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Posts Tagged ‘grant management’

Understanding and Protecting Donor Intention and Grants

October 8th, 2014 No comments

Nonprofits and NGOs are in a delicate position because they depend on donors to uphold and support their cause and grants to fund their mission. At the same time, their donor counterparts and grantors are passionate and excited about imagesthe mission, and nonprofits need to respect the intent of the charitable donation or grant.

If donors were to find out their money was spent in a way contrary to their desire, future funding could be in jeopardy, not to mention the potential for a PR crisis. This is why clear communication with donors is extremely important for nonprofits and NGOs of any size. Adhering to donor intention doesn’t just protect your relationship with one particular donor or grantor; it also protects the overall mission of your nonprofit.

Understanding Donor Intention and Grant Restrictions

There are many layers of donor intent and three specific grant restrictions. Before setting up a grant or making a direct donation, philanthropists may have broad or very specific guidelines on how the funds should be spent. Terms and conditions of a grant or donation may include:

  • Unrestricted: without a designated use
  • Temporarily restricted: contains specific guidelines on how it will be used
  • Permanently restricted: must be held indefinitely (often with the intent to generate interest)

Even if a grant or donation is unrestricted, special care should be made to address the donor’s intent. This helps develop a relationship of trust that will hopefully extend far into the future.

How to Protect Donor Intent

The first step to protecting donor intent is to have a clear cut mission statement. You mission statement will not only help attract donors, it will help attract the right kind of donors—ones who are passionate about your cause. When you share the same goals, then most of the time donor intent will align itself naturally with your everyday processes.Capture

Along with a clear mission statement, your nonprofit or NGO should have a strong commitment to ethical behavior on all levels of the organization. Perhaps this goes without saying, but even the slightest deviation from honest business practices (intentional or not) undermines your entire organization. Even in cases where donor intent isn’t clearly defined, all funds should be allocated with complete transparency and a commitment to spend it according to your donor’s wishes.

Finally, your nonprofit or NGO needs the right accounting and reporting tools so you can actually show your donors that you’re spending their funds as intended. In Geni Whitehouse’s whitepaper for Serenic Software, Grant vs. Grantt, she states, “Grant managers have strict accountability and tracking requirements, specialized reporting and measurement needs, and complex revision tracking requirements. It should be no surprise, then, that grant managers need special tools to support them.”

Selecting the Right Grant Management Software

Haphazard grant management increases the chances of mistakes and misallocation of funds. To ensure that your nonprofit or NGO is compliant with all fund restrictions, you need dedicated grant management software that integrates with your nonprofit accounting software.

Your organization’s mission is best supported with grant managing software designed specifically for nonprofits and NGOs; learn more about Serenic Software’s grants management solution, AwardVision

Improve Grant Management Functions: Extend the Life of your Nonprofit

January 29th, 2014 No comments

Nonprofits are subject to high levels of scrutiny, not least from the government. In any one day a grant manager may interact with government agencies, private foundations and charitable organizations, each with their own set of rules, compliance and reporting requirements. How can grant managers meet the needs of all these different stakeholders? Using software that allows for meticulous and detailed grant tracking, while meeting the needs of both grantor organizations and grantees, is certainly one way to tackle the challenge.

Grant managers need access to information in real-time; information must be secure but easily accessible based on individual roles and access rights. Read more…

Stop by the Booth – You Never Know What You May Learn… or Win!

April 25th, 2012 No comments

Even if you haven’t met me, one look and you would see I’m an easy going kind of guy with a big smile.  I’m not overly tall, domineering or intimidating in anyway, so why won’t you stop?  I saw you eyeing my give-aways.  Do you think I’m a used car salesman ready to pounce?

While there are many goals to exhibiting, lead generation being one, my number one priority is for you to remember my company name.   Here are the three E’s exhibitors and attendees should follow to maximize the exhibit floor experience.

