GuideStar Partnership - Grant Management Software

GuideStar logo

PhilanTech is delighted to announce that we have partnered with GuideStar to offer discounted access to PhilanTrack® online grants management software for nonprofits to GuideStar Exchange Gold and Silver participants. 

The GuideStar Exchange provides an opportunity for nonprofit organizations to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and share information with potential donors.  Nonprofits can claim and update their reports to provide program and mission information, financial information beyond the information in the organization's 990, and more.  By providing more information, nonprofits can become Bronze, Silver or Gold participants, and receive increasing benefits for providing more information.

With PhilanTrack, GuideStar Exchange Gold and Silver participants can:

  • Find funders: Search currently-available funding opportunities, research past grants awarded by potential funders, and research contacts in the funding organization.
  • Write proposals efficiently: Easily reuse content from past proposals when writing new grant requests and avoid reinventing wheels in each new grant proposal.
  • Manage funder relationships: Track contact information and interactions with funders and prospective funders to build relationships and institutional memory.
  • Track deadlines and requirements: Track deadlines for proposals and progress reports and receive automated email reminders about them.
  • Store grant-related documents: Store your organization's 501(c)(3) determination letter, audited financial statements, annual reports, and other documents requested by funders in PhilanTrack's document library.
  • And more!

GuideStar Exchange Silver and Gold participants can access discounted access to PhilanTrack by going to their "Manage Nonprofit Reports" page, then logging in and clicking "Benefits" to access the relevant discount code for Silver or Gold participants.

Learn more about the GuideStar Exchange.

Learn more about PhilanTrack for grantseekers.

 

GuideStar and the GuideStar logo are registered trademarks of GuideStar, used with permission.
Author: Dahna Goldstein
July 09, 2014, 10:35 AM

6 Signs Your Foundation Should Invest in Grants Management Software

5 signs your foundation is ready for grants management software

If you've been thinking about whether or not grants management software is a worthwhile investment for your foundation, you may be weighing the cost and benefits of buying or licensing software versus just sticking with the status quo, whether that's using a spreadsheet to track applicants, getting proposals in on paper or via email, or something else.

Here are six signs that your foundation should invest in grants management software:

  1. Your grant documents are kept in binders or in filing cabinets.  If your foundation has been accepting paper grant applications or applications via email that are then printed and stored, you may have binders or filing cabinets full of paper grant applications and progress reports.  With paper copies of grant applications and progress, it can be difficult to find the information you need about your grantees when you need it.  Do you find yourself flipping through piles of paper to find information?  Or typing in – or copying and pasting - grantee contact information from applications so that you’re able to keep all of your grantee contact information in one place?  Online grants management software will help you move your application and reporting processes into the cloud and store all grant- and grantee-related information in one centralized online location for easy access and so that you don’t have to manually enter any grant information.
  2. You have at least one board member who does not live in the same city as the foundation's office.  You may even have staff members who work remotely.  Or perhaps you like to work from home every now and then, or you think it would be nice to be able to access your grant information without having to go into the office.  That’s where online grants management software comes in.  Remote staff or board members can easily log into the grants management system to access any needed information.  Whether you’re on a site visit or sitting at your kitchen table, all you need is a web browser and internet access to securely access all of your foundation’s grant information.
  3. The application packets you receive from grant applicants are more than an inch thick.  Or on paper altogether.  Think of the trees!  Many foundations still ask their grant applicants to submit many paper copies of grant applications so that board packets can be compiled.  Increasingly, however, board members, particularly those who are next generation family members, prefer to access information online, rather than paper copies in the mail.  With online grants management software, applicants only need to enter information once, and everyone at the foundation who needs to read or review an application can easily do so.
  4. It takes you hours or days to compile information on the grants awarded by your foundation in the past year or two.  How well is your foundation meeting its mission?  You want to know.  Your board wants to know.  How do you find out?  You see what your grantees are doing with your granted funds that help pursue your mission.  With paper or email applications, you might spend hours or days trying to find that information by looking in different documents and extracting pieces of information to try to put together a comprehensive picture.  With online grant management software, you can collect quantitative information from grantees and easily display visualizations of the outcomes your grant dollars are achieving, and you can compile narrative information at a couple of button clicks to help tell the stories of your grants, rather than spending copious amounts of time manually aggregating that information.
  5. Producing a board book requires lots of copying and pasting, or making many copies.  Putting together a board book can take a day or more.  It requires compiling information from many different documents, then making copies of each board member, and putting those copies in the mail.  Think of all of the time you can save – not to mention the better information you can provide – by compiling a board book in a matter of minutes by clicking a few buttons.  What if you have a board member or two who still prefer to get board books on paper?  You can still print the board book and send it to those board members while your other board members access their information online.  Everyone is able to look at the same thing at the same time, and you’re able to provide richer information with much less effort.
  6. You ask for the same documents from grantees each time they apply, even though you already have copies of those documents somewhere in your files.   Most foundations ask their applicants to submit a copy of their 501(c)(3) determination letter, their audited financials, and other information.  That’s a good practice.  But what happens to those documents once they’ve been submitted?  Do you ask your applicants to submit the same documents each time they apply for a grant, even if you’ve funded them before and even if you have requested those documents before?  With an online grants management system, you can store grantee-uploaded documents so that you can easily access documents submitted last year or for a prior grant application, and you don’t have to require your applicants to keep re-submitting the same information.

