Tips for Managing Grant Proposal Systems

Are you a charitable organization, a foundation or a government agency or business body that must somehow organize, qualify (or disqualify) and process thousands or even tens of thousands of applications for grants a year? If so then you are definitely in need of software for managing grant proposals. You need to automate your entire process to make it easier for you to handle the bulk of your submissions in a fair, quick and streamlined way.

Here are some tips for managing grant proposal systems so that they work for you and you do not waste time deciding how to use software that should be saving your organization time in the first place.

Tip #1 – It Can Pay Off to Buy A System That Can Multi-Task

A grant proposal system can be a smaller or large investment depending on how bare bones you want to be. You can sometimes purchase an overall multi-purpose submission management system that is capable of doing several things including  —

  • Processing grant or proposal applications for people applying for funding
  • Processing applications for events and competitions
  • Processing resumes to notify of hiring
  • Processing the results of surveys
  • Resume management and recruitment management system
  • For universities the processing of acceptances into courses, scholarships and special clubs

This type of system is excellent for large places like universities, state governments and city councils that must hand out masses of amounts of information back out to the public in the form of acceptances or rejections of any kind, whether it is for a job, investment money, acceptance into a group or winning a grant.

Tip #2 – Hire A Professional to Customize Your System

Unfortunately grant proposal systems rarely are sold in a universal “ready to go” state where you push a couple of buttons and are ready to accept submissions. Usually you have to customize the general aspects program so that it fits in with all of your policies, requirements and branding.  It is a good time to hire a professional to tool with the nuts and bolts of the program and if you belong to a big government organization or foundation it is highly likely you already have this type of personell in place.

The smaller the program the easier it is for a grants officer or an administrator to operate the actual perimeters and fields within the system but this might need a technical expert to put together as well. In short, the more variables there are on the general submissions management system that you purchased, the more likely it is that you are going to need a techie to help you work it.

Tip #3 – Look for Software That Runs Online in a Browser

When you go shopping for this type of software you are going to find two kinds when it comes to actually presenting your applicant with forms to fill out.  You will be able to buy a program that either tells your applicant to download the program onto their own disk and then email it or you will be able to buy one that allows them to access online in a browser.

There is a drawback to asking applicants to download a document as not all people are capable of doing this on their computers. In fact many disadvantaged people in society will find themselves in a library or an internet café and they will not have a disk of their own to download your information onto as they work on filling out their application. It may be more difficult for them to save their work in that case.

However, some organizations purposefully use software that must be downloaded as part of a way of a “weeding out process.” It prevents too many submissions from hitting their offices en masse at once.

In most cases it is best to go with the type of software that engages your application process within a browser as going to a website is easy for most applicants. Even more ideally they should be able to register and save their documents within a browser much the same as you can save a document on Google docs.

Even though it should be a simple matter, shopping for this type of software is not always an easy task. You need to take your own budgets and needs as well as the traits and needs of your applicants when choosing this proposal grant management software.