Susan Ortiz and Jenny Ammon reviewed three companies for compatibility with our grants, customer service standards, streamline with public record standards, and their respective quotes/costs. Each company provided a demo of their Grant Management System and answered a series of questions about our specific needs as a Conservation District. In addition, each vendor provided a reference for us to contact and provide feedback on the system, overall experience with the system and customer service. We researched Wizehive, Smarter Select, and Foundant and presented our findings to the Marion SWCD Board in the fall of 2019 and were able to implement Foundant Grant Management System in the late spring of 2020.
The Landowner Assistance Program and CLEAR Grants were moved to online applications during the pandemic and our goal of providing a streamline application process, user friendly application, secure site, and quality reporting/review process was met during the first round, with some bumps of course. Our staff and Board really helped to set the stage for a future where more conservation funds can be used to put projects on the ground.
Grant Management Systems do not replace the work staff does, simply streamlines the customer application process, the internal review and reporting allowing staff to utilize their time for conservation planning, site visits, and education. Our website provides great information on our Grant Programs https://www.marionswcd.net/what-we-do/grants/