quantitative data reporting

  30. Reporting Decisions • Grantees DO NOT report directly into outcome tracking fields • WHY? ~~ Garbage In/Garbage Out • One person oversees outcome review and entry process • WHY? ~~ Consistency 30

  31. Online Final Report • Show agreed upon outcomes (read-only) • Quantitative outcomes 31

  32. Reporting in Microedge Shows IGAM email account, online report form published and date Report attachments • Report information automatically populates fields in Microedge 32

  33. Reporting on Quantitative Data • Added the ability for grantees to report directly on quantitative outcomes 33

  34. Reporting • Progress and Final reports (with agreed upon outcomes) printed to route for review and approval 34

  35. Outcome Tracking in Microedge MRBF outcomes Grantee outcomes Grantee results 35

  36. Reporting • Streamlined final report process to include closing the grant file • After final report has been received, outcomes approved and entered – grant file is closed, reviewed/scanned and paper file is shredded • Only paper files in office are active grants Back of Final Report routing form 36

  37. Moving Forward • Annual reviews of outcomes in specific focus areas (i.e., education, housing, jobs) • Continued staff training and learning related to outcomes • Microedge Alta • Communications Plan 37

  38. Make the Time to Invest in Grants Management • It DOES matter • AND • It IS worth it!!

  39. Resources • Project Streamline – www.projectstreamline.org • 6 specialized resource guides • Online assessment tool • Grant Managers Network online discussions • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations • www.geofunders.org • Association of Small Foundations • www.smallfoundations.org

  40. Contact Information Deborah Hessler Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation Email: dhessler@edythbush.org Tel: (407) 647-4322 Loretta Duvall The Children’s Trust Email: loretta@thechildrenstrust.org Tel: (305) 571-5700 Danette Peters Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation Email:dpeters@mrbf.org Tel: (336) 748-9222

  41. Questions and Answers 41