If you are not a Foundant client, or have never attended a Foundant client event, you’re missing out. “Sure,” you might say, “you work for Foundant. Of course you’re going to say that.” True, I’m one of the marketing peeps around here, but let me give you a little insight. For the three years prior to joining the Foundant team full time, in May of this year, I was a (not so traditional) college student. During my time at the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship (I know, it’s a mouthful), I was taught all the traditional and non-traditional ways to market to a target demographic. And, although the MSU JJCBE is an awesome business school; I was still in for a bit of a surprise when confronted with the Foundant reality. They do things a little differently here, and it pays off….for us, and for our clients.
My first experience with a Foundant client event was our May 2014 You Fly, We Buy. You Fly, We Buy is an opportunity for clients to visit us in our hometown of Bozeman, Montana and receive two days of training….for free! The thing that struck me most about this special client event was both the hands-on training they received as well as the relationships that were formed and nurtured here. In so many industries, this event could have felt stiff and impersonal – instead, it was warm and friendly, while staying very productive.
Although I have very limited experience with client events thus far, I have visited with a number of clients about their experiences. Through their eyes, I have heard a story that I can’t imagine has been told at many other organizations. I’d like to share just a few of these with you.
Bridget Wilkinson, Executive Director of the Bozeman Area Community Foundation, wrote a blog for us about both her experience at Foundant, and how the May 2014 You Fly, We Buy helped her become more successful with the software. In communications with me, she shared this quote:
During our You Fly, We Buy event, I was able to get to know the Foundant staff. They treated us like royalty. They were incredibly friendly, kind and welcoming. It seems like Foundant is a fabulous place to work! I am grateful to do business with a company that cares about its employees and wants to see them thrive!
Judy Link, Regional Grants Administrator for the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, shared her experiences at both the South Carolina Foundant Summit in 2013 and the August 2014 You Fly, We Buy event.
All the Foundant staff members are very knowledgeable, and if someone doesn’t have an answer, they know who does. The Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM) software is very user friendly, but these events offer the best hands-on help I have ever encountered. In addition to the personal help from the Foundant team, group discussion helped to answer questions. It was reassuring to see that others are looking at the grants management system the same way we are, but also interesting to see how other organizations grant funds. I especially enjoyed having that personal interaction with other granting organizations.
When I attended the first Foundant Summit two years ago in Big Sky, I vividly remember the opening session where Daren shared the story of how Foundant began. He had us laughing and crying all at the same time. That’s when I knew I was part of something really special. After two days loaded with learning and memories, they bid us all farewell with a delicious Montana spread, live music and a beautiful backdrop of Lone Peak.
At the second Summit, this time in South Carolina, I wasn’t sure how they were going to top off the beauty of the mountains and the moving story Daren told. But, it came as no surprise when they were able to pull off another fantastic event complete with an Oceanside kickoff party and a shrimp boil. Those of us that had been there the year prior, picked up right where we left off in Montana and the new folks added great energy to an already solid community. This time I went home with fantastic swag, including a winter hat that I’m looking forward to wearing again when the snow flies in Minnesota.
It’s been fun to watch this company grow and to see them getting great press for all of the fantastic work they are doing. This truly is a one-of-a-kind company and I’m happy to be part of their community. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us in 2015 at Spring Training in Tempe!
But You Fly, We Buy and Summit are not the only events we work hard to make happen for our clients. Regional User Groups offer clients spread across various geographic areas to meet, connect, and share their experiences with the Foundant software – while at the same time receiving our expert training – all without straying too far from their home base.
I know words can never capture what it means to be a Foundant client, or participate in any of these events, but I hope you’ve received a small glimpse of our culture and our commitment to our clients. For me, joining the Foundant team was just that – I found a team of people, dedicated to a purpose larger than the individual job. I can honestly say, our clients are more than just “target demographics”….and they are much bigger than the bottom line.
For more information about our Foundant Client Events, please visit the following links: