Many companies in the business world have started accepting applications online through software like grant proposals or grants and scholarships and there’s no reason why foundations shouldn’t follow suit. It is extremely difficult to manage an influx of paper-based applications, whether they come in the mail or as an attachment in an email message. A significant number of errors can take place before the grant proposals even come under review.
There are many compelling reasons to consider accepting grant proposals online through a grant management platform. A major one is that it will reduce costs over time. In this day and age, it’s likely that your foundation receives a fair number of applications as attachments. How often do you end up printing these out and storing them in a physical folder? The printing and copying costs associated with these processes can add up quickly, and dealing with paper is time-consuming as well. Why allow your team to spend their precious hours filing and organizing paper when they could be strategizing and helping your foundation manage its assets more effectively? Here are five more reasons to consider taking your application process paperless:
1. grant proposals review
Once you set up a grant management solution like CommunityForce’s, all of the incoming applications will be stored in the cloud-based software, allowing easy access for your whole team. However, efficient storage is only the first part. An automated system can help you review grants more effectively by using scanning functions. According to the Houston Chronicle, for organizations with large applicant pools, the software can save significant time and effort. While you may want to review each grant proposal one by one, a lack of time and energy may prohibit this kind of attention. With grant management software, you can cut more quickly to the grant proposals that actually meet outlined requirements.
2. Better data management
When you receive applications on paper, your organization is limited in the ways its able to use that information. You can either take more time out of your hectic schedules to input the data into spreadsheets or some other tracking system, or you can leave the information on paper, where it’s unusable for future endeavors and reporting initiatives. When applications are submitted using a grant management platform, all of the applicant information is stored for future use, including looking up contact information and reviewing former funds delivery.
3. Communication and collaboration
Grant review requires the efforts of many stakeholders who often need to work both independently and collaboratively. Going paperless for the grant application process means that reviewers and other staff won’t be siloed in their separate offices with piles of applications to sort through, Technology Advice noted. Instead, the review process takes place online, which means your team has better insight into what other staff members are doing, and how far along the process is.
4. Transition to more paperless processes
Going digital with grantmaking procedures can be a first step in going paperless throughout the office. Since paper-based processes tend to eat up money wherever they are used, the success of a grant management platform can demonstrate the benefits of eliminating manual processes throughout your foundation and can increase grant proposals.
5. It’s better for applicants
Moving operations to the cloud don’t just improve grant management processes on the foundation’s end, it also makes submitting proposals easier for applicants. Grantmakers can set up intelligent forms, like those offered by CommunityForce, that change queries depending on the previously submitted information, eliminating the need for applicants to answer questions that aren’t relevant to their organization. When the application process is easier for grantees, more will apply, increasing the likelihood that your funding will go to an organization whose goals are in line with your own.
All in all, implementing online grantmaking processes just makes good sense. It’s time for your foundation to consider an alternative to dealing with paper.