Grants are an important funding source for nonprofits as this extra money enables you to help more people in the communities you serve. This means that obtaining grants is just as important to your mission as receiving donations from individuals and businesses. Grants can either be offered by local and federal government entities or from foundations or corporations that are looking to partner with nonprofits.
Applying for grants can be a time-consuming process, and there is usually a lot of paperwork involved. The organizations offering grants want to ensure that they are giving money to nonprofits that can do the most good with the money that is offered. If you’re looking to apply for grants, it’s important that you consider investing in grant management software to streamline the process.
What is grant management software for nonprofits?
Grant management software is an organizational tool that helps your organization manage all things grants related. The software allows you to keep records of all the grants that you’ve applied for, all the grants you’ve been awarded, how the money from each grant was spent, and other administrative records your organization deems necessary to monitor.
Most often, winning grants is about proving to the grantmakers that your organization is capable of doing the most good with the grant money that is being given. Grant money is usually not a blanket funding source, and the entity funding the grant typically expects that the money is used to fund certain projects or initiatives and that the organization receiving the money provides progress reports as the money is spent.
With grant management software, you can easily track all information that has to do with a certain grant so that this information can be presented to stakeholders when needed. This software can also streamline the process of writing grant application packages and tracking the status of applications in progress.
How is grant management software beneficial to nonprofits?
Grant management software helps to keep all activities related to grants organized so that your nonprofit can present itself in a professional manner when applying for and managing grant money once it has been awarded. With a good grant management software package, those who are in charge of completing and managing grant applications can submit professional-looking documents, graphs, and other information that will stand out to those who are reviewing grant applications for funding purposes.
Grant management software also speeds up the process for filling out all of the grant application forms so your team has time to apply for more grants and potentially get more funding for your organization.
Does grant software work with other types of software?
Most grant management software integrates seamlessly with your existing nonprofit CRM or donor management software so that you can import statistical information as well as other documentation you may need for writing grant applications. By integrating your grant software with the other software tools you use, you can continue to rely on the tools you are comfortable with while getting to know your grant software. Integrating your grant software also allows you to use one system as opposed to having your data spread out across multiple sources.
What should I look for in grant management software?
Most importantly, your grant management software should be easy to use! Research a multitude of different software systems so you get an idea of what you like and do not like about each. Once you find a software system that offers most of the key features you are looking for, you can always purchase add-ons later to create the exact software package you need.
Look for a product that has an easy-to-navigate dashboard so you can find the information you need immediately. Depending on the size of your nonprofit, less is more. A smaller organization may not need all of the bells and whistles of a robust software system to start out with. Look into free grant management or tracking apps, like OpenProject, Bloomerang, or GrantHub to see if they are the right match for you.
Is grant management software good for small nonprofits?
Yes! No matter how big or small your nonprofit is, managing all of the information and paperwork associated with applying for and obtaining grants is much easier when you have a program dedicated to helping you with the workload. Even if your team is only working through a few grant application packages annually, plan for future growth and ensure your employees have the tools they need for applying for even more grants in the future by investing in good software now. Not only does grant management software streamline the process of applying for and allocating grant money, but it also provides historical information about the grants your nonprofit has applied for, obtained, and been turned down for in the past, all of which is valuable information for creating goals for the future.