We know that Grants Management Systems (GMS) help grantmakers accelerate their impact, improve relationships with grantees, and unlock the power of data for reporting and decision making.
We also know that many organizations are stuck in outdated systems—or are manually tracking everything through an ad hoc process using email and spreadsheets—which means that too many grants professionals are spending countless hours tracking down information, searching through disparate documents, and manually moving the work forward.
To help Grants Administrators and Grants Managers advocate for new technology, we teamed up with our friends at Grantbook to build a simple guide.
You might be frustrated by the limitations of your current technology systems and intimidated by the prospect of asking your leadership for more resources (it is nerve wracking for everyone).
This guide will show you the process to build support for change within your organization and ultimately have a decision made on a new GMS.
So how do you make the case for a new system and convince your team to invest in improved technology? In essence, you will build a pitch for your decision makers that effectively outlines what you need, why you and the organization will benefit from it, and what it will take to get there. Let’s get through those steps.
Lay Out Your Why
When you’re deep in the weeds of day to day frustrations of a limited system, it seems obvious to look for improvements. However, your decision makers likely don’t experience the same challenges you do on a daily basis—so it’s important to lay out your case in a way that emphasizes the overall organizational impact of your current system. We created a list of reflection questions to help you understand the impact of your current system, through the lenses of people, process, and technology.
Identify Your Stakeholders
Before you start crafting your pitch, you’ll want to identify the stakeholders who will be involved in the decision making process. For example, if you know that your CTO is very detail oriented, and has a lot of concerns about cybersecurity, then you’ll likely want to craft a proposal that speaks to those concerns.
Outline the Value
In this step, you’ll look holistically at the value that a new GMS could add to your team. By looking at where you’ll reduce administrative burden (save time), and where you’ll be able to more fully operationalize organizational values (i.e. become more grantee centric through improved relationship tracking, or a less cumbersome grant application process) you’ll be able to clearly define the overall value of your investment.
Identify the True Cost
In the final step, you’ll investigate the total cost of your proposed investment. Any major technology investment will come with additional costs beyond the initial purchase and annual licensing fees, so you’ll keep in mind all of the “soft” costs associated with managing the change, ensuring ongoing maintenance and optimization, having adequate support available, etc.
Check out The Survival Guide for Successfully Advocating for a New GMS at Your Organization to work through each step in detail.
Good luck and if you need help please contact us.