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    Client Story


    ALIPH Foundation

    How newly formed ALIPH Foundation launched an easy-to-use grantmaking system in only 2 months to support its global mission.

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    ALIPH Foundation logo

    Amplify logo
    A SmartSimple Amplify user

    Client since

    2019


    Type of giving

    Grants​​​


    Old System

    None


    SmartSimple product/services

    Key pain points

    • No grantmaking system or strategy in place to efficiently process and fund grant applications
    • Had to deploy a system and accept applications within 60 days

    New system must-haves

    • An easy-to-use online grant application submission form
    • A remote application review process to efficiently manage and disburse funds to applicants

    At a glance

    The ALIPH Foundation (International Alliance for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas) formed in 2017 with a unique mission: to keep heritage sites around the world safe in conflict or post conflict regions. As they embarked on their mission, it became clear that they needed an effective grantmaking solution to better achieve their goals – and quickly. In a matter of a few months, the newly formed foundation rapidly evolved from the ground up without any solidified grantmaking strategy to funding over 40 projects in 14 countries.

    Today, they are a globally recognized foundation with a portfolio of successful projects. With the help of SmartSimple, ALIPH launched a grants management system alongside their new strategy to fund the protection and rehabilitation of at-risk heritage sites without delay. One year later, the Foundation collaborated with SmartSimple to expeditiously launch their Action Plan to support the heritage protection sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with adequate online tools in just one week, so they could meet additional needs during times of global uncertainty.

     

    Conservation of Buddhist-era built heritage

    About ALIPH Foundation

    ALIPH Foundation is the only global fund exclusively dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage, including museums and monuments, in a global effort to build peace in conflict and post-conflict areas. The public private foundation focuses on three main objectives: the preventive protection to limit the risks of destruction of heritage sites; emergency action to ensure the security of heritage sites; and post-conflict efforts to enable the local population to once again enjoy their cultural heritage.

    Protection of a museum’s collections, including the installation of a new, secure door.

    ALIPH responds to relevant needs by working with local partners on every project to ensure the funding goes to where it's most needed. They offer two main grant opportunities: emergency relief for rapid support in protecting heritage sites under serious or imminent threat of destruction; and regular calls for projects to preserve cultural heritage endangered by conflict.

    Rosalie Gonzalez

    “There's no wasting administrative energy, and we can now spend more quality time reviewing instead of having to teach reviewers how to use the system.”

    Rosalie Gonzalez, Project Manager,
    ALIPH Foundation

    Preserving manuscripts in the Al-Aqib library

    A new foundation in need of a grantmaking strategy

    ALIPH began from the ground up with no dedicated software to help them achieve their grantmaking goals. They also had only two months to launch their first grant program and strategy. "We had to create both the strategy and the tool simultaneously and we knew we needed a tool to quickly receive grant applications," says Rosalie Gonzalez, Project Manager at ALIPH.

    Tomb of Askia rehabilitation project

    Gonzalez and a lean staff of three others needed a nimble solution to help them get up and running without delay. Without a completed website, an established granting process, or an application form, the Foundation’s hard deadline was met by the SmartSimple team. "The main reason that convinced us to work with SmartSimple is that they committed to our very tight deadline and they did everything in their power to meet it with us" says Gonzalez.

    A project to contribute to the protection of endangered intangible heritage

    Not only did ALIPH need help with grant application intake and review processes, they also wanted to have a front-facing grant submission process that was easy-to-use for all of their applicants. They faced a unique challenge. "When you work in conflict and post-conflict areas, people don't often have a good internet connection and might not be able to use complex tools, so we really needed a simple solution," says Gonzalez.

    An ancient wall art

    “The main reason that convinced us to work with SmartSimple is that they committed to our very tight deadline and they did everything in their power to meet it with us”

    Rosalie Gonzalez, Project Manager,
    ALIPH Foundation

    Preservation of earthen buildings and archaeological sites

    Building a solution from scratch

    ALIPH started collaborating with SmartSimple at the end of November 2018 and they needed an application process ready by a hard deadline in mid-January 2019. Although the timeframe was tight, SmartSimple delivered on its promises. "We were impressed with what was able to be implemented in such a short time," says Gonzalez. "We built the application form together. Since we were a team of just four people at the time, SmartSimple's team had experience in this field and helped us understand what we needed to do to create a streamlined grant application process."

    The work on Tutunji House in the old city of Mosul is continues

    Throughout the implementation process, the SmartSimple team helped them to configure Platform3 – SmartSimple’s cloud-based automation and collaboration platform – around the Foundation’s unique requirements. ALIPH was provided with the feedback and expert advice they were seeking to launch with efficient grantmaking processes. At times, SmartSimple even worked with ALIPH to refine some of its original objectives to ensure they had the most efficient and flexible process to start with.

    The minaret and archeological remains of Jam (12th-13th century CE) was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2002.

    The Foundation launched their first online grant application form with clear instructions and easy-to-use built-in submission buttons. The implementation also included modules to accommodate its newly formed external review process. Reviewers from all over the world were able to log in, complete their forms remotely, and easily submit their reviews all from one convenient location. "We love that each reviewer form is linked to its specific grant application within the system. It's convenient and straight to the point," says Gonzalez. "There's no wasting administrative energy, and we can now spend more quality time reviewing instead of having to teach reviewers how to use the system."

    Details of the minaret and archeological remains

    “We built the application form together. Since we were a team of just four people at the time, SmartSimple's team had experience in this field and helped us understand what we needed to do to create a streamlined grant application process.”

    Rosalie Gonzalez, Project Manager,
    ALIPH Foundation

    Restoring of the National Museum of Beirut , greatly damaged by the 4 August explosion.

    Responding quickly in times of uncertainty

    A year after launching, COVID-19 quickly became a global pandemic. "We were in the middle of the review process of our third call for projects but when the pandemic hit, we knew we needed to shift our focus immediately and assist cultural heritage sites and the women and men who work there get through the pandemic," says Gonzalez. The Foundation needed to add an emergency granting program to help protect cultural organizations from closing down completely by providing immediate aid to those on the ground.

    Preserving the written heritage of Jerusalem

    With their staff already working from home, ALIPH developed an emergency action plan giving up to $15,000 to help museums and other institutions to support the development of digital tools, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), and cover running costs, including employee salaries. In collaboration with SmartSimple, they added an application for emergency funds within a week. Through this Action Plan, the Foundation was able to quickly respond to applications and fund almost $2 million in grants so that smaller heritage sites, like museums, could survive during COVID-19.

    Restoration of the National Museum of Tripoli

    “...when we sometimes receive PDF application forms, we can upload them into our system, but it gives us a glimpse into what things would've been like if we didn't work with SmartSimple.”

    Rosalie Gonzalez, Project Manager,
    ALIPH Foundation

    Damage assessment project supported by ALIPH Foundation

    An easy-to-use solution to grow with

    Now equipped with a cloud-based automation and collaboration platform to manage all its grantmaking, as well as an established grantmaking strategy, the ALIPH staff can use their flexible platform-based solution to dive even deeper for their detailed reporting needs.

    ALIPH Foundation funds the preservation work of this 12th century site.

    "We're learning how to create filters and List Views by project type, country, and extract them into an XML file to build complex reports from there," says Gonzalez. She goes on to conclude, "when we sometimes receive PDF application forms, we can upload them into our system, but it gives us a glimpse into what things would've been like if we didn't work with SmartSimple."

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