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Digital Transformation Launches foundationConnect, a Complete CRM and Grants Management Solution for Grantmakers

Now grantmakers can seamlessly manage the entire lifecycle of philanthropic giving — from eligibility and application to reviews and evaluations, all the way through to distribution and outcomes

The Commonwealth Fund, The William Penn Foundation and New York State Health Foundation use foundationConnect to manage their grants management process end-to-end

SAN FRANCISCO – May 15, 2019 –, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), today announced it will offer foundationConnect, a next-generation grants management system that enables foundations and public charities to seamlessly manage the entire lifecycle of philanthropic giving.

Nonprofits and grantmakers are often bogged down by antiquated processes, run on paper or spreadsheets with data trapped in different systems and lack uniform reporting tools. In fact, 13% of every grant dollar is used to administer the grant1. In addition, collaboration between grantors and grantees is often inefficient and slow, taking place primarily by email rather than a personalized portal.

Introducing foundationConnect for Grantmakers

Last year, acquired roundCorner, which provided fundraising and grantmaking solutions, (including foundationConnect) and industry expertise to meet the needs of the largest global organizations today.

foundationConnect provides grantmakers with a holistic view of their philanthropic giving by managing stakeholder relationships and grants management processes. Now, with automated manual tasks with intelligent workflows, staff can spend more time supporting grantees and leadership to maximize the organization’s impact.

Built on Salesforce, the #1 CRM platform, foundationConnect complements solutions Philanthropy Cloud and Nonprofit Cloud, accelerating the vision for philanthropy: creating a marketplace for grantors and grantees, making it easier to connect with one another, work together toward common goals, and engage in partnerships across the greater impact-making community. foundationConnect includes:

  • Application and Grantee Portal: Grantees can seek out and apply for new grants, communicate with foundation staff, and submit status reports.
  • Reviewer Portal: Reviewers outside of an organization can access applications and provide feedback. Staff can monitor progress, as well as easily identify conflicts of interest.
  • Grant Awards and Management: As a grant maker, everything is now in one place to streamline grants management processes and manage relationships with board members, reviewers, applicants, grantees and partners.
  • Report Tracking: Grantmakers can monitor scheduled grantee status reports and review reports as soon as they are submitted.
  • Outcomes Measurement: Teams can easily collaborate on expected outcomes, track outputs, and report on portfolio performance.
  • Payment and Budget Tracking: Set up payment schedules and monitor an organization’s grants and program budgets.

“As a grant-maker providing more than $260M in grants to improve our communities, is deeply committed to transforming the nature of philanthropy and we understand the challenges that grant-makers face,” said Rob Acker, CEO, “With foundationConnect, we are expanding our portfolio to better serve grantmaking customers with leading technology to improve the grants management process from end-to-end.”

Here’s how leading funders are transforming their organizations with and foundationConnect:

The Commonwealth Fund: Increasing efficiency by eliminating paper

The Commonwealth Fund aims to promote a health care system where everyone, especially people with low incomes, people of color, and people who are uninsured, can get affordable, high quality health care. Previously, the Fund’s grants process was cumbersome for applicants and staff alike as grant seekers sent materials via mail and email, and staff entered manually for processing. Materials were compiled into large binders of information for review. Moving to foundationConnect for grants management has eliminated the Fund’s use of paper entirely. Today, grant seekers submit all applications through foundationConnect’s Grantee Portal, and reviewers receive and evaluate grant materials digitally.

“Having all of our data in a single place has allowed us to move faster, be more transparent, and freed up staff time,” said Andrea Landes, Vice President, Grants Management at The Commonwealth Fund. “Transitioning to foundationConnect was a smooth process thanks to support from our implementation partner, and our staff have made the most of its offerings."

The William Penn Foundation: A single database to improve collaboration

The William Penn Foundation aims to improve education for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment and advance philanthropy in the Greater Philadelphia region. Before moving to Salesforce and foundationConnect, grant data was stored in three separate databases, and the organization used spreadsheets to keep track of its budget. Now, all the foundation data is stored in a single, cloud-based database that is easily accessible, resulting in a more collaborative grant development process. A grant’s entire lifecycle is now managed through foundationConnect — from the pipeline stage through grant closeout.

“foundationConnect has enabled a more collaborative grant development process with all of our information in one system,” said Samantha Shain, Database Administrator at the William Penn Foundation. “It has also led to more parity with admin functions internally, leading to increased transparency across the organization.”

The New York State Health Foundation: Measuring impact at scale

The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers. Previously, the foundation used a non-customizable grants management system which had a limited automated workflow process. Information sharing with grantees was a challenge, resulting in an increased number of delayed report submissions on the progress of projects, slowing the grant making lifecycle down significantly. With foundationConnect, sophisticated automation processes have boosted NYSHealth’s productivity, helping end users and stakeholders keep track of deadlines and time-sensitive information. Ultimately, NYSHealth was able to significantly reduce delays in the grant making lifecycle, while establishing a conversation between the grantee and program staff through the Grantee Portal.

“Reporting inconsistencies proved we were unable to effectively track and measure the impact of our grants,” said Ursula Stewart, Grants Manager at NYSHealth. “Now, reporting with foundationConnect is extremely comprehensive and powerful. We’re able to better track our work, assess lessons learned from the outcome of projects, and achieve meaningful impact.”


foundationConnect is now generally available. More information can be found here.

1CEP Research

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