Who's behind
Flexi-Grant.

Fantastic software developed by a fun team - developers, designers, testers and the odd nerd.
A relaxed environment but serious about helping our clients help people.

Our Story.

Fluent Technology, the company behind Flexi-Grant®, was founded in 2001 although our directors have been involved in the grant sector since 1990 with one working for a grant giving organisation for 10 years. This enabled Flexi-Grant®, launched in 2013, to have the needs of both funders and applicants firmly in mind, transforming the process for both.

Although we are proud of the impact Flexi-Grant® is already making we promise you that we are constantly striving to improve our product and make your life as a grant giver even easier. We love what we do and we get a great deal of satisfaction from hearing how much our clients are benefitting from using Flexi-Grant®.

Our ultimate goal is to have the best online grant management system in the world. And we intend to have some fun along the way!

Meet The Team.

Keith Turkington

Managing Director
Keith Turkington Funny Profile Picture

Keith Turkington

Managing Director

Keith Turkington

Managing Director

Keith has a Masters in Computer Science & is a Chartered Manager & PRINCE2 project manager. He brings almost 30 years of business experience to his role as MD as well as a background working for a grant-giving organisation. His main areas of responsibility are finance, strategy and business development and, like all business owners, never really switches off from work but when he does he loves to travel, play golf and cook.

David Cordner

Technical Director
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David Cordner

Technical Director

David Cordner

Technical Director

One of Fluent's co-founders. When David's not designing game changing features for Flexi-Grant®, he's trekking up the Mourne Mountains, travelling or trying to digest every trend and new idea he can through podcasts & articles.

Martin Graham

Operations Director

Martin Graham

Operations Director

Martin Graham

Operations Director

Martin has a degree in Computer Science & over 9 years' experience at Director & Senior Manager level (and before that 10 years as an IT Manager including in a grant-giving organisation ). He will focus on competency, performance & quality in all areas of Fluent as we face the challenges of a period of rapid growth. Is a keen footballer & Liverpool fan (a growing sub-set in Fluent as we now have 3 of the poor blighters), is very active in his local church & is learning to play the drums (possibly to punish his teenage twin girls?).

Jackie Turkington

Office Manager
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Jackie Turkington

Office Manager

Jackie Turkington

Office Manager

Jackie has a degree in Social Sciences & manages everything from the accounts, invoicing & credit control to the office refurb & our social media. Some would say her most important function is to buy the monthly supply of coffee without which Flexi-Grant® might never have existed.

Gary McNally

Implementation Manager
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Gary McNally

Implementation Manager

Gary McNally

Implementation Manager

Gary has a degree in Management Science & a Masters in Business Administration & is a PRINCE2 project manager. With over 20 years experience as a manager in both the private and public sectors, his serious approach to work belies his great sense of humour & his bottomless well of amusing stories on every topic keeps us all entertained! Indulges his life-long passion for photography in his spare time (a skill we put to good use for our early team photos).

Damian Hughes

Senior Solutions Developer
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Damian Hughes

Senior Solutions Developer

Damian Hughes

Senior Solutions Developer

Damian has a degree in Interactive Multimedia Design & is PRINCE2 qualified. He has been with Fluent from the very early days and so he takes care of many of our valued long-standing clients & also plays a vital role working on quality issues. Out of work is a long-suffering Newcastle United fan and Dad to 2 young children (not in that order of importance obviously!).

David Boyd

Senior Product Engineer
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David Boyd

Senior Product Engineer

David Boyd

Senior Product Engineer

David has a Masters in Computing & brings a focussed engineering talent to the development of Flexi-Grant®. In his spare time he is working on an online game (skills he develops there happily pass over to his Fluent work!), his detailed knowledge of WW2 military equipment and his ever-expanding whiskey collection (possibly all at the same time - after all this is a man who until recently was taking a Physics degree for fun!).

Alan Finlay

Product Engineering Team Lead
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Alan Finlay

Product Engineering Team Lead

Alan Finlay

Product Engineering Team Lead

Alan has a degree in Computing & IT & is a PRINCE2 project manager. He is now responsible for excellence, innovation and general awesomeness in Flexi-Grant® & aims to ensure that our technical team are at the top of their game so that Flexi-Grant® remains a market leader in grant management. In work he is known as 'Ask Alan'. Away from work his dedication to having a good time on staff nights out has earned him the nickname 'Shot Alan'.