You might think, “but wait!  It doesn’t cost my foundation anything to get grant applications in the mail, or by email, and grants management software will cost my foundation money!”  Yes, there is a licensing cost to grants management software, but there are time costs to everything listed above – not only for your foundation, but also for your grantees.  Did you know that 13% of every foundation grant dollar is spent administering the grants (Center for Effective Philanthropy)?  While only 1.5% of that cost is borne by the foundation, 11.5% is borne by your grantees.  Think about how much further your grant dollars will go towards meeting your mission and your grantees’ missions by helping your grantees apply to your foundation more easily, without having to produce multiple paper copies or re-enter information unnecessarily each time they submit a new grant application.

Do you think your foundation may be ready for grants management software?  See how PhilanTrack can help streamline your grants management processes.

Request a demo

 

Photo credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AItalian_traffic_signs_-_semaforo_verticale.svg
Author: Dahna Goldstein
June 17, 2014, 03:09 PM

New Partnerships - Grants Management Software

Grassroots.org logo
GEO logo Philanthropy Ohio logo forum logo

PhilanTech is pleased to announce four new partnerships!  We have partnered with Grassroots.org to offer discounted PhilanTrack for Nonprofits access to their members, and with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), Philanthropy Ohio, and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers to offer discounted PhilanTrack for Foundations access to their members.

Grassroots.org is a nonprofit that provides free and discounted technology tools to other nonprofits to catalyze social change.

With PhilanTrack for Nonprofits, Grassroots.org members can:

  • Find funders: Search currently-available funding opportunities, research past grants awarded by potential funders, and research contacts in the funding organization.
  • Write proposals efficiently: Easily reuse content from past proposals when writing new grant requests and avoid reinventing wheels in each new grant proposal.
  • Manage funder relationships: Track contact information and interactions with funders and prospective funders to build relationships and institutional memory.
  • Track deadlines and requirements: Track deadlines for proposals and progress reports and receive automated email reminders about them.
  • Store grant-related documents: Store the organization's 501(c)(3) determination letter, audited financial statements, annual reports, and other documents requested by funders in PhilanTrack's document library.
  • And more.

Grassroots.org members can access the discount by logging into their account.

With PhilanTrack for Foundations, GEO and Philanthropy Ohio members, as well as members of Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers member organizations, can:

  • Verify applicant eligibility for grant programs: Verify 501(c)(3) status as well as specific program eligibility automatically online.
  • Accept and evaluate proposals online: Tailor online grant proposal forms to request information that will support informed grant decision-making.
  • Manage grantee relationships: Track and view updated grantee information as well as the grantmaker’s giving history with the grantee organization.
  • Monitor and evaluate grant progress reports: Request progress reports at whatever intervals support your organization’s monitoring and evaluation processes, and receive reports submitted online.
  • Dynamically generate reports: Aggregate grantee information for key staff, trustees, and other stakeholders with a couple of button clicks, including generating graphs and analyzing grantees’ financial performance.
  • And more.

GEO members can access the discount by emailing membership@geofunders.org.

Philanthropy Ohio members can access the discount at http://blog.philantech.com/philanthropy-ohio.

Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers members should contact the Forum to set up a discount program for their members.

Members of regional associations of grantmakers that are Forum members should ask their regional association to contact the Forum to request access to the discount program.

