Supporting multiple grant programs with one streamlined solution
The Counselling Foundation of Canada, a private family foundation funded by Frank G. Lawson and his estate, was established in 1959 to create and enrich counselling programs and improve the technical skills of career counsellors. Over the last fifty-plus years, the Foundation has seeded many innovative programs that have had positive and profound effects, particularly around improved career exploration and development practices to help Canadians find their best career fit.
Each year, the Foundation runs four grant cycles, and with a growing number of funding requests and a finite set of resources, managing the funding request and reporting process had become increasingly onerous for staff.
In 2013, the Foundation recognized their need to move to an online grants management solution to streamline their funding administration process.
When The Counselling Foundation of Canada embarked on a search for a new solution, they reached out to GrantBook, a leading consulting firm, for their expertise in identifying how they could use different software resources to suit their needs. They quickly decided that FluidReview was part of the solution.
“We ended up hiring GrantBook as an outside advisor,” recalss Mario Gravelle. “We were seeing lots of products and heard a lot of sales pitches, but it was hard for us to figure out what tools would work best for our needs. But when GrantBook showed us FluidReview, we liked what we saw as it was easily adaptable to our workflow needs and could be integrated seamlessly with the other softwares we need in our work.”
The decision to move forward was made quickly and the foundation went live with FluidReview in 2013.
“FluidReview has been fantastic for us. It’s amazing how we’ve grown our process. As we’ve gotten more comfortable with the system and FluidReview has proven themselves to us, we continue to see the potential to make our process even more efficient.”
Setting up a customized workflow
With FluidReview, the Counselling Foundation of Canada was able to create a workflow that supported their unique needs. They were able to easily setup a multi-stage funding request and reporting process, requiring grantseekers to submit a letter of intent (LOI) and complete a formal Grant Application, while enabling grant recipients to submit progress and final reports through the system.
“FluidReview took into consideration that we had different procedures and processes than some other organizations. We were able to easily configure the tool to fit our specific needs. Being able to ask “can you guys do this” and have the FluidReview team come back and say “yes we can” was amazing”.
The Foundation leveraged FluidReview to create significant efficiencies in the administrative process. They’ve been able to automate redundant tasks, such as moving grantseekers between application stages and sending notification emails, and have saved hours of time. They’re now able to organize and track funding requests as they move through their process much more easily.
“Having everything centralized and automated has made a giant difference from an administrative standpoint. We’ve saved so much time and the process has made it much easier for our grant seekers and those we support.”
Improving the applicant experience
The Counselling Foundation of Canada has also been able to significantly improve the experience for their grantseekers. The process of submitting funding requests has been streamlined, and Foundation staff is confident that they get the information they need from every applicant.
“The online portal for grantseekers is excellent, and the automated communications are wonderful! Being able to let applicants know that they have moved to a specific round or that they need to complete a task is great. With FluidReview, grantseekers can easily apply and track their progress in one place, it’s seamless. It’s made things so much easier for them, and we’ve heard great feedback.”