Strategic software

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By Kathy Krais

The JEHT Foundation was established in April 2000 to support its donors’ interests in human rights, social justice and community building.

The foundation makes a combination of multi-year and one-time grant commitments for general operating support, project support, capacity building, and special needs and opportunities as they arise in its fields of interest.

JEHT Foundation has used GIFTS® grants management software from MicroEdge Inc. since its inception. However, the foundation realized it would need more detailed grants and organizational data to conduct more thorough analysis and planning, including creating specific cash-flow reports.

Debra Kendall, JHET Foundation’s administrative director, called MicroEdge, which recommended that the foundation consider an optimization analysis to examine their use of GIFTS and ensure they are getting the most from GIFTS.

The optimization analysis took three days.  After an onsite examination of why the foundation uses GIFTS, evaluation and discussion of the objectives of the optimization analysis, and review of the completed report, MicroEdge spent time with the foundation staff to demonstrate additional ways to use GIFTS.

The reporting problem that initially prompted the JEHT Foundation’s call to MicroEdge occurred due to the way grants data were input into GIFTS, and the coding structure that was being used.

The foundation resolved these issues by reorganizing its coding structure, adding more codes to cover various request types and status, enabling them to show all the detailed steps of a grant instead of just broad ranges, allowing the foundation to easily see how many organizations have submitted proposals, how many have been rejected, and how many have been funded.

“We are now using GIFTS as an organization-wide solution for the whole foundation, rather than only as a grants process tools for the program staff,” says Marjorie Louis, JHET Foundation’s grants administrator.

“Since our program managers often are on the run and can’t always be tracked down, GIFTS enables us to access all the information we need, regardless of whether they’re in the office or on the road.”

Once the JEHT Foundation has implemented all of the suggested changes to their current process, it plans to go back and adjust past data records, to afford a better historical view.

Then they’ll look ahead to the future.

“Once you’ve started using GIFTS,” says Marjorie, “it’s a good idea to step back and utilize this service, to see whether the system is being used to its fullest potential.”

Kathy Krais is a freelance writer for MicroEdge.

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