If you’ve managed grants for a council then you likely know that application volumes can be high, deadlines can be tight, and governance will most likely be strict. In order to handle these demands, you need a system that is flexible and secure but also a team behind it that can move quickly and provide you with reliance and consistency. One of the UK’s leading local authorities Flexi-Grant® from a number of other alternative suppliers for just this.
The Council have a national reputation as a top performing local authority in the country along with being one of the largest local authorities by area in the country. They provide rural funding, youth grants and disability support to those within the county through a series of grants.
In 2018, after easily procuring Flexi-Grant® through the G-Cloud government framework, they reflected on their reasons for choosing the leading grant management platform and what their team liked the most:
1. Faster, more flexible application creation and workflow builders
The ability to adapt and control their system on their own was crucial to choosing the right grant The ability to adapt and control their system on their own was crucial to choosing the right grant management system. Their grants team work on multiple programmes simultaneously and manage millions in grants; it was important for them to be able to create their own application forms, make edits, change deadlines, set up & edit email templates, and have full control of every piece of text within their system. Flexi-Grant® enabled them to do this and feel fully responsible for their system.
“The deciding factor on choosing Flexi-Grant® was the ability to adapt the application forms ourselves, which is important as we have over 40+ grant programmes. Being able to make edits to the system and application forms to suit our needs was a top priority.”Funding Development Team Member
2. Training services that put the client first
Choosing a system is the easy part; ensuring your teams are bought in and trained to manage and use the system is usually harder. Different digital literacy skills within a team mean that each member has individual training needs. Flexi-Grant® is known for being flexible and easy to manage but it still requires some training to ensure all members of the team are getting the most out of the system.
It’s important that our clients don’t feel alone after the training process, and that they choose the duration and how they want to absorb the training. The Council chose the 2-day training option which consisted of showing the council’s team how to move applications through the system, how to run reports and how to set up monitoring and payments.
“After the Flexi-Grant® training we were sent user guides which covered all the steps we had been taught and we were also assigned a project coordinator from their team, so we had someone on hand in case we had a questions or queries. This support was invaluable during those early days of learning how to navigate the system and get the most out of its functions.”Funding Development Team Member
3. Saving valuable time with seamless scoring features
One of the most crucial activities in grant management is the scoring of the application form. An applicant’s score can either mean the success or failure of what is sometimes years of work. It’s important therefore for a grant giving organisation to have all the information at hand to make a fair and auditable decision.
The Council were no different and another crucial feature was the ability to score applications online, generate grant offer letters and email links to claim and monitoring forms. These features enabled the councils’ team to have a better overview of the grants they are giving out.
4. Data first tools to make migration seamless
When grant-critical information like historic applications lives in siloed tools or a mess of spreadsheets, data transparency and analysis isn’t going to happen. This ability; to analyse and be transparent is of great importance to both the Council and the grant giving world.
The Council had several years of data in old systems and spreadsheets that needed to be held in Flexi-Grant®. The Flexi-Grant® team managed the data migration process; the transfer was carefully mapped; the council’s team exported their old data into spreadsheets and then they went through the process of ‘data cleansing’ with the help of the Flexi-Grant® team. This was an important service to the council as it enabled them to report on data from 2012 to the present rather than starting from later years. This data analysis has enabled them to spot trends, flag any biases and ensure certain towns weren’t overfunded whilst others for example were under-funded.
The Council continue to use Flexi-Grant® to manage a multitude of differentiating schemes and programmes. Their team has grown since they first implemented the system and Flexi-Grant® continues to support them as their schemes and people adapt and grow.
Read the full case study to learn more about how Flexi-Grant® manages 40+ programmes for one of the UK’s leading council’s.
To learn more about how the Flexi-Grant® can help you seamlessly and efficiently manage your grants online, book a demo now.