When reflecting on the events of 2020, the word that leaps to many of our minds is “unprecedented.” From the crippling COVID-19 pandemic to the calls for justice and equity heard across the United States, companies have had to absorb a number of unprecedented shocks to the way they do business, and the way they carry out their mandate of corporate citizenship. Many organizations have shifted their missions to respond to the ongoing crises—for example, by directing funds toward addressing employee hardship, improving digital education, or advancing advocacy work.
Since the advent of COVID-19, the research grant community has begun to depend more on collaborative, cloud-based technology than ever before. Reviewers from around the world were already assessing work virtually, but now research grantmaking organizations need better remote collaboration even among their staff in the same city. They increasingly find that the old way of tracking everything in various spreadsheets is not working, and there is emerging a dire need for simple yet configurable software to manage the research grant review process from end to end.
Consider this: non-profit organizations everywhere are under pressure to maximize their resources, provide for community needs, all while managing their relationships with foundations and partners. Meanwhile, funders and their staff are under duress to balance program development, stakeholder engagement, and fiduciary responsibility. At the end of the day, the grant application, for both grantseekers and grantmakers, is one part of the process that both have to interact with to move forward.
Along with having a clear mission and efficient processes, effective budgeting is critically important to any grantmaking organization's success. Leanly staffed grantmakers of all sizes can often grapple with maintaining and improving their philanthropic budgeting operations, especially when using systems that are rigid and do not easily adapt to today's rapidly changing world and economic uncertainty.
Board meetings are a core part of governance within foundations and the grantmaking process, where the information discussed drives decision making to act on. Despite board meetings being such a critical piece of the grantmaking cycle, they can often cause considerable challenges for teams – from preparation and scheduling to hosting and following up.
Whether you are coordinating reports, creating a board book with up-to-date details, or sending out invitations and navigating availability conflicts – board meetings are no small task. Until now.