Here’s Why You Should Make Things Easier on Them—and Yourself!
We all know that having a positive reputation among applicant pools is essential. It can help to ensure that you attract the best applicants to your grants. But do you know what your applicants really think about your application process? Looking at the workflow from their perspective goes a long way in understanding potential bottlenecks along the way that can result in weaker applications and, ultimately, less impact. An overly complicated application process doesn’t benefit you or your applicants—so why not be nice and move to something simpler?
Particularly for organizations still using paper or PDFs for their grant process, moving to an online grants management system can be a major game changer. Imagine having to fill out new forms each time you apply, organizing support materials onto CDs and DVDs, collecting print materials, and then packaging and shipping everything—with no real guarantee that it will arrive by the deadline. For grant administrators, receiving applications via email and having to receive, sort, review, and store materials from mailed-in packets (not to mention keeping track of it all) can lead to an overly cluttered workspace and email box. Nobody wins.
With GO Smart, your applicants get a simplified application experience and you get a streamlined platform that makes collection a breeze. You’ll save considerable time (and your sanity!) thanks to a single space where you collect all of your application forms and support material. For your applicants, a simpler application process means they can focus on putting their best foot forward—resulting in stronger applications, and ultimately, greater impact. Everyone wins.
So. What do you really need from your applicants? Less than you might think! Check out how GO Smart can help:
Moving to an online process means that applicants can create an online account and get started right away. With GO Smart, applicants can build a profile quickly and their information is stored, making it easy for them to submit future applications. Having their own user account also means that applicants can leave the application at any time, save their work, and return when convenient. Grant administrators can add vetting questions that to be sure applicants meet the basic criteria. The full form won’t appear unless these criteria are met, so applicants won’t waste time filling out the entire application only to be turned down (not nice!). Administrators can also create clear steps in the process that direct the applicant to complete the necessary items like budget, DUNS, FEIN, demographics, and board information.
Moving online also means that collecting support material is simplified and streamlined. You can accept images, documents, video and audio samples through the system, all attached directly to the applicant’s application. This means no more boxes of support materials taking up valuable real estate in your office. No more reformatting and regrouping emailed files. With GO Smart, you have total control of what types, how many, and what sizes of media files you will accept and require. The best part is a seamless connection to your panelist portal; if your applicants attach media to their application, the assigned panelists will view those files in a neat popup modal and be better equipped to pair it with the application for a meaningful score and comment.
Managing the post-award process via email means more work for you and more hassle for your applicants. GO Smart makes the follow-up and reporting process painless thanks to a single portal where administrators can track a grantee’s entire grant lifespan. Applicants can easily submit invoices and reimbursements, as well as interim and final reports, all from their user account.
So do yourself and your applicants a favor by simplifying your application process and streamlining your grant management system. It’s the nice thing to do.