Engage-  I’d love for you to take one of my give-aways.  It’s the quickest and easiest way to get my company name in your hands.  A quick hello and I’m just interested in your give-aways and you can be on your way.  Or, take a moment and…

Exchange –  Some information about yourself and we will reciprocate.  We know you are on a break and we’re not going to try and sell you a complex financial management solution in that time.  It’s great to be out of the office and face to face with people.  It doesn’t have to be all business.   Most booth folks travel a lot and may know of a great restaurant or outing that could make your trip even better.  We also want to learn from you.  Share your business problems and pains.  Because after all are we not at the conference to…

Educate – ourselves.  Whether it’s about my company product or some other industry solution, we both might learn something new.  Hopefully, in the end you will be inspired to move onto the fourth E and…

Examine – what you have learned at your leisure and eventually continue the conversation with us.

What’s the worst that could happen?  You may have to spend 5 seconds opening up the follow-up email, thanking you for stopping by, and hit the unsubscribe button.

A special thanks to all the folks at the Christian Leadership Alliance Conference that stopped by our booth last week.  It truly is one of the friendliest shows we exhibit at with great conversations.  We ended up giving out many of our hip-hop laptop bags for those that took a moment to scratch and win.  Make sure you stop and see us at one of our many exhibits this year.  We’ve got good stuff….products and give-aways!

Serenic at the Microsoft xRM Acceleration Lab

April 12th, 2012 No comments

Microsoft recently invited us to participate in the xRM Acceleration Lab at their campus in Redmond, WA.  Two of our employees, Sikandar Memon (Senior Software Engineer) and Tom Dungan (Product Manager) attended the invitation only event.

Group Picture: Front row, 2nd from the left is Sikandar and back row, 2nd from the right is Tom

The five-day workshop gave us the chance to work intensively with the Microsoft CRM product and development team members and Dynamics CRM MVP’s.  It was an excellent opportunity for us to fast-track some solutions and approaches for our DonorVision 2011 product that we are targeting to release later this year.

We shared with Microsoft our DonorVision 2011 product and goals, and the potential value of our solution in the nonprofit and NGO donor management niche.  Serenic DonorVision 2011 is a constituent and gift management system built upon Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.  The integration with Microsoft Outlook was a hit with our focus group last year.

Thanks to Microsoft for inviting us.  According to Tom, “This was an awesome opportunity to learn some best practices and build relationships within the Microsoft CRM partner community.”

Scratch and Win at the AFP Conference!

April 10th, 2012 No comments

Conference season is underway and Serenic had their first exhibit of the year at the Association of Fundraising Professionals 49th International Conference on Fundraising in Vancouver, BC.   It has been a number of years since Serenic has been to this conference and we were excited to return with the pre-launch of the all new DonorVision II.  As a former director of development and fundraiser, I was especially excited to be amongst my peeps to share Serenic’s latest and greatest product, effectively linking development/fundraising departments with their finance department.

We had a lot of fun with scratch and win tickets at the booth with some great give-aways.  If you plan to see us at one of our upcoming conferences you will have to be sure to stop by and check it out.  We have really nice Hip-Hop laptop bags, pictured on the table, which you will have a chance to win.  Participants simply grab a ticket off the table and scratch-off the stars.  If you find a picture of a donor you win a laptop bag.  If you find a picture of a gift box you can choose from one of our many great give-aways.  We made up a new rule in Vancouver since so many people really wanted the laptop bags, you can scratch a ticket each day you come visit us at the booth!

We’re glad to be back at AFP and look forward to seeing even more folks next year at the 50th annual event in San Diego.  In the meantime here is a link to a flyer on the new DonorVision until the official release.

Denver Hosting Explorations 2012 – Right Around the Corner!

April 3rd, 2012 No comments

Explorations, our accounting software user conference, is returning to Denver at the end of this month and we’re excited to show off the city!  Denver is known as “The Mile High City” due to its official elevation of one mile above sea level. Its history started back in 1858 with a gold rush that later stirred the slogan, “Pikes Peak or Bust!”

Our host hotel, the Westin Denver Downtown, is located in LoDo (lower downtown). The Lower Downtown Historic District was formed in 1988 and successfully granted historic status to 127 historic structures. LoDo has become a destination neighborhood because of attractions like Coors Field, breweries, clubs, restaurants, art galleries, stores and other businesses.

