Imagine if we consistently adhered to the rule that old ways of working are the best if we can achieve what we desire. This would halt progress and innovation. We’d still be messing with old, bulky computers and floppy disks instead of having powerful smartphones and cloud storage. The same concept applies to application management.

As technology advances continuously, it is becoming increasingly important for organizations to adapt and utilize new tools. Innovation is all about questioning the usual way of doing things to create something better. This mindset is crucial not only for fostering innovation but also for optimizing business processes and operations, allowing organizations to free up business cycles for core competencies. Understanding the evolving needs of the community and the individuals involved in the grantmaking process is equally important, as it helps in prioritizing the specific capabilities that are most relevant to your organization as a grantmaker.

This mindset rings especially true when we consider the traditional application management methods. Sticking to the tried-and-true techniques of collecting applications through newspaper ads or email blasts, followed by a manual and paper-heavy selection process, might seem sufficient. It’s how things have been done, after all. But when you measure the immense time, effort, and resources spent on these outdated practices, it’s clear that “not broken” doesn’t necessarily mean “optimal.”

Now, you may argue, “But we’ve digitized our process! We use Google Forms and email submissions.” Moving to digital forms is a step from paper stacks, but even this modern approach has shortcomings. Have you ever faced an overflowing inbox filled with applications, including many from candidates who need to meet your criteria? Or the joy of downloading endless files, only to discover they’re filled out incorrectly, in strange formats, or worse, corrupted?

From Application to Award: The Advantages of Using an Application Management System

But why should your organization make the switch? What are the advantages?

From attracting top-quality candidates to making the award selection process easy, this modern approach to managing applications offers a range of benefits that traditional methods cannot match. Let’s talk about utilizing an online application management system and the benefits it provides:

  1. Attract High-Quality Applicants
  2. Increase Efficiency and Save Time
  3. Reduce Costs and Resource Usage
  4. Streamline Communication Processes
  5. Minimize Errors and Improve Accuracy
  6. Promote Environmental Sustainability
  7. Enhance Data Security Measures
  8. Easy Award Selection Process

Now that you know the advantages of an online application management software solution, let’s explore these benefits further. This will help you understand why utilizing submission software represents the most efficient method for managing the complexities of your scholarship or grant application processes.

Attract High-Quality Applicants

With online application management software, you can save everyone’s time by filtering out people who aren’t a match before they even start filling out their applications. If they land on your application page, you can pop in some pre-qualification questions and extra info right up front so they know straight away if they’re not the right fit.

So, imagine you’re dealing with an income qualifier in your application process. You could implement a straightforward rule within your application’s workflow that instantly informs potential applicants if they don’t meet the income criteria, advising them not to proceed further with the application form. This approach streamlines the user process and significantly conserves your time and energy. By introducing this single step, you effectively filter out applicants who need to meet the specific financial prerequisites, making the process more efficient for both parties involved.

You’ll be amazed at how seamlessly the suitable applicants begin to discover your offerings once you take them online. Individuals who have never heard of your scholarship, grant, or award program suddenly get the opportunity to apply, all because your program is now more accessible online. A vast pool of potential applicants is actively searching for scholarships and grants. Yet, suppose your program remains hidden in the offline world or buried under the extensive information on the internet. In that case, these eager individuals might need to realize the opportunity your program presents. By adopting robust online software to showcase your program, you’re making it easier to find and extend a warm invitation to those perfect matches. This digital transformation is significant in rolling out the red carpet, welcoming your ideal candidates to discover and engage with your programs, and bridging the gap between their aspirations and your support. Additionally, utilizing an online application management system significantly enhances the management and visibility of funding programs, streamlining your entire process from application submission to award tracking.

Increase Efficiency and Save Time

As previously mentioned, adopting an intuitive online application management system can offer significant time savings for both organizations and individuals. By transitioning to such a system, you can eliminate the traditional and time-consuming tasks associated with application processing. This includes the need to physically print, download, or collect numerous paper applications, which can be both tedious and time-consuming. Moreover, the system eliminates the need for manual entry, automatically populating the system with accurate and complete data, thereby saving time and reducing errors.

Imagine a scenario where your application process transforms, becoming seamlessly refined to the point where all unqualified candidates are automatically filtered out. This leaves you with only the cream of the crop, the top-tier applicants, for your consideration. Envisioning this process is further enhanced by your ability to set specific criteria against which applications are reviewed and scored, enabling a swift and efficient distribution to select groups within your organization for rapid evaluation.

This enhanced scenario reduces the time to sift through countless applications to mere moments. You’ve conserved innumerable hours of employee or volunteer effort and narrowed down your candidate pool to a manageable few without compromising on the quality of your selections. This is the essence of what advanced application management software offers.

Reduce Costs and Resource Usage

You can see how much you’ll save on employee or volunteer hours, but what about all the money you’ll save on things like paper, printing, and postage? Online application management software makes all this possible.

