As sophisticated cloud-based platforms like grant management software become more prominent at foundations, a greater emphasis can be put on communication. With grant management systems, foundations can more effectively store and manipulate data for reporting purposes. Moreover, the proposal review process takes place within one single system. Platforms that facilitate internal communication are an important step for organizations that want to communicate more effectively with constituents like donors and grantees.
Why communication is important
Open communication with grantees can allow both organizations to more effectively meet their goals. An article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy outlined a potential issue preventing these two groups from working together. The writer describes listening to a nonprofit executive director speaking about forward-thinking programs that were particularly inspiring. However, he finished this speech by advising nonprofit organizations against putting such ideas in their grant proposals, which was a somewhat surprising summary statement. His reasoning for this was that innovative projects, which often equate to high-risk projects, could potentially fail and prevent future funding.
Naturally, this isn’t a perspective that most philanthropists want to perpetuate. To counteract this issue, the article suggests that it should be OK for foundations to continue to reward organizations in spite of failed projects, as long as they can demonstrate what they learned from the experience. This will require foundations to engage more actively and openly with grantees, but it may also require that philanthropic organizations work to change this perception by writing blog posts, creating videos, or engaging on social media.
In addition, grantees aren’t the only constituent group that philanthropists need to engage. To perpetuate the work these organizations do, working with their own donors, peer organizations and community leaders may also be necessary, according to a report from Grant Craft.
How software can help
An effective software platform has the ability to enhance decision-making by providing more clarity into grantmaking processes. Having metrics to measure organizational success is more important than ever. Business intelligence tools can help grantmaking organizations report back to their donor bases about their funding activities. Grant management solutions aren’t a magic fix to internal and external communications processes, by streamlining grantmaking processes is an important first step to developing a better rubric for how funding decisions are made, or creating a plan to more effectively relay to nonprofits what the mission of your organization is, and how you can help them achieve their goals.