Grantmaking meets Knowledge Management
Mark Walker | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 09, 2018

Grantmaking meets Knowledge Management

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Grantmaker

Grantmaker is the primary business software solution for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. It is used organization-wide by all employees, though usage differs by job function. This also functions as the main communication conduit for our grantees throughout the grantmaking process using the web portal and a variety of generated and automated communication (emails, e-letters, mailed letters, etc.).

The business problems it solves for the fund include: repository of all grant records, communication and working tool for our grantees, task and project management for staff, CRM for our contacts, knowledge management, paperless process and more.
  • Highly configurable for different use cases and easy to customize.
  • Instant insight into different job functions can be provided through the unique, customized filtered cards and dashboards for each user.
  • Frequent updates of new features that add more value to the product over time and create more efficiencies for staff and grantees.
  • Collaborative user base that is eager and willing to share best practices with lots of support from the vendor.
  • Friendly staff that is genuinely interested in the funding and nonprofit sectors and how they can make it easier for us to have the community impact we are all trying to achieve.
  • Support can be slow to respond to some submitted issues and Tier 1 support staff could be better at getting concrete answers about bugs or issues in the software.
  • With monthly releases, most of which have new features, the Q&A is sometimes not as good as it should be. Seems to be too much reliance on clients finding the issues and reporting them instead of Fluxx staff working to find those issues before release.
  • Some functions require Windows to configure, like the plugins to build documents and excel reports.
  • Coding knowledge is required for some advanced configuration.
  • We have significantly cut down staff time wasted on repetitive mundane tasks that can be automated. Now staff has more time to focus on the intellectual work that has impact on the communities we serve as a funding partner.
  • Dramatic decrease in paper. We have eliminated our file room and all grant documentation, including historical records, are at the staffs fingertips.
  • Better communication with our grantees and a clearer process for them to follow when requesting funding.
  • Standardized reporting and applications for all grant types with the ability to customize these on the fly during the grants process.
  • The cornerstone of our knowledge management strategy, everything else emanates from this software solution.
Not included above because it is not in the system is Salesforce Foundation Connect.

Again, I am always hesitant with this type of question. We selected grant maker because it offered the best fit for our organization's working style and culture. There is also a personal level of service that Fluxx offers that differed from other vendors (Smart Simple is similar in this way too). At the time we made the selection, one of the main influencers was the number of large foundations adopting the platform. As they invested in features, those features rolled out to the rest of the clients. This offered us access to functionality we would not have been able to afford otherwise. We moved from another vendor whose platform allowed for customization as well, but if they built it for one client, you still had to pay for it and pay ongoing yearly fees. So, the SAAS model adopted by Fluxx appealed to us. This has paid dividends as features have been developed. For example, one large foundation added the capability to track program-related investments alongside normal grantmaking activities within Fluxx. This is not functionality we could have paid to develop, but we have program-related investments that we wanted to track alongside grants and that feature was available to us because the development was paid for by that funder. That said, most of the above vendors have compelling products (as well as others), so be sure you look at your options and talk to users (other than the ones they provide you in the reference list) and check the Idealware guides.
I will give the same advice I give everyone. For us the software is a 10 and a perfect fit, but every organization and culture is different. So, anyone looking for software solutions should be surveying their peers and doing demos for at least 3-5 different solutions. The Idealware "Consumers Guide to Grantmaking Systems" is a great place to start if you have not looked at it yet. Here is a link: https://www.idealware.org/reports/consumers-guide-grants-management-systems/

Be sure to also use your networks like the Technology Affinity Group for Foundations and Peak Grantmaking as well, they have loads of members and resources interested in helping you find the best tool for your organization.