Ryan Smith

Solutions Developer
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Ryan Smith

Solutions Developer

Ryan Smith

Solutions Developer

Ryan has a degree in Computer Science and is our 'Quiet Man' from Donegal. His skills range from coding to web design to customer support & he is now involved in a major bespoke customer project. He loves sci-fi and horror movies and is a big Bill Murray fan (aren't we all?). And when away from a screen he enjoys swimming (who says nerds don't do exercise?).

Gordon Sloan

Software Tester & Quality Assurance
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Gordon Sloan

Software Tester & Quality Assurance

Gordon Sloan

Software Tester & Quality Assurance

Gordon has a degree in Computing Science and is largely responsible for testing and quality control for Flexi-Grant®. He also takes the lead in auditing our ISO Standards. He works so hard that he has to be reminded to take his annual leave. We know he has a life outside of the office but we haven't really discovered what it is yet (although we've heard rumours that he's partial to a game of golf).

Claire Speedy

Senior Marketing Executive & Creative Lead
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Claire Speedy

Senior Marketing Executive & Creative Lead

Claire Speedy

Senior Marketing Executive & Creative Lead

Claire has a degree in Management & Leadership Development, a Masters in Marketing & an advanced Diploma in Management Practice. Our resident marketing expert, she helped design our websites & plays a key role in Business Development. Known for her sense of fun & non-techie expressions #WifiCable #GoOnTheGoogle.

Joe Donaghy

Solutions Developer
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Joe Donaghy

Solutions Developer

Joe Donaghy

Solutions Developer

Joe has a degree in Interactive Multimedia Design & develops some of the more complex features for Flexi-Grant®. Unwinds through games development and is a real hands-on DIY man at home (will he ever get his kitchen finished?). Having become a new Dad in 2017 we suspect his time for DIY is even scarcer ...

Steven McStravog

Solutions Developer

Steven McStravog

Solutions Developer

Steven McStravog

Solutions Developer

Steven has a degree in Computing and works on improving and adding client-led features to Flexi-Grant®. He unwinds designing mobile games and is a big DC/Marvel and comic book fan. We think we might have collected the IT equivalent of the Big Bang Theory cast by now!

Michael Turkington

Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Michael Turkington

Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Michael Turkington

Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Michael has a degree in Geology & is one of our dedicated Flexi-Grant® Consultants. His rock solid logical & process driven mind (see what we did there?) is crucial in helping implement, train & support Flexi-Grant® clients & he provides our technical team with a much-needed customer perspective on Flexi-Grant®. Outside work he loves following sport, especially football (he even plays a bit) and cricket, and has an almost encyclopaedic recall of stats from both.

Lauren Williams

Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Lauren Williams

Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Lauren Williams

Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Lauren has a degree in Computing (Artificial Intelligence) and a Masters in Cyber Security. Instead of fighting off hackers she will be making sure Flexi-Grant® implementations are smooth and trouble-free. In her spare time she loves to bake and the Fluent Team has already been the very willing recipients of her excellent salted caramel brownies. Needs both a blanket & hot water bottle to operate at peak efficiency in the office in cold weather.

Gareth Hillen

Junior Solutions Developer

Gareth Hillen

Junior Solutions Developer

Gareth Hillen

Junior Solutions Developer

Gareth did his first degree in Economics but decided to leave the world of sums behind to pursue a career in IT. He joined us fresh from his Masters in Software Development. As well as being eager to develop his skills at Fluent he brings a once rare degree of sportiness to the team as he plays for his local rugby team. The technical team morning scrums suit him very well, we just have to stop him grabbing people's shirts!

Chris Shields

UX Designer

Chris Shields

UX Designer

Chris Shields

UX Designer

Chris has a degree in Interactive Multimedia Design and comes to us from a games design and testing background. He will apply his skills to enhancing the usability and design of Flexi-Grant® so we are all looking forward to an even better looking and easier to use GMS! Outside work he enjoys indulging his passion for Arduino projects and is currently building a miniature magnetic hovercraft. Just to see if he can.

Dave McNeely

Senior Solutions Developer

Dave McNeely

Senior Solutions Developer

Dave McNeely

Senior Solutions Developer

Dave has almost 20 years experience in software & web development and customer service; he has ILM training in leadership & management and has been a Team Leader for the last 5 years. In 2000 he spent a year and a half volunteering in Mozambique as an IT Development Instructor. Dave has joined Fluent to take the lead on major client bespoke projects. Outside work he is a keen cycler ('keen' is the word if you can cycle across Italy, as he did recently) and is also busy preparing his garden for chickens (anticipating free eggs already!).

