Seven Criteria for Evaluating Grant Management Software

grant-management

If you are considering grant management software, asking these seven questions and using them as a rubric to evaluate your software choices can help you select the best one for your nonprofit. The grant management process requires careful adherence to deadlines, as well as team participation to ensure that the entire process is thoughtfully reviewed and prepared. The right software streamlines the process and makes it easier to collaborate on grants, provide the required information, and track grant status through the pipeline.

Abila Grant Management from RBP Methods offers an excellent software package for tracking, completing and submitting grants. We invite you to consider it among the prospects on your list of grant management software, and to contact RBP methods today for more information.

Who Needs Grant Management Software?

If your organization relies heavily on grants to fund activities, then an automated solution such as grant management software is an excellent resource. Grant management software can streamline, simplify and automate the process, prevent miscommunications and foster collaboration among staff as they complete grants. If you find yourself using spreadsheets to track grants, you’ll be amazed at how easier it is with the right grant management software in place.

Grant Management Software: Seven Steps for Choosing a Winner

Budget remains a big consideration for most nonprofits seeking grant management software. But perhaps more important than a budget is that the software provides the right suite of services and tasks for your organization. Even free software isn’t good software if it doesn’t make your workload easier to manage. These seven questions can help you choose grant management software that’s a good fit for your organization.

  1. Can it measure outcomes and track progress? Software that measures progress towards goals is ideal for nonprofits who submit multiple grants each quarter. When you can see on screen your progress towards completion and submission of a grant application, you’ll be able to prioritize your tasks and time wisely.
  2. What is the dashboard like? The dashboard is the user interface that you use to navigate around your system. An intuitive, easy-to-navigate system makes it easier to train staff and use all the features of your new grant management software. It’s also helpful if it displays graphs and charts of timelines showing the progress of all open items towards their completion date.
  3. Does it produce reports we can use? Many grant management systems provide excellent reports. Abila Grant Management, for example, provides simple reports that make it easy to see, at a glance, how far along the grant pipeline you are with each project. Examine the reporting features of software you’re considering. If it does not provide the features you seek, can it be easily customized so that it does?
  4. What are the system’s collaboration capabilities? Most grants are a team effort rather than the sole purview of an individual. Each person must provide specific inputs or collaborate with others. Grant management software often includes collaborative functions that make it easier to share data, documents and information via the system rather than through separate emails and networks.
  5. Are there document management capabilities? Most grant applications require multiple documents, and it can be difficult to keep track of them even when you use shared folders, drives and networks. Storing documents within a system makes it easier to ensure you have everything before the application is due.
  6. Are internal controls built in? We’ve talked about internal controls to safeguard your nonprofit against losses. Grant management software that comes with good internal controls is just another way to keep careful track of your funds and prevent potential losses.
  7. Does it integrate with other systems? Fund accounting systems, CRM systems and more that are important to your organization must all be taken into consideration. If the grant management software doesn’t integrate easily, you could pay for costly upgrades or customization. Make sure that your entire suite fits together. Abila products integrate well, so Abila Grant Management and Abila MIP Fund Accounting are two excellent packages that work well for most nonprofits.

RBP Methods can help you select the right grant management software, fund accounting system, or other software for your nonprofit organization’s needs. With our extensive experience and background working in the nonprofit sector, we know what’s important for our clients’ success and can help you navigate the many possible software choices on the market today. Please call us at 503-648-9051 or contact us today for more information.