Purchasing a grant management software solution for your organization is a big decision that takes careful deliberation and planning.
Though the software can help maintain compliance, generate revenue and increase capacity in organizations, many decision makers get initial sticker shock or become weary of how much time will be needed to facilitate adoption and integration.
In order to take all deciding factors into account and make a smart decision for your organization, it helps to have a thorough understanding of your current processes and needs, and an understanding of the overall value software can provide. Simplify purchasing with these four steps.
1. Understand Your Grant Management Software Needs
Understanding your organization’s needs is the first step to assessing what solution will best benefit your processes.
Map your current workflow to identify where your system prospers and where it is being held together with ad hoc quick fixes. Then, list the pros and cons of your current processes to better understand what solution will be a good fit for your unique needs.
When mapping out your processes, it is common to see weaknesses, redundancies and inefficiencies. Once you have identified these flaws, you can focus on what your future management process will look like.
When brainstorming solutions to these faults, focus on goals rather than specific software functionalities. For example: “Our future grant management process will eliminate paper records to streamline communication and mitigate the risk of data loss.”
When mapping your current and future processes, include details on stakeholders and ancillary systems that may impact, or be affected by, changes.
2. Set a Timeline
Adoption of software solutions does not happen overnight; it is a process that requires planning and patience. Realistic goals and timelines are essential for a seamless transition. Speak with a representative when purchasing to better gauge the average amount of time it takes to configure/set-up the software, train your staff and integrate processes into daily tasks.
3. Budget for Grant Management
Budgeting is essential for an accurate understanding of your potential return on investment when adopting a software solution. We found that when organizations adopt grant management software, they reduce administrative time by an average of 72%. What revenue generating tasks can be tended to with the freed up time that unnecessary administrating once monopolized?
4. Compare Grant Management Software Options
Not all grant management software solutions are created equally or to the same caliber. Refer back to when you mapped out your current process and use that as a tool to decide what features are most important to you and what you need in order for this purchase to pay for itself. Compare options by taking notes on what features each vendor offers compared to the core features your organization needs.
Keep in mind that even the most ideal software may not be a fit if it’s the wrong partner. In addition to features, take into account financial stability, reputation, security and support when choosing your final solution.
For a more detailed look at how to prepare for a grant management software purchase, please download our Grant Management Software Purchase Evaluation Guide.
Image Source: Nicolás Boullosa