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Foundation Operations: Managing Operations-> Grants Management

What are the advantages and disadvantages of different grantmaker software packages?

The universe of grants management vendors and products seems to constantly change, as do the technologies they use. The field is currently dominated by MicroEdge GIFTS and Bromelkamp Company, but foundations also report using Cyber Grants and custom-designed applications.

Although no two packages are alike, reports Philanthropy Magazine in its September 2002 article, “Comparing Grant-management Software,” “the best ones integrate a full range of computer processes (word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, accounting, and report generation).” In choosing a service provider, the article recommends asking:

  • How much does it cost?
  • Does it fit our budget?
  • Will it be cost effective?
  • How could it help our grantees?
  • Can the program be customized to our needs?
  • Is the program compatible with our current technology infrastructure?
  • How much experience does their staff have with grant administration?
  • Do they have a significant base with needs similar to ours?
  • Can the application meet all of our current and anticipated needs?
  • Is training required?
  • Is technical support available, and does it cost extra?

Grants Managers Network is an association of foundation professionals responsible for grants management. 

Technology Affinity Group is a technology forum for professionals working in philanthropy.

 

Resources

Grantmakers Information Technology Survey Report, Technology Affinity Group, 2005.

“Trends in Grants Management Software and Services,” Martin B. Schneiderman, Foundation News & Commentary, May/June 2003.

 

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