Updated: May 11, 2021
Well, it’s quite a difficult question. It may have many answers, but the one we suggest is in close relationship with advanced technologies. Let me answer the title question very briefly, then go more in-depth; there is no magic trick here, only effective and automated management.
If you are subscribed to our blog and regularly read our posts, you should already be familiar with the concept of CRM. However, if you missed it, read the article here to see the whole picture.
The concept of “CRM” was initially intended for commercial organizations, but non-governmental organizations could not merely ignore technology. So, NGOs adopted CRM systems to their processes. Through a CRM system, NGOs can manage the volunteer work, campaigns as well as grant projects.
Advanced technologies offer pipeline management of the grant process. The pipeline consists of several stages, each of which has its own small “deliverable.” In the project planning stage, you set the deadlines and get to work.
Now, let’s see the same with images. In the CRM system, it is represented as a path - a way to achieve the goal.
Path: The Key to Managing Stages in the Grant Process
In the example presented in the image, the process path is divided into four steps:
Each organization defines these steps for itself, and it is approved as an accepted procedure while implementing the system. You can specify the names and the number of steps. Besides English, they are available in several other languages as well.
Visual representation contributes to the management of the whole process. All the data is in one place and isn’t scattered in separate tables and files. In case of gathering them together, it is much easier to see the project from all angles, find the risks, and fill in the gaps. The 365-degree visibility excludes the possibility of losing the grant due to any of your shortcomings.
The data is stored on cloud servers; that’s why the progress of your project will never be stopped by technical issues like the malfunction of server parts.
Another essential part of a grant project is meeting the deadlines. Funds often set short deadlines for this or that step of the project and require reports. By defining these steps and their deadlines in the CRM system, in addition to automatic reminders, you will also receive “smart tips” on which steps will help you succeed. In the language of CRM, we call them “Helpful Hints for Upcoming Due Dates.” When managing deadlines, you can choose, for example, the date of submitting the application as the deadline and prioritize all the required tasks to be ready on time.
Once you manage the deadlines, reach your goal, and win the grant, there is one crucial step left - compiling a report. Imagine that you have already completed all these steps and gathered the financial data in one place. All you have to do is define the necessary reporting fields and insert the data into that file.
Now we have a CRM system, which (by the way, it’s entirely free for up to 10 users) provides tools to manage the steps to win the grant. You see all your actions in one place, and even if you do not get the grant this time, you already have experience and can prepare for the next project better.
We wish you good luck with your grant program with modern tools. Also, don’t forget to read our previous articles, where you will find other useful tools to increase your NGO’s efficiency.