 

All logos are property of the respective organizations.
Author: Dahna Goldstein
December 01, 2013, 09:38 PM

Friends Don’t Let Friends Require Paper Grant Applications

paper grant applications

While many grantmakers have moved their application processes online, a large number of grantmakers still require their applicants to submit grant proposals and progress reports on paper or via email.

Some foundations have been using paper applications for a long time and feel there is no reason to change, but there is a significant cost to inefficient grants management – to both the foundation and its grantees, and ultimately to the social impact that both are trying to achieve.

The Center for Effective Philanthropy determined that 13% of every foundation grant dollar is spent administering the grant.  Across the nonprofit sector in the US, nearly $6 billion per year is spent on grants administration.  That’s a lot of lost impact!  For a foundation that awards $1,000,000 in grants annually, $130,000 is spent administering the grants.  The grantees bear most of that cost, but both the grantmaker and the grant recipient benefit from streamlining the process.

Here are seven reasons that friends should not let friends require paper grant applications:

  • Data entry (and re-entry) is time consuming and error-prone.  Once a paper is application is received, it needs to be logged and tracked.  With paper (or email) applications, someone at the foundation has to enter information into a grants database, Excel sheet, or other tracking system.  That data entry process is both time consuming and error-prone.  With an integrated online application and grants management system, there is no data entry that has to be done by someone at the foundation.  Information from the application automatically populates the grants database, saving both time and the possibility for errors.
  • Information submitted on paper can’t be easily aggregated or analyzed.  Increasingly, grantmakers want to be able to look at information across a group of grants to see how much money was awarded over a period of time, analyze information about the recipient organizations, or see the impact the grants had on the issues that the foundation is trying to address.  With paper applications, grant information such as people served, intended outcomes, etc., can’t be easily accessed and aggregated – at least not without someone at the foundation copying and pasting – or re-typing – that information.  With an integrated online system, reports on the distribution of grant funds as well as outcome and demographic information – or anything else that the foundation wants to track – can be generated at a few button clicks, using information that the grantee or applicant submitted in the grant proposal or progress report.  In fact, PhilanTrack is specifically designed to aggregate grantee-entered information to help grantmakers evaluate the effectiveness and impact of their grants and programs.  And PhilanTech’s staff will be happy to advise your organization on how to take advantage of the system and its capabilities to support your grantmaking goals.
  • Real-time access to information. Trustees, reviewers and other stakeholders are increasingly not in the same geographical location as the foundation’s physical office.  With paper applications, someone (either the applicant or a foundation staff member or volunteer trustee) has to print many copies of each application and send them across the country or the globe prior to a board meeting.  Many foundation professionals have lost count of the number of hours they spend each year pulling together board packets with collated copies for each trustee of each proposal under consideration.  Moving online can also be a great way for family foundations to engage younger family members who may just be getting involved in the foundation.
  • Trees.  Think of the trees!  Printing multiple paper copies of every application and every report costs countless trees per year.  Moving the process online enables all foundations – but particularly foundations that fund environmental causes – to align their internal grantmaking processes with their missions.
  • Reducing ineligible or unqualified applications.  As clear as grantmakers make submission guidelines, hopeful nonprofits frequently submit funding requests even if they’re ineligible.  Two features of online application systems help foundations save time and resources by discouraging that activity: eligibility quizzes and letters of intent.  Eligibility quizzes can be tailored to the foundation’s specific guidelines and pose a series of questions to applicants.  Applicants must affirmatively answer that they meet each component of the foundation’s funding guidelines.  If an applicant does not meet one of the eligibility criteria, the organization is prevented from submitting an application, thereby significantly reducing the number of ineligible or unqualified applicants.  Letters of inquiry, as we’ve written about before, can effectively help reduce the administrative burden on both the grantmaker and the applicant with a short version of the application to determine whether it’s worth the time required from both parties for the nonprofit to submit a full application.
  • Contact management and centralization of information.  Managing grants requires managing a lot of information about the organization – from simple data like the organization’s address to more complex information like the intended outcomes of a funded project, and everything in between.  Managing contact information for grantees is important, and tracking interactions is as well.  With an online grants management system that also manages applications and progress reports, all grantee- and grant-related information is in one centralized location.  You can look up a grant, see what the organization outlined in the proposal, who the grant contact is and send that person an email or see when the next report is due – all with just a few a button clicks, rather than having to track down the paper copy of the proposal, then look up the relevant grant in the grants database, and the contact information in Outlook.
  • Continuity and institutional memory.  Over time, most organizations develop their own systems and processes for filing – and finding – documents.  But what happens if there is staff turnover?  With an online grants management system, the organization’s complete grantmaking history is stored in an organized, easy-to-access and easy-to-use online location.  If a new family member joins the board, or if the program officer or grant manager leaves, her successor can easily pick up the mantle and see the organization’s whole history, which reports are due when, and what information was submitted in each proposal.  And all of that information is available at a couple of button clicks rather than by pouring through tons of documents in filing cabinets.

