I’m interested in hearing from peers how you utilize your Grants Management System (GMS) to support evaluation and learning work. Our current system at the National Endowment for Democracy is configured more for the grant and compliance side of our grantmaking and all of our evaluation and learning work is happening in “shadow” systems. We’re working with a consulting firm that’s taking us through a process, so my questions are more about how your GMS fits into your evaluation and learning work and what you like/don’t like about your current set-up. This is probably better suited to a conversation rather than an email, so please respond if you’re willing to speak with me and we can connect.
Thank you in advance,
In our application process, The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF) asks applicants to describe their dissemination plan, i.e., how they will disseminate/share their findings, lessons learned, tools, and products. We typically get very general responses such as they plan to present at conferences, submit to peer review journals, put information on their website, etc. We would like to provide better direction for our applicants to encourage them to think more creatively about developing a robust, proactive dissemination plan, with specific target audiences and strategies. Do you have any language in your grant application, tips on your website that define dissemination, or do you provide any guidance or tools that help applicants develop and describe their dissemination plan that you can share with RRF?
Have you made improvements to your grantmaking, including the idea cultivation/grantee relationship management, application process, approval process, reporting requirements, or other elements you've deemed important, and are you willing to share them with us? Did you work with any consultants on the above whom you'd recommend?
As The Patterson Foundation continues to evolve, we are interested in learning from colleagues who have a position focused on innovation… such as a Chief Innovation Officer… or Chief Disruption Officer….or Futurist Officer. We welcome guidance from foundations who have created such a role, along with any contacts or links that would be appropriate.
Our Foundation is creating a policy for how often we should require an RFP process for evaluating and hiring investment advisors. By establishing a set timeline, we hope to make the process more about good governance and less about emotion. We are seeking feedback from funders who have established specific timeline for how often this process is undertaken.
Our Foundation is working on creating a financial status dashboard to present to our board on a quarterly basis. This would include investments and dividends, expenditures, future liabilities, etc. I’m wondering if others have examples of this type of dashboard that they would be willing to share with me?
I am spearheading a Salesforce adoption process within our foundation’s Program department. Our Philanthropy Group (development and donor services team) implemented it successfully over a year ago. Given the inherent Salesforce benefits (and clear use cases) for the development and donor services side of things, I am curious to learn if other foundations have successfully implemented Salesforce (or are on the journey to) within their grantmaking departments? If so, I would be grateful to learn and chat more with folks about:
- What benefits have you seen from the process/adoption of Salesforce among your Program staff? (I.e. time saved, stronger relationships with grantees/community partners, automated processes and workflows, increased collaboration across your foundation’s departments, better knowledge management etc.)
- What has not gone well? And/or what roadblocks do you see ahead?
- Broadly, what does success look like for you?
- What core or baseline data about your interactions with grantee (or non-grantee) partners does your Program staff consistently log (or is expected to log) in the system?
I am interested in getting info from funders with part-time staff regarding participation in social events the foundation puts on for staff. Holiday party, any team-building efforts such as a picnic, ballgame, etc. I’d like to know if things happen during the work day, are part-time staff invited, and if so, are they paid for this time as part of their part-time wages.
We are in the 2nd year of our now annual open funding grant cycle. By design, we decided to have an annual grant application deadline and generally follow the same grant cycle from applications submitted (July), to final awards announced (November), to grant agreements executed and funds paid (December). And in each funding cycle, identical grant periods, annual reporting and payment schedules (November/December).
However, we’re now realizing (ha!) that as each funding cycle is annually held, we’ll have a collision of multiple funding cycles – both applications in the current year that are being approved and paid AND grants awarded in previous years that are submitting annual reports for their next payment all at the same time. Which of course will make for an extremely busy November/December every year. Glad we’re thinking about this now before we get too many cycles under our belt, but even with a 2018 and 2019 cycle, it’s a bit daunting especially for a smaller staff.
Has anyone run into this before? Any advice?