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Client Story


Georgia Family Connection Partnership

Superior scalability and flexibility for evolving processes increases self-sufficiency for Georgia Family Connection Partnership.

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Georgia Family Connection Partnership

SmartSimple client since

2014


Type of giving

Grants


Dollars managed

$7,711,500 for 2018


Old system

Custom


SmartSimple product/services

Key pain points

  • Files too spread out
  • Custom system couldn’t keep up with process changes
  • Updates to the system were expensive and time-consuming

New system must-haves

  • Centralized files
  • Fast and easy to make changes and update system
  • Able to add new functionality on our own

At a glance

The custom-designed system being used by the Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) had failed to keep pace with the speed at which GaFCP’s work was evolving. They required a solution that was responsive and adaptable to the changes in processes taking place within the organization, not just today, but well into the future.

With SmartSimple, GaFCP found a system that met their requirements and more. SmartSimple had the functionality to meet their complex reporting requirements and automate much more of their process, saving time and resources. GaFCP also became a Premium Support Services client, increasing their internal knowledge base and providing even more options for personalized configuration that the team could build on their own.

Little Asian girl eating with a fork

About Georgia Family Connection Partnership

Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) brings more than 3,000 local and state level partners together from all across Georgia’s 159 counties. GaFCP works toward measurably better outcomes for Georgia’s children, families, and communities. GaFCP is the only statewide network of its kind.

African American mother playing with her toddler daughter

At the local level, they connect their partners to the resources they need, help coordinate and manage efforts, and empower communities to craft solutions based on local decision-making. At the state level, they provide expertise in planning and governance, and administering state-appropriated funds for collaborative community initiatives.

Celeste Orr

“SmartSimple had functionality that made it a far superior choice than any other system available. I saw so much that we as an organization could make use of to improve other processes we knew could use updating.”

Celeste Orr, IT Resource Coordinator,
Georgia Family Connection Partnership

Photo of children at an event - Evolution of an international grants management solution

Custom-built system lacks adaptability

GaFCP originally had a custom grants management system built to accommodate their grants processing needs. They eventually found they had outgrown its capabilities, and the vendor just wasn’t able to keep up with the changes they needed. “As our initiative grew, we found we needed to make more and more frequent changes to our grants management system, but the vendor wasn’t able to turn our requests for support around fast enough or economically enough for us,” says Celeste Orr, IT Resource Coordinator.

Photo of a youth event - Georgia Family Connection shops for a new grants management vendor

The team decided to go shopping for a new vendor with a much more adaptable solution that could keep pace with the updates and amendments they needed. “We did a lot of research before we made a decision on a new system. The Idealware Guide to Grants Management Systems was a great resource for us. It contained comprehensive comparisons for dozens of possible solutions.”

Photo of two women at work - Georgia Family Connection looks for a solution that tracks contacts and share application files

“I was personally hoping that we could find a solution that would do more than just report on what we were doing. While that was, obviously, functionality we needed, we were looking for a system that would be able to perform other tasks, like tracking our contacts and sharing application files with our stakeholders and those of us administering the daily work of GaFCP.”

Celeste Orr

“It was evident from the moment we saw SmartSimple in action, there would be a multitude of benefits implementing SmartSimple over any other option available on the market.”

Celeste Orr, IT Resource Coordinator,
Georgia Family Partnership

Photo of a boy - Ease of report creation and accessibility

Ease of report creation and accessibility key requirements for a new system

GaFCP’s reporting needs were complex and needed a system that would be accessible not just to the internal team, but to the nearly 200 grantees who were required to regularly provide reports on an ongoing basis as to how their funding was being used.

Photo of a volunteer at an event

After seeing a demo of the system, Celeste and the team decided SmartSimple would be the ideal solution for them. “It was evident from the moment we saw SmartSimple in action, there would be a multitude of benefits implementing SmartSimple over any other option available on the market.”

Photo of a family at an event

“SmartSimple had functionality that made it a far superior choice than any other system available. I saw so much that we as an organization could make use of to improve other processes we knew could use updating. Providing members of our community their own permissioned access portals so they can modify their own information whenever they need is so much more efficient. It not only ensures our contact information is always up to date, but takes a load of communication and data management work off of our internal team.”

Celeste Orr

“Conversations with our Dedicated Support Representative and with Eric Lauer, Director of Customer Experience, provided great insight into how I could configure some SmartSimple features on my own.”

Celeste Orr, IT Resource Coordinator,
Georgia Family Connection Partnership

Photo of boys at a playground

The advantages of regular and reliable vendor communications

During the implementation phase of the project, SmartSimple met with the GaFCP team every week to ensure everything was on track and address any questions. “The weekly update calls were really helpful for us. The team felt confident that all our questions were being answered and that the process was on track and being managed effectively.”

Photo of a mother and her children

After working with their system for a couple of years, GaFCP decided to add Premium Support Services to their service package. “Conversations with our Dedicated Support Representative and with Eric Lauer, Director of Customer Experience, provided great insight into how I could configure some SmartSimple features on my own. I have a sociology background so am certainly no programmer, but having the tools to help make the lives of our end users easier is so refreshing! Sure there was a learning curve, but I’ve saved a lot of time by being able to call someone directly who knows everything about our system and can help me make changes and add functionality quickly and with less effort than I imagined.”

Photo of children at an event

Celeste and her team have created their own suite of materials - including videos and a discussion board - to ensure new staff and external users have everything they need to start working with SmartSimple right away. “It’s so easy for new users to jump in and start using the system. We’ve actually heard people say this is the easiest transition to a new system they’ve ever experienced.”

Photo of a boy

“Any time I’m at a conference or tradeshow and someone asks me what I think of our SmartSimple system, I am always more than happy to share how positive our whole experience has been and how much SmartSimple has improved how we work at GaFCP.”

Celeste Orr

“It’s so easy for new users to jump in and start using the system. We’ve actually heard people say this is the easiest transition to a new system they’ve ever experienced.”

Celeste Orr, IT Resource Coordinator,
Georgia Family Connection Partnership

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