It's clear that moving to a paperless application process saves time and reduces waste. By pairing a well-designed on-line application with a full-featured grants management system your foundation can achieve greater organizational capacity, while maintaining the same staff size and administrative overhead.
These tools can be customized to support your foundation's grant-making workflow. If your staff review proposals and compile summary statements for trustees to review, the application review and summation process can be managed in a dedicated content management system. If trustees review full grant applications, a grant-management system can compile the applications into an secure on-line board book or generate a PDF for email delivery.
Sure, you could print out the PDF board books, but that would bring paper shuffling back into the equation. There must be a better way, right ? After all, this is The Future and things are supposed to be better, because of technology, in The Future. Don't let the conspicuous lack of flying cars, moving sidewalks, hover boards, and underwater cities distract you from the one promise of The Future that really came through for us, electronic books.
The current generation of e-ink based e-readers are simple enough for non-technical people to use and easy on the eyes; it's just like reading paper, only without all that troublesome paper. Does this mean e-readers will meet with the approval of your distinguished board of trustees ? It's hard to say. Before I recommend a new technology to an older generation of users, I try to consider whether my mother would be comfortable using it.
My Mother, a retired school teacher, has an e-reader and she loves it. Like many people of the baby boom generation, my Mother sometimes struggles with computer tasks. Getting photos off of her camera and onto her computer sometimes takes over-the-phone coaching from me, which is why I was surprised to hear she had purchased an e-reader. The e-reader is so easy to use and the quality of the e-ink text so comfortable and paper-like, for natural reading, that she takes it everywhere and reads entire novels with it. The last time I visited her she was reading it, in public, at the airport. When I asked her about the device, she exclaimed, "Oh, I love my [product name of e-reader] ". She then proceeded to give me a confident demonstration of the basic features. As with any technology, features and ease-of-use will vary between different systems, and your mother may vary.
Keeping your entire grant-application process in the digital domain, from on-line application, to a content managed grant-review workflow, to digital board-books, to a set of e-readers, through the decision-making process, generating the grant agreements and “Sorry, many worthy causes” / “We wish you success finding funding elsewhere” notification letters will drastically reduce the time spent on basic administration steps.
OpenSourcery specializes in building custom tools for the empowering the future of grant-making, driving nonprofit missions, and supporting the growth of responsible businesses. If your foundation is looking for an innovative and easy-to-use grant-making solution , just drop us a line. It's Ok to talk to us if you're gearing up to do a project and you need some qualified engineering experts to help you determine what your technical needs really are; you can ask OpenSourcery to perform a requirements assessment.