As a foundation or a corporation, it is important to have a list of set values that you stand by. These are the things that your employees relate to and experience every day as well as how your customers think of you. From a grant-giving prospective, this is what the grant seekers will be looking for and trying to match. But why?
Most grant giving facilities have a standard as to what causes they give to. This is based on their values and what they believe in. For example, one of our clients, the Orange Foundation focuses on education, healthcare and culture.
Having your values outlined allows for those seeking grants to know where to apply. They will be looking for a foundation that has already donated to a similar cause as theirs and to those whos categories it fits.
How do you identify your values?
Without choosing what it is your corporation/foundation stands for, it’ll be hard to choose which projects to fund. You’d be bombarded with applications from all areas of life and all around the world. Unfortunately, no one has the time to sort through all of these applications to choose the best applications, therefore choose your sectors wisely.
Your values should be chosen by your board members or managers of your company. There are cases when this doesn’t happen. For example, family trust and foundations values will be decided by that family and tend to be handed down through the generations. This can make it difficult when a new family member takes control of the foundation and decides on change.
The number of sectors you’d like to work on depends completely on each foundation. Some choose to have two, whereas others have six. Those with bigger funds to donate can easily choose multiple sectors to contribute too as they have more money to share around, however, it is recommended that small foundations choose just one or two areas to focus on.
Now that you’ve decided upon your values and which sectors you wish to contribute to, the next step is figuring out which issues within these sectors are more important to you. For example, if your sector was environmental issues, do you focus on the use of fossil fuels or cleaning the ocean?
Instead of eliminating certain issues, giving them a ranking for which ones are most important to you. Giving the issues a number will help you to clearly see where you want to concentrate your efforts without having to cut anything out.
Turning this into automation
With the use of a software, such as Optimy, you can use this ranking system to set up your automation. In the Optimy solution, you can programme in the ranking of your chosen causes through your application process.
On the software, you can create your application form for your grants. These questions can all be given a ‘weight’. This weight represents how important the answer to this question is to you and your values.
This works throughout the entirety of the applications, taking into account the answer to each question to create a ‘final score’. All applications are rated in the same way against the same criteria to allow for an accurate representation of all applicants.
Having all of your applicants ranked allows for your grant manager to simply see which applications fir with your criteria and which ones don’t. An added bonus is that the Optimy solution will send out an automatic email to those who do not fit your criteria to let them know their status straight away, saving you hours!
Your search is now narrowed down. You’ve selected the issues you care about and created an application form. All applicants who do not fit your criteria has been notified, leaving you with the only the most relevant causes to look through and choose from. Using this form of automation for your grantmaking can save you up to 50% of your time on recurring task, leaving you with spare time to spend on what’s important. To find out more about Optimy solution and our leading impact suite, go to www.optimy.com/grant-management.