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I am a recent user of RE and I'm looking for guidance on how best to use it to manage the application process to funding organisations, i.e. grant making foundations and alike.
At the moment I have inherited a range of fairly random spreadsheets and incomplete notes in records within RE. What I need to be able to do is to create a calendar of application deadlines for the various funders we have relationships with and then to manage the application process to submission, and then the accountability process once the grant has been spent. We have just upgraded to the Enterprise version and have been advised to use the Prospets module to manage these processes. However, having looked at this new module it seems to me to be far more appropriate to the management of high-net worth individuals and not grant making bodies.
Being a Mac user and working from home a fair amount, I am tempted to use a combination of DevonThink, Filemaker/ Bento and OmniFocus or Things to manage the grant application process and then just use RE for the financial recording and reciepting aspects.
My questions is - how are other people managing this process? Do you
use RE for all you information and if so how is this accomplished?
Alternatively do you use other applications to compliment RE for your
grant application management?
Any advice would be greatfully recieved.
I am about to begin the same process using the Prospect tab (I have used it before but it is not yet purchased at this organization) and plan to record each foundation I have researched as a consituent organization. For each foundation created in RE, I am going to create actions that incorporate the dates and information I would like to have as tickler points for the grants process used by that foundation, notify myself, and then use action reports to also create a hard copy tickler report, reporting on next quarter, current calendar year, next calendar year - whatever is appropriate.
Under the prospect tab, I will record fields of interest in philanthropic interests, and what they will not give to on the face area of the tab, then create a new proposal for the one in progress, using all the detail fields on that proposal's page. You can also create other financial information types to help customize the tab for the foundation you are working with. (Average gift, highest gift, lowest gift, total assets, etc.)
Another suggestion - I would stronly recommend you plow through using RE for all possible purposes and avoid the temptation to revert to other databases that you are familiar with. It is so much more comfortable to just stick with what you know, but RE is your tool, and you will be happy with it if you just take the time to figure out how it works and how to make it work for your situation. If you use other tools, you really miss the opportunity to use the reports function to its intended capacity.
Good luck, and I would be interested to hear if anyone else out there has any advice or suggestions on this type of process.
We are integrating also setting up procedures to track grants in RE. Like Virginia, we are also setting up action tracks to help us keep the ball rolling in regard to open grants.
Also, you had mentioned that it was recommended that you get the Prospect Module to aid you in this effort. I think you may be thinking of the Prospect Module as the product ProspectPoint through Target Analytics. However, each constituent record has a tab called Prospect. Access to use this tab is an extra feature which needs to be purchased through your Blackbaud Acct. Rep. Once that has been done, then Blackbaud will "unlock" access to this tab. It's awsome for tracking grants in addition for tracking major gift requests.