Part of the mission of philanthropists is to strengthen the non-profits they fund. In addition to giving funds related to specific projects, foundations can help non-profits grow in various other ways. Grant management software like CommunityForce’s can help foundations gain more visibility into the grantmaking process so they can use their assets more effectively.
A recent report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that many non-profits believe foundations don’t fully understand their challenges. Only slightly more than half of non-profit leaders reported feeling that their funders were aware of their specific struggles. Less than one-third indicated their foundation funders were using their funds in a way that was helping them overcome these struggles.
The report also found that many non-profits seek help in three specific areas:
- Meeting demands for their services
- Implementing technology to meet demand more effectively
- Develop leadership skills
Better grant management helps non-profits reach their goals
Foundations undoubtedly want to help non-profits achieve their missions. However, they may lack insight into what these organizations really need. Many foundations themselves still need technology to meet the demands for their services. With so many non-profits competing for limited funding, it can be difficult for philanthropists to give each proposal the time they would like. The first step in helping non-profits achieve their goals could be for foundations to first implement more effective tools themselves.
Grant management software automates the review process so that grantmakers can more effectively make decisions. By removing many of the input-related tasks, these platforms open up significant time for review boards to look over applications that matter.
Investing in better tools can increase visibility throughout the decision-making process, including due diligence and final review. When it comes to developing leadership skills, foundations can use their increased transparency to help strengthen nonprofit boards.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote that foundations can actually work to improve non-profit boards by sending a message that they believe in the importance of good governance. Many foundations don’t directly inquire about the board of directors during the application process, but doing so can communicate the need for a strong board of directors. Foundations can also consider governance in their final decisions when necessary.
The grantmaking process is time-consuming and there are many elements to take care of. To truly make an impact, foundations need to invest in improving their own processes, so they have more time for face-to-face conversations with non-profit leaders.