Moving to online grant applications doesn’t mean automatically accepting unsolicited proposals.  If your foundation has an invite-only grantmaking process, you can still gain all of the benefits of moving your application online while only inviting the organizations that you wish to have apply.  Read more here about why it makes sense to move your application online even if your organization doesn’t accept unsolicited proposals.

PhilanTrack is specifically designed to manage the full lifecycle of grants.  In addition to streamlining the process for grantmakers, PhilanTrack helps your grantees and applicants manage their grantseeking more efficiently so that your grant dollars go further towards supporting the programs and services they are intended to fund.

To see how PhilanTrack can save you from using paper grant applications, contact us for a demonstration, or download our guide to getting started with online applications.

 

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fsse-info/516326731
Author: Dahna Goldstein
March 07, 2013, 10:30 AM

Three Grantwriting Mistakes Nonprofits Make

mistakes grantwriters make

I guest blogged yesterday on Forbes.com about business plan mistakes that I see often as a judge for the social venture track of NYU’s business plan competition.  While the post addressed mistakes made by for-profit ventures and nonprofit social ventures, a lot of the mistakes that I see – and lessons learned – apply equally to nonprofits writing grant proposals to fund new programs.

Mistake #1: Developing a solution that’s in search of a problem.  Fundraising consultant Pamela Grow referred to this problem in an email yesterday as “If you build it, they will come.”  In fact, they won’t.  Too many nonprofits (like for-profit social ventures) come up with a great idea that should be of great value to their constituents.  Smart people get together in conference rooms and come up with great ideas.  They see problems their constituents are experiencing, and come up with solutions – all without getting input from said constituents.  In for-profits, this generally results in creating a product or service without a clear market.  In nonprofits, this can result in either creating a product or service without a clear group of people who will use it – or in creating a product or service without a clear source of funding.  Either result has problems, and both can be avoided by getting input for the relevant constituents along the way.  If you develop the service, will the people in your service area use it?  What will compel them to do so?  What might get in the way, and how can you overcome it?  Will they be willing and able to pay for it?  If not (which is frequently the case), how will you cover those costs?  Launching the program without knowing that you’ll be able to get sufficient support to make is sustainable, often manifest in saying, “Oh, we’ll just get a grant to cover those costs,” can be more harmful than beneficial to your constituents if you are then unable to secure funding.

Mistake #2: Claiming you have no competition.  Many grant proposals ask grant applicants to discuss their competition.  It may well be that there isn’t another organization in your service area doing exactly what your organization is proposing, but that doesn’t mean that you do not have any competition.  There’s direct competition, indirect competition, and there’s the status quo.  Think about your constituents.  What are they doing now?  Are there other organizations providing a similar service that is meeting the same – or a similar – need?  Even if there aren’t similar services being offered in your service area, your constituents are spending time and sometimes money on other things that will have to be displaced by your service.  You need to know – and be able to describe – what those things are, as well as any other services that compete more directly with what you’re proposing.

Mistake #3: Grant applicants must clearly articulate their theory of change.  Different organizations have different ways of framing theories of change and the social impact that is expected to result from the program or service being developed.  Whatever it’s presenting a theory of change, articulating SMART objectives, building logic models, or something else, it’s critical to be able to articulate the impact your organization is trying to achieve, how you plan to achieve it, and how you plan to measure the results of your activities.  In grant proposals, look for any specific requirements articulated by the foundation to which you’re applying; many foundations have specific formats in which they prefer to see goals, outcomes, and theories of change addressed.

