Inside Foundant – the Blog

Grantmaking in the 90’s

OK, I realize I am dating myself – but the things that technology can do these days continue to astound me. You see, twenty years ago I began my career as a development director for a non-profit. I remember, all too well, when submitting a single grant proposal was a monumental effort for a fledging non-profit.  It often entailed:

–          Calling a foundation to request printed guidelines.

–          Waiting for the foundation brochure (which would provide program detail and deadlines) to arrive in              the mail.

–          Writing the proposal narrative and trying to recreate the foundation’s budget template.

–          Making multiple copies.

–          Collating, faxing, stapling….

–          And finally culminating with a costly and frantic trip to FedEx hoping to make the 5:00pm pickup.

Five years later I found myself on the other end of the process, working as a grants manager for a foundation. At that time the challenges included:

–          Receiving and sorting through numerous hard-copies of proposals, usually received on our deadline            date.

–          Figuring out how to distribute these grant proposals to my program officers who were frequently                  traveling.

–          Gathering feedback from the program officers to include in a proposal summary for the board.

–          Going through filing cabinets researching past giving history.

–          Cross-checking 501c3 letters with the big blue book that the IRS sent us each year.

–          Spending days prior to a board meeting consumed with the copy and fax machines inevitably                    clearing paper jams and running out of toner.

How times have changed. Back in the 90’s, I never could have imagined an online grants management system like Foundant GLM, and all its benefits. The mere advent of websites alone have alleviated hours and hours of phone calls and administration. Yet, here we are living in this crazy time when a doctor in Nairobi can take a photo of the young girl she is vaccinating and within seconds that photo can be in the hands of the funder in Kansas City who made it all possible.

How lucky we are, here at Foundant, to be able to harness this amazing technology to help our clients do all their good work, better and easier.

As the photo below shows, some things are better left in the 90’s!

Grantmaking in the... 90’s