Why Salesforce is the Perfect Solution for Grants Management

Earlier this year, we touched on why a CRM is critical to government agencies and how the public sector is long overdue for an upgrade. Now, in the wake of some big recent funding announcements from the federal government, one area in particular to focus on is grants management.

Grants management is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of philanthropic giving — from eligibility and application to application reviews and evaluations, all the way through grants distribution and real-time outcome tracking. It’s a lot to keep track of, to say the least, and oftentimes with large sums of money involved. 

Just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $7 billion in solar grants to 60 different beneficiaries (states, territories, tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits) as part of its Solar for All grant competition designed to deliver residential solar to more than 900,000 households.

Now, imagine distributing those grants and keeping track of every aspect of that program – with so many stakeholders and so much money involved – using disjointed, legacy systems. This is where grants management software, like Salesforce’s Grants Management solution, which gives grantmakers the ability to manage funding programs, engage with grantees, and deliver on their philanthropic mission, is imperative.

Salesforce Grants Management

Salesforce Grants Management is purpose-built for grantmakers to streamline their processes and get critical funding out to their communities quickly. Its features are designed to connect grants and programs, simplify the application process, improve the grantee experience, and provide a holistic view of due diligence (and especially critical part of the grantmaking process). 

The benefits of implementing such a software include:

  • Reduced turnaround time: The software can significantly shorten the time from receiving grant applications to awarding them, facilitating faster decision-making and disbursement of funds.
  • Improved applicant (and employee) experience: Applicants can track the status of their grants online, reducing the need for them to contact you for updates. This self-service approach enhances satisfaction and reduces administrative burden, with up to 90% of inquiries being resolved without direct contact.
  • Ease of use for non-technical users: One of the best things about Salesforce is its intuitive nature, and its Grants Management platform is the perfect example of this. It empowers users to create and manage grants without requiring programming skills. This democratizes the process, allowing more people to participate.
  • Streamlined manual processes: The software automates manual processes, reducing errors, improving efficiency, and freeing up staff to focus on more value-added tasks.
  • Quick time-to-market: Leveraging pre-built components (depending on how customized the grant needs to be) allows for rapid deployment of the software, enabling organizations to bring grant management solutions to market quickly.
  • Document management: Gone are the days of archaic filing systems that live in the basements of government buildings. Grants Management seamlessly manages and organizes documents to make them readily accessible. 

So why doesn’t everyone already use a platform like Salesforce Grants Management? For one, which is somewhat ironic, is that funding is an issue. Many of these public sector entities know that their legacy systems are hindering their efficiency and need to be modernized. In some cases, they even already have an older version of SFDC, but their licenses need to be updated. 

But when it comes to having the funding to make the switch, it can be hard to come by. With that said, it’s worth noting that when you receive a large grant from the federal government, there is typically administrative money incorporated into the sum that can be used for staff and systems, like Grants Management.

Studio Science and Grants Management

Studio Science is no stranger to helping the public sector leverage Salesforce Public Sector Solutions. When it comes to Grants Management, we are currently in the process of helping a large state’s Department of Workforce services scale through the implementation of five grants to their system, which will ultimately help them become more self-sufficient while strengthening their security and avoiding fraud.

Why do we share this? Because when governments give away money – especially when it goes directly into the hands of constituents – there is inherently fraud that takes place. We saw that in record numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic assistance programs. With each new grant we build, we design with security in mind to help ensure grant funding is going to those with the greatest need. Additionally, the more we do this, the more we hone a uniform process that helps build the next ones more efficiently and effectively, ultimately getting them into operation more quickly. 

When it comes to grant distribution, there’s usually no rhyme or reason to its timing. With that said, one thing is for certain and that’s the need for this type of software is only going to become stronger.

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