Grant making that creates greater impact for the beneficiary
- Posted on October 26, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
With the current challenging times, it is more important than ever to provide nonprofits with well-targeted funds efficiently and effectively so they can provide the greatest impact on the organization’s mission. Due to COVID-19, foundations and grant makers are receiving a considerable number of requests from nonprofits to support them in modifying and enhancing their programs and services with the new restrictions.
Nonprofits depend largely on outside funding in the form of grants, typically from philanthropic or government organizations. It is the grant maker’s role to award financial support to grant seekers so they can maximize their social impact. A great deal of charitable giving is done through these foundations and millions of people around the world benefit from these grants, which play an important role in improving education, health, equality and poverty amongst others.
With this in mind, grant makers are supporting their communities by changing everything about their grant practices to minimize the burden on grantees and maximize support—including simplifying applications, extending grant periods, and adjusting budget allocations. Now more than ever, they want to optimize the effectiveness of funds disbursed to ensure the greatest impact on the organization’s mission.
Keeping on top of the grant making process can be challenging however and far too often grant makers and grant seekers find themselves drowning in paperwork—it is labour-intensive work, which diverts staff from the task of helping beneficiaries, but necessary all the same.
A number of tools exist to ease the paperwork burden and assist nonprofit organizations with researching, applying for, collecting, and managing grants. But often these programs are complicated to manage due to the amount of planning, scheduling, executing, monitoring and reporting involved—and ultimately distract from their mission.
Our Tech for Social Good practice is working with nonprofits to overcome these challenges by bringing the power of digital technology to transform their workplaces and accelerate their social impact. Recognizing the need for a more streamlined grant making solution—one that is easy for nonprofits and their partners to design, embed and adopt—our Tech for Social Good practise has developed the Avanade Grant Making Solution.
Let’s take a closer look. It is the mission of grant makers to partner with organizations or communities that tackle complex issues and bring about lasting change. Take the Rockefeller Foundation as an example. In September 2019, they announced a $100 million initiative to bring data science and machine learning to community health workers around the world. Starting in India and Uganda, they have the goal of saving at least 6 million lives over the next decade. Partners and collaborators for this initiative include UNICEF and the World Health Organization amongst others.
Our one-stop-shop solution would make the grant making and grant seeking process a lot quicker, easier and more transparent for them. It’s a comprehensive web-based solution that enables them and their partners to track grants over the entire grant making lifecycle. By leveraging the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator, the Common Data Model for nonprofits and the Microsoft Power Platform, it offers a set of pre-built capabilities and solutions to meet their specific needs.
Intuitive workflows and dashboards make it easier to perform common tasks quickly and efficiently, and to easily track and evaluate program goals—from the initial enquiry to delivery and reporting. It also aligns with the grant makers mission, objectives, programs and activities, by enabling grant makers to preload the United Nations’ Sustainable development goals—which in the case of the Rockefeller Foundation would be the right to health, power, food and economic mobility.
It’s just as easy for grant seekers to track application status, due dates for grant requirements and to search for new grant opportunities via the grantee portal.
Importantly, grant makers and grant seekers need to continue to advance their mission during crisis. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to quickly set up, submit and evaluate applications for emergency funding has been critical. So too the ability to make grants more flexible, rethink practises and extend grant periods.
With the Grant Making Solution grant makers can set up grants quickly, have greater flexibility and accelerate beneficiary approvals to ensure that money flows quickly to the areas where it will do the greatest good. For example, in the case of the Rockefeller Foundation, they have been focusing their efforts on scaling testing & tracing in the US. Other examples of grant opportunities include supplying hospital beds and masks, first responders support, contract tracing, education and raising awareness.
In a nutshell, the Grant Making Solution delivers affordable and impactful technology that enables digital transformation where it’s needed most—the beneficiaries. With more efficient workflows, more effective and transparent processes, better reporting to measure and evaluate impact and outcomes, nonprofits can transform the way they do business—and better serve their communities.
It means a lot to us at Avanade, too. The work we are doing through our Tech for Social Good practise helps us achieve our goal of bringing about systemic change to the social sector through the strategic delivery of Microsoft technologies on a global scale—and to make a genuine human impact.