What are some common mistakes you have seen – or made – in grant applications?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

 

Image credit: adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/5496629643/
Author: Dahna Goldstein
February 22, 2013, 10:30 AM

Streamlining Grants Management - Assessing Project Streamline

Project Streamline

As regular readers of this blog know, we at PhilanTech are fans of Project Streamline, the initiative of the Grants Managers Network dedicated to streamlining the grants management process.

After five years of learning and sharing tips to simplify and streamline grantmaking, Project Streamline is taking stock of how well its messages have been received and implemented by the grantmaking and grantseeking communities.

Project Streamline is asking for input from the grantmaking and grantseeking communities in two surveys (one for each audience).  Please take a few moments to help assess how well these initiatives are taking root:

The deadline for the surveys is December 15th.  We'll share the results when they are published next year.

 

 

Author: Dahna Goldstein
December 06, 2012, 04:27 PM

3 Tips for Presenting Grant Information

Driving from San Antonio to Austin after the Grants Managers Network (GMN) conference last week, I saw a sign on the highway that read, "Travel time to LP 1604, 16-18 minutes."

Without contect, that piece of information is meaningless.  How far away is LP 1604?  How long should it take to get to LP 1604?  (And what is LP 1604?  I figured that one out... LP 1604 is a highway loop (the LP stands for loop) that circles San Antonio.)

The problem of presenting information without context brought to mind Cole Nussbaumer's session at GMN entitled "Storytelling with Data: Visualizing Philanthropy."  Cole is the People Analytics Manager at Google and the data guru who writes about analytics at Storytelling with Data.  She addressed how grants managers can better use visuals to present information about grants, programs, outcomes, etc.

Cole provided compelling before and after images to demonstrate how some basic design principles can make grant information both more accessible and more meaningful:

Before:

Animal Care Services   Before

After:

Animal Care Services   After 1

Note how much easier it is to understand the story being told in the "after" image.

Here are 3 tips for presenting grant information:

  • Simplify.  If a specific piece of information isn't necessary to tell the story you want to tell, remove if from the chart or graph.
  • Focus attention where you want it. You have many tools in your toolbelt to help focus attention - color, contrast, size, even text.  In the "after" example above, the use of color and bold text makes it very clear where the viewer's attention should be focused.
  • Help your viewers draw the conclusions you want them to draw.  Don't assume all viewers will interpret the information the same way you do, or the way you intend them to.  If you want to highlight a conclusion that is supported by the data you're presenting, use text to make that conclusion clear, and support it with the visuals.

For more tips about creating compelling visual representations of data, visit Cole's blog.

What are your favorite tips for presenting grant information?

Images from Cole Nussbaumer's blog at http://www.storytellingwithdata.com/2012/03/lessons-from-gmn.html
Author: Dahna Goldstein
March 29, 2012, 10:27 AM

How to Prepare Your Board for Online Grant Applications

Stack of Folders

If you're thinking about online grant applications for your foundation, you may be wondering how to get your board, well, on board.  Here are a few tips to position yourself to lead your board and your organization into online grant applications.

  • Get buy-in.  Who in your organization will be involved in using an online grant management system?  Talk with your board chair early in the process to get her or him on board.  If your board chair is likely to resist the idea, recruit another board member who is more likely to get on board, and the two of you can work together to gradually educate your board chair about the benefits of online grant applications.
  • Communicate early and often.  As you start the process of exploring options and preparing to move your system online, get input from people who will be involved (though who are involved in the grant application and evaluation process now, and those who will use the online system) and communicate clearly throughout the organization - and even to your grantees and applicants - that you are planning to move the process online, and when you are planning to make the move.
  • Mitigate anxiety.  Particularly for an organization that has been doing things in the same way for a long time, the prospect of change can bring up a lot of emotion.  Some of it will be positive ("just think of what we can accomplish with an online grant application!" "I'm so excited about all of the time we're going to have by moving online!"), and some of it will be negative ("What if I can't learn how to use the system?"  "What if the foundation doesn't need me any more to process applications?").  Understanding that people will experience that range of emotions is the first step in trying to mitigate the anxiety that some people will feel.  Creating ways for people to feel involved in the process and feel that their voice is heard goes a long way, as does clearly communicating what support will be available along the way.
  • Training and support.  From the start of the process, it's important to communicate that support and training will be available.  That training and support should come in different formats and at different times, taking into account the fact that people learn differently and have varying levels of comfort with technology (and varying levels of comfort with their varying levels of comfort with technology).  Talk to people about what kind of support they need.  Check in throughout the process to ensure that support is being given.  And create low-key ways for those in need to request additional support.

