February 14, 2018

Improving the Regranting Experience

Why those individuals who play the role of both grant seeker and grantmaker have the most helpful insights but encounter the most stress.

The expression “stuck between a rock and a hard place” doesn’t exactly conjure up enjoyable images. So imagine spending the majority of your work day in this unfortunate location.

For some foundations and nonprofits, there is a clear distinction between the roles of grantmaker and grant seeker. They are two different organizations on opposite ends of the granting process, and while their jobs and missions may be closely intertwined, their focus, needs, and wants may be in contrast.

But other grant professionals exist in a unique and often challenging place -- both roles. Many of our clients -- namely state governments  and regional offices of large charities -- play both the grant seeker and the grantmaker at different points in the process. They may solicit funds from federal or larger resources, but then turn around and distribute those funds to local, smaller organizations, departments, or even individuals.

With different stakeholders, different rules and dozens of other disconnects, how do these regrantors not only survive, but thrive in their roles?

Giving and receiving, and trying to keep it all straight

The program managers at this state or local level are positioned at a unique part of the process and have the ability to see in both directions.

Their experience as grant seekers -- researching grant opportunities, developing plans and budgets, and going through the application process -- ultimately makes them better grant makers as they understand what it’s like to be put through the often rigorous process of submission. And their experience as grantmakers -- deciding what information best qualifies a grant application, managing the process, working with reviewers, and empowering grantees -- makes them more conscientious and thoughtful grant seekers.

Yet this is where the rock and hard place appear all too often. Despite their knowledge and experience -- or perhaps even because of it -- these individuals find themselves frustrated. They know the processes they are experiencing on either end could be better, but may not have the ability to change them. And even if they could, their intentions are often thwarted by the amazing amount of work both these roles can consume.

A streamlined process on either end would be a great start to improving the workloads of these important grant players. One that goes end to end would be a life saver.

Grants management software for regrantors

Grants management software can do dramatic things for grantmakers, particularly those who are also bogged down with the work of being a grant seeker. A cloud-based platform that allows for the easy collection of customer applications, effortless administration of the program, automatic assignment of reviewers, instant scoring of all reviews, and integrated reporting of awards and their impact could save hundreds of hours, not to mention stress.

An even more robust, tailored system that also helps manage grant opportunities, application status, and incoming funds could uncover even more time and cost savings.

Through our partnership with eCivis, we have already seen the tremendous improvements such a set-up can make to regrantors. When combined with our Zengine grants management platform, it’s a start-to-finish system that not only organizes, but simplified all the reporting often required for federal-source grants.

Teams that manage twice the work shouldn’t have to do twice the work. Consider how a grant management system could help your organization streamline the movement of funds from outset to in-action.

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