You save on tangible resources like paper and ink, as well as intangible ones like space, to store all those physical applications. Utilizing digital forms means all applications are stored in one central location, eliminating the need for filing cabinets or storage rooms filled with endless paperwork. Applicants can also upload various documents, including transcripts, photos, and referral letters. To further streamline the process, you can restrict uploads to specific file formats, such as PDF or JPG, according to your preferences. This simplifies the entire process and reduces the costs of managing physical applications.

Streamline Communication Processes

Effective communication is vital in any scholarship or grant programs. With online application management software, you can streamline communication by setting up automated email responses to acknowledge receipt of applications, inform applicants of their status, or request additional information if needed.

Thanks to advanced application management software, you can enhance your communication with all program stakeholders. Embedded help resources, online FAQs, and specific questions and answers can significantly reduce the volume of applicant inquiries, ensuring they receive the support they need. This approach frees evaluators and administrators from the redundancy of addressing the same queries daily while still providing timely responses. Instant emails and text messages facilitate real-time updates to your team and applicants about schedules, events, and essential news, keeping everyone in the loop. With just a click, individuals can be promptly informed about application statuses, deadlines, and other crucial details, streamlining the communication process and improving overall program management.

This eliminates the requirements for manual follow-ups and ensures that all applicants are informed. Additionally, with a centralized database of all applicant information, tracking and managing communication with each individual becomes easier, reducing the likelihood of any critical updates or requests being missed.

Minimize Errors and Improve Accuracy

What is the main reason things mess up during the application process? Yep, it’s human error. We’re good at making little mistakes like miscalculating, misreading, or simply misunderstanding. But a robust application management system can do the math and sort out applications for you, cutting down on those troublesome human errors.

One of the most significant benefits of adopting online application management software is the potential to minimize errors and improve accuracy in the application process. With automated systems, you can set up required fields, error alerts, and data validation to ensure that applicants provide all necessary information before submission. Plus, sifting through candidates becomes a breeze when it’s all automated.

This saves time and effort and ensures that all applications are complete and accurate, providing a fair and unbiased evaluation process. Any errors or missing information can be easily identified and rectified, preventing any discrepancies during the evaluation process. This also eliminates the need for manual data entry, further reducing human error.

Promote Environmental Sustainability

In times where we live today, environmental sustainability is a growing concern and switching to an online application management system can reduce your organization’s environmental impact.

While it may not seem like a primary benefit, consider the vast amounts of paper used for printing envelopes, referral letters, and applications by many organizations. Minimizing this paper usage can lead to the preservation of hundreds of thousands of trees throughout the lifespan of your program. This aligns with the current trends of going green and promoting eco-friendly practices.

Enhance Data Privacy and Security

Data privacy is an essential consideration in today’s digital world. With sensitive personal information being shared during the application process, ensuring the utmost security and protection of this data is crucial.

Identity theft has become a bigger problem now than ever before. Cyber attacks have become a common occurrence, and people are understandably apprehensive about sharing sensitive data such as addresses and social security numbers through email or regular mail. However, with an intuitive and secure application management system, you can put your worries and your candidates worries to rest as the system encrypts all data received, thereby providing ironclad protection against cybercriminals and hackers.

Online application management software offers robust data privacy and security features, including encrypted forms and secure servers. With required certifications like PCI, HIPPA, and GDPR, all information is kept safe and secure throughout the application process, and in compliance with privacy laws, you can stay confident and assured that all applicant data is safe and protected from any breaches.

Easy Award Selection Process

An online application management system can make the process of selecting the most deserving candidates for your program easier and more efficient. With all applications stored in one central location, you can quickly review and compare them based on specific criteria and qualifications. Automated scoring systems can also be implemented to evaluate applicants objectively, reducing any subjective bias during the selection process. This system significantly streamlines the grant process, making it easier to manage the lifecycle of grants from application submission to review and award tracking.

With a robust application management system, the award determination process becomes impactful and efficient. A key benefit is the significant reduction in errors, such as the possibility of an award mistakenly going to an unqualified candidate. There’s nothing more disheartening than a team of evaluators forming an emotional bond with an applicant, investing heavily in their potential, only to discover a disqualifying detail in their application later on. With the right system, such mistakes can be easily avoided. Additionally, implementing a grants management system can improve communication, payment, and reporting processes throughout the grant lifecycle, ensuring a smooth and efficient management of grants from start to finish.

Employing straightforward rubrics and automated filtering technologies can streamline your list to include only the most qualified candidates. This approach transforms many decent applicants into a select group of top-tier individuals, simplifying decision-making. After identifying the standout candidates, you can ensure that the announcement and distribution of awards are conducted with equal smoothness and efficiency.

Conclusion

In conclusion, online application management systems offer numerous benefits that can significantly improve the overall application process for organizations and applicants. By leveraging an intuitive application management system, you can notably reduce time spent on administrative tasks to a large extent, cut costs, save energy, and enhance overall efficiency. The most renowned and trusted choice in the market? CommunityForce. It will streamline all your processes, making application management seamless. Discover the full range of features our software offers by visiting our website, or take the first step towards optimizing your application management by scheduling a demo with us today.