What are your top tips for preparing your board members for online grant applications?

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/7803088/

Author: Dahna Goldstein
August 04, 2011, 06:06 PM

Grantseeking in 2011 - New Report Suggests Increasing Focus on Grants

fundraising dollar signs

As Congress continues to work through its debt ceiling negotiations, nonprofits continue to struggle with the state of the economy.  While some recent reports have indicated that the economy - and giving - have rebounded somewhat, other indicators (and a lot of on-the-ground experience) suggests that nonprofits are still struggling to make ends meet, let alone to find enough funding to grow their programs.

A report just published by GuideStar, The Fundraising Methods That Worked Best in 2010 - and Could Work Best in 2011, suggests that while fundraising in 2010 started to trend in the right direction (in terms of emerging from recession levels of fundraising), nonprofits would be well served by thinking about where to focus their fundraising efforts.

The report, based on information collected in a survey earlier this year, identifies ten fundraising techniques, and highlights which techniques were most successful for nonprofits in 2010, and therefore which would be good investements for nonprofits for the balance of 2011.

My key takeaways from this report:

  • Diversified funding streams are always important (that's not just a lesson from this report);
  • Look at your organization's fundraising history and the veritcal you are in to think about what channels are most effective for you.  Focus on those first;
  • Take the economic environment into account, not only in terms of individuals' and foundations' spending levels, but also what is likely to happen with Federal, state, and local governments.  The report suggests that nonprofits that rely on government funding should expect reductions in that funding source, and should look to diversify their revenue streams;
  • Investing in staff and other fundraising resources will pay off in the long run.  Cutting staff and other fundraising resources should only happen if absolutely necessary.  In the survey data, organizations that invested in staff and other fundraising resources were more successful in their fundraising efforts;
  • Increasing your organization's focus on foundation grants and grant writing is one way to maximize your organization's fundraising potential for the remainder of 2011 and into 2012.

What do you think are the best areas to focus your organization's fundraising efforts for the rest of 2011?

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kateconsumption/22483966/
Author: Dahna Goldstein
July 29, 2011, 11:56 AM

Trends in Online Grantmaking

This is the first in a series of periodic looks at trends that we at PhilanTech see developing among our clients and others in the field.  These posts will include grantmaking and grantseeking trends, as well as other items of relevance to grantmaking and grantseeking.  If there is something specific you'd like to see covered, please leave a comment below.

trends in online grantmaking

Three trends in online grantmaking:

  1. I've discussed online LOIs before.  Particularly with the increased volume of grant requests that is accompanying the economic recovery, this is a trend that is continuing, and is one that I think is positive.  Inviting applicants to submit an LOI prior to a full proposal saves both the grantmaker and the grantseeker time.  It has the added benefit of helping some grantmakers feel like they can ease their eligibility restrictions a bit in the hopes of discovering new and intersting programs, but do so in a way that doesn't unduly burden either party;
  2. Quantifiable outcomes.  More grantmakers are looking for their grantees to be able to quantify anticipated outcomes when they apply for a grant, and then report back on those outcomes and how they fared over the course of the grant.  This continues to be fueled by an interest in impact and measurement, which is a subject of ongoing debate in the philanthropy world (in terms of what can and should be measured, what "impact" means, what it says about a "good" nonprofit, and, importantly from the grantseeker perspective, what is involved in collecting and sharing impact-related information with funders);
  3. A character count debate.  As more foundations accept proposals online, foundations see an opportunity to do one of two things: provide applicants with more flexibility, or provide stricter guidance so that applicants are providing more targeted (read: less verbose) information.  Both are valid approaches.  While I lean more towards allowing more flexibility, the reality of a foundation program officer's work day (and that of a trustee or review committee member) is that long-winded applicant response is both less desirable and less effective.  Two takeaways here:
  • Grantmakers can suggest word/character limits without enforcing them;
  • Grantseekers really need to view what they're submitting from the perspective of their readers, and respect the grantmaker's guidelines, even if a response is shorter than you would like it to be.

What trends are you seeing in online grantmaking?

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/knolleary/5091257338/
Author: Dahna Goldstein
July 06, 2011, 04:27 PM

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