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Feature Spotlight: Grant Management in Salesforce's Nonprofit Success Pack

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As any fundraiser or development officer will tell you, not all funds are created equal :)

Whether your organization is pursuing a major gift, a grant, or a corporate sponsorship...all of these funding streams require their own process and data to track along the way.  Unfortunately, many “plug and play” CRM systems for the sake of simplicity have created one method for tracking and recording a gift, so users are left to fit “a square peg in a round hole” in order to manage their grant process.

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Salesforce.org, in their effort to support larger and more mature nonprofits have built a robust Grant Management feature that includes all the “must-haves” to get your grant program up and running, with the ability to scale through configuration and customization.

Grant Management comes standard as part of the Nonprofit Success Pack (part of Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud platform), in which Salesforce donates 10 free licenses to all eligible nonprofits as part of their Power Of Us Program.  By enabling grant management, users can indicate for an account (typically a foundation), whether they are a grantmaker and what their funding focus may be (animal welfare, arts and culture, education etc.)

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A default Grant record type (based off the Opportunity object) also comes standard with NPSP with all the key fields required for a grant - contract date, period start/end date, program area, requested amount to name a few.

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But the most impressive function of the Grant functionality is the Deliverables feature (a custom object), where your fundraising team can track all the deliverables (reports, write-ups, narratives, presentations, etc.) required even after the grant is awarded.  

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And to close the loop, the fundraising component in NPSP will allow you to record the grant’s funds as they come in and track future payments for forecasting purposes.

As comprehensive as these features are, it is how they work in concert with standard Salesforce functionality that really makes it sing!

  • By enabling Chatter on grants, fundraisers are able to notify staff on key developments throughout the grant lifecycle
  • Activities allow fundraisers to track all the calls, meetings, notes, and tasks involved in the entire lifecycle so anyone within your organization knows exactly what’s transpired at any point in time
  • Since grants have its own record type in NPSP, a unique “sales process” can be set up specific to your organization’s grant lifecycle
  • Enabling “Engagement Plans” allow fundraisers to set up a template of activities to be performed for all grants, or even multiple templates for different types of grants
  • Reports and dashboards can be used to ensure all the appropriate folks know when deliverables are due

And of course, the configurability and customizability of the Salesforce platform creates a pathway for your CRM to scale and evolve along with your organization.

As we’ve stated on this blog before, despite Salesforce’s robust functionality, it is not for everyone.  At OneTenth, we take a product-agnostic approach to our needs assessments, and recommend only what you need, with the ability to scale over time.  Need some help formalizing your grant management program? Or wondering if Salesforce is the right fit or you. Give us a call for a free initial consultation…let’s talk it out!  If Salesforce is the right fit, our “Salesforce+NPSP Jumpstart” program can get you up and running in weeks!