Are you ready for a new grants management system?
So you’ve decided to look for a new grants management system. Maybe you want to move away from paper based applications, or maybe it’s simply time to retire your current system and work with something more suited to your evolving needs. Regardless of your motivation, do not underestimate what a successful implementation will require.
So how do I know if I’m ready to implement a new grants management system?
The two primary factors are the state of your current processes and a commitment to change management.
Let’s say someone who knew nothing about your organization asked you to explain your granting process. Could you do it? Even more importantly, would your colleagues describe it the same way?
It may seem obvious to you how everything works, but explaining it to someone new can reveal hidden gaps you didn’t realize existed.
Another consideration to keep in mind: are all of your stakeholders ready for the change? What will it mean to your staff, grantees and board members?
Even if your process or change management plans need some work, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the ball rolling. Think you might need some help? It could be worth looking into an outside advisor. In fact, many of our most successful implementation projects have included the assistance of a qualified consultant.
What is a consultant?
A consultant can be a major asset in helping you not only get organized, but in deciding what kind of grants management system, and therefore which vendor, is best suited to your needs.
There are all kinds of professional consultants out there, but a select few who have the expertise and experience to work with foundations. The levels of information to be gathered, tracked and evaluated are not only complex, but unique to your industry; not just anyone will be able to help.
What will a consultant do for me?
The right consultant will take the time to get to know you, your organization and your community. They will dive deep into every aspect of your work, from your team’s daily activities to your reviewing practices to who benefits from your efforts, and how. They’ll ask targeted questions, making sure they get your entire process on paper and ready for the next level – finding you a trusted partner.
A good consultant will help you create process maps, create questions for RFIs, RFPs, and take part in the selection of the right partner for you. They’re also a great resource to have on hand through the implementation process, assisting with getting your team on board and up to speed on your new system.
We’ve met and worked with some great people over the years, so if you’re in the market for a grants management system and need some help, we recommend the following consultants for your consideration:
· Kim Vetter