Explorations provides financial management software training and networking for our nonprofit, NGO and public sector users.  In addition to the training, we also want to have some fun!  So we’re heading to the newly opened Howl at the Moon to eat, drink and sing Proud Mary!  Howl at the Moon boasts the “The World’s Greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll Dueling Piano Show!”  We’ll sing, maybe dance, and laugh with musicians performing favorite songs from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today on pianos, guitars, and more. From Lady Gaga to Bon Jovi: you say it, they’ll play it. The live music show is centered around audience participation and two dueling pianos, so we’re all building our song lists and planning our roasts!

Here’s to a great conference and send us your favorite songs!

Public Sector Finance Management in the 21st Century: Transparency through Technology

March 26th, 2012 No comments

One of our partners in Africa is hosting a live seminar on Tuesday, 27th March, 2012 in Abuja. At the event, Signal Alliance will demonstrate Microsoft Dynamics and Serenic Navigator products to accounting professionals in the public sector.

As we know, transparency is critical for reporting, tracking and collecting funds, awards and grants for every nonprofit and NGO. And the right technology can help nonprofits and NGOs:
• Streamline workflow processes
• Enhance productivity
• Follow strict reporting guidelines

Those who join Signal Alliance can expect to see product features and capabilities as well as a technical demonstration of Microsoft Dynamics and Serenic Navigator. Attendees will walk away knowing why Serenic Navigator is the best solution to help achieve financial accountability in public sector states, agencies, ministries and departments.

For more details, contact Motunrayo Kuola at Signal Alliance.

Serenic Wins Award at Convergence

March 22nd, 2012 No comments

I’m excited to report that Serenic was recognized by the Microsoft Dynamics US Partner Team as the top ‘Customer Add’ producer YTD through February, 2012, during this year’s Convergence.   The award was presented during a “Volume Partner” breakfast held Monday morning, when five partner awards were given out across several categories (e.g. ISV, Cloud Computing, etc.).  Needless to say, I was thrilled to accept the award!

The short video shows Dan Brown of Microsoft talking about AwardVision, our grant management software, which integrates with our fund accounting solution, Serenic Navigator.  Serenic Navigator is available in the cloud and is powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

So, congratulations to everyone in our company for all the respective contributions in earning this award for Serenic.  In my eyes, this represents yet another illustration of our success as a leading partner with Microsoft and, most importantly, being the leader within the nonprofit and public sector target markets.

We’re one big team here at Serenic; everybody in the company has a hand in all of our awards and should share in the recognition.

This crystal looks quite nice on my credenza, but I guess I’ll go ahead and ship it off to headquarters so it can reside in its rightful place. :)

 

Attending Convergence 2012? Check Out the ‘Dynamics NAV in the Cloud’ Session!

March 16th, 2012 No comments

We’re going to be at Convergence next week and are looking forward to engaging with some new partners and also connecting with key leaders at Microsoft.  It’s always important to us to understand more about the evolving vertical strategy for the Dynamics family of products.

What’s especially exciting for Serenic is our product is being spotlighted during a ‘Dynamics NAV in the Cloud’ session that immediately follows Colin Powell’s keynote on Monday.  Talk about a tough act to follow!  The cloud session will be highlighting the new Azure cloud platform being introduced by Microsoft.  It will further dive into how NAV 7 (and Serenic Navigator in particular) are being constructed to take advantage of the new user experiences being developed and cloud computing in particular.  Needless to say, it will be exciting to see our product displayed in front of hundreds of people during the early stages of the conference.

We hope you all will attend the cloud session and send us your comments!

Serenic Attending CFG Annual Conference

March 15th, 2012 No comments

We’re looking forward to attending the CFG Annual Conference being held in London on May 17, 2012.  Joining us will be our newest partner in the UK, Advantage Business Systems.  Together we hope to meet with financial professionals in the charity sector and share the benefits of our financial management software suite.

After three years of exhibiting at this conference, we’re thrilled to have made it into the main lounge (the Benjamin Britten Lounge).  It’s like moving up from the kid’s table over the holidays :)

The conference theme is “Inspiring Financial Leadership” and will feature prominent financial experts, Mark Watts, RSPCA, and Andrew Sentence CBE.  For more information on the conference, you can visit the CFG event site.

Make sure to stop by say hello.