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Client Story


Grand Rapids Community Foundation

How the Grand Rapids Community Foundation created a versatile grants management platform that improved their customer service and user experience.

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Grand Rapids Community Foundation

SmartSimple client since

2014


Type of giving

Grants, program-related investments, scholarships


Dollars granted

$172 million through 22,000 grants


Old system

YourCause (Good Done Great)


SmartSimple product/services

Key pain points

  • Previous system was difficult to use
  • Inflexible to changing organizational needs, along with configuration
  • Changes were cumbersome to apply

New system must-haves

  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved ease of use and user experience for staff and grantees
  • Access to reliable and responsive support

At a glance

Grand Rapids Community Foundation had long developed and maintained its own grants management system. Although this provided the foundation with a high level of control, the foundation ultimately decided to get out of the business of developing grants management systems. Grand Rapids Community Foundation therefore had to find a replacement system that was less cumbersome for the end user and removed known barriers from the perspective of the grantee.

Photo of a girl receiving award - Grand Rapids Community Foundation and SmartSimple

About Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Community Foundation supports the community of Grand Rapids, Michigan through the creation and management of a permanent endowment. Support is provided through philanthropic giving in the form of grants, initiatives, program-related investments, and scholarships. Since their inception in 1922, Grand Rapids Community Foundation has provided funding of over $172 million through 22,000 grants.

headshot-testimony-ann-puckett

“SmartSimple is one of our better experiences working with a vendor.”

Ann Puckett, IT Manager,
Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Photo of a quilt illustration - Grand Rapids insisted on a system that is flexible and easily personalized

Selecting SmartSimple

Having developed and maintained their own system for many years, Grand Rapids Community Foundation staff knew exactly what they wanted out of a grants management system and, as such, insisted on a system that is flexible and easily personalized in terms of functionality and user experience.

Photo of people at a festival - Grand Rapids was also looking for a vendor who could be a trusted partner

In addition to seamless technology, they were also looking for a vendor who could be a trusted partner; a vendor that could deliver on its promises, that had a strong reputation for customer service and that operated with a sense of integrity.

Photo of a vegetable stand - Working with SmartSimple

Working with SmartSimple

Months after selecting SmartSimple Ann Puckett stated that, after six migrations over the course of three years, the relationship with SmartSimple “is one of our better experiences working with a vendor. The implementation team has been outstanding in delivering on promises and in looking for ways to make the system better.”

Photo of a vegetable stand - Working with SmartSimple

Would Grand Rapids Community Foundation recommend SmartSimple? They already have! Ann found that SmartSimple’s implementation and customer support process has been consistent, professional and very client-focused throughout.

Ann Puckett

“SmartSimple's implementation team has been outstanding in delivering on promises and in looking for ways to make the system better.”

Ann Puckett, IT Manager,
Grand Rapids Community Foundation

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