Comprehensive GMS that works for you - just learn how to use it!
Updated August 19, 2015

Comprehensive GMS that works for you - just learn how to use it!

Margie O'Connor | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Classic

Modules Used

  • Email, Requirements, Charts Plus

Overall Satisfaction with MicroEdge

We currently use MicroEdge GIFTS Classic as our foundation's grants management system. While GIFTS Classic is a complex grant management system (GMS) with an antiquated interface, after using the database closely for almost three years, I have learned that this system is capable of helping us in all of our grantmaking - you just have to know how to use it! Currently only our Grants Department uses it, but we plan on rolling out GIFTS to other departments before upgrading to GIFTS Online. GIFTS helps us in tracking, monitoring, and managing online applications, requirements, payments, contract management, and contact management. It also serves as a way to consistently allow our program staff to monitor their philanthropic initiatives programmatically, while Finance still receives the necessary payment information they need (check requests, coding, payment information, etc). GIFTS also helps us generate reports (we use Excel rather than canned reports) to use as a reconciliation report to compare with the Finance Department to ensure we are tracking the same grantmaking expenses.
  • Customer support is readily available and comprehensive. As an advanced user, I have been really pleased with MicroEdge customer support and every time I call, my issue is not only resolved, but I learn something new about the system or a simpler way of doing things.
  • MicroEdge's support staff are extremely knowledgeable with philanthropy and grantmaking. They are not just database administrators, they assist in helping their users conceptualize how to use the database to the best of their ability in a way that is aligned with their organization's grantmaking strategies and initiatives. For example, our Foundation does a wide variety of grantmaking from matching contributions to complex contract management for operating grants. MicroEdge has helped us restructure our code tables and user ability in a way that works for us.
  • MicroEdge does a great job at hosting user groups by geographic region so we can personally express our concerns and desires for our organization's needs. You get more than a GMS when you choose MicroEdge.
  • While GIFTS Classic is the most barren interfaces of all MicroEdge products, there are some simple capabilities I wish GIFTS could still perform such as better email integration from outlook to a GIFTS request, more efficient requirement reminders, and a wider use of Microsoft Office and other external product integration (GuideStar).
  • It's disappointing that you have to purchase an additional "Customizer Module" or "Budget Module" in order to access basic functions of a GMS. This seems like a basic system function that MicroEdge takes advantage of, unfortunately.
  • The online application module (IGAM) is still quite antiquated and you have to be knowledgeable of basic HTML in order to really customize your organization's online application. More flexibility and design functions would be greatly appreciated with the online application function, especially since this is a public document and represents your organization.
  • Managing nonprofit contacts efficiently through contact management, email integration (GIFTS Email Plus module), and managing multiple contacts per organization.
  • Increased employee efficiency, especially once we roll out the system for program use foundation-wide.
  • Increased financial efficiency through an accountability-based management system of the grants database and the Finance Dept database.
I think MicroEdge can meet a wide variety of organizational needs, whether you have $20 million in assets or $500 million. Our foundation manages $200 million in assets and GIFTS Classic has helped us do this efficiently. We realize that as we grow we will need a more sophisticated system, thus our move to GIFTS Online. The only scenario I would recommend an organization considering MicroEdge to look into first, is whether their CRM or financial management database can sync with GIFTS. Currently our accounting software does not sync with GIFTS, which was once a goal of ours, and we are forced to continue processing our grants manually as opposed to electronically.

Using MicroEdge

13 - Officer, Senior Directors, Directors, Managers/Grant Administrators, Data Entry