Niall Hanna

Trainee Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Niall Hanna

Trainee Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Niall Hanna

Trainee Flexi-Grant® Consultant

Niall has a Masters degree in Physics, with experience working as a Data Analyst. He is one of our new graduate trainees who will get to know Flexi-Grant® inside out before helping clients with their implementations & training. He plays guitar in a couple of bands so we hope he's not just biding his time here while he waits for a record company to come knocking on his door? And just to thoroughly end any geek/nerd stereotypes he also loves to play Gaelic football in his spare time. We're becoming quite the athletic bunch around here ...

Nicole Wilson

Trainee Flexi-Grant®Consultant

Nicole Wilson

Trainee Flexi-Grant®Consultant

Nicole Wilson

Trainee Flexi-Grant®Consultant

Nicole has a degree in ICT but after working full-time as a supervisor in retail after graduation decided that her ideal job would combine IT with a customer-facing/support role. Happily we have been able to provide her with that in our graduate trainee role. Her passions out of work are baking, her miniature Schnauzer Harvey & TV crime dramas!

So Far This Year…

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Our Values.

“The only thing we take seriously is our work”.
KEITH TURKINGTON – DIRECTOR.

Fun.

If you’re going to spend a third of your life at work then life is too short to not love what you do.  We only recruit people who share this view and who can bring a sense of fun and enjoyment to their work and our clients’ projects.  We believe projects work best when we all enjoy working together.

Honesty.

We don’t believe in a ‘hard sell’ approach (we don’t have commission or sales targets). If we feel our product isn’t right for you we’ll tell you straight away. We believe in open and honest communication and being contactable and engaged when you need us.

Passion.

Passion and belief in what we do motivates us to come into work every day to make Flexi-Grant®  even better for you. We’re a small company from Belfast who want to have the BEST Grant Management Software in the world…we won’t realise goals like this by being mediocre.

Blog.

Check out our blog for all the latest on Flexi-Grant®, the Grant Management Sector & a few from us that we thought you might find useful 🙂

NEW / Question Bank

Written by Claire, Senior Marketing Executive and Creative Lead, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based life form.  The end of March 2017 will see the official launch of our brand…

NEW / Setting up Reviews just got Easier!

Written by Claire, Senior Marketing Executive and Creative Lead, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based life form.

We’re building Flexi-Grant® to be a product everyone can use with ease, no matter what role you’re in! So when it came to our latest release (November 2016), we focused on the Reviewer journey. We introduced new features and layouts that will not only help Reviewers review applications more easily but will make the setup of reviews as simple as possible!

Setting up reviews just got easier!

Administrators have been able to set up reviews for some time in Flexi-Grant® but now you can send out reminders to reviewers individually or in bulk, view stats on how many reviews each of your reviewers has in progress…

Can we do things better? Yes, we can!

Can we do things better? Yes, we can!

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I might have mentioned this before … I do not like flying. It’s a frequent and necessary part of my job but not one I take any pleasure in. With clients across the UK and some even further afield I sometimes feel that I now know many airport terminals better than I know our offices!

I have often pondered why it is that I don’t like flying. The vast majority of airline staff are courteous and friendly, most of my flights are on time and I get to travel to meet and work with some lovely people. Basically what it boils down to is my fellow passengers.

Want to streamline your grant management processes? Music to our ears!

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I recently watched an interview with the film director John Boorman. He spoke at length about his experiences making the film Deliverance (1972). The studio was nervous. The film had no female cast members, no known big stars and the budget was being continually nibbled away. The director’s original plan was to have a composer and full orchestra to do the film score. As the budget came under further pressure John Boorman decided to dispense with the composer and orchestra. It was a bold decision.

What you say is not always what you mean. What you mean is not always what you say.

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I, like many, was saddened to hear of the passing of Ronnie Corbett. I have many happy memories of watching “the Two Ronnies” when I was much younger and my wife and I regularly quote from their famous “four candles/fork handles” sketch. If you have never seen this it is definitely worth a viewing. The humour is smart and effortlessly delivered by two brilliant comedians.

Blog Title Image - And I would write 500 words...

And I would write 500 words…

Our last blog from Bob, former Implementation Consultant at Fluent Technology, now taking time out to travel and see the world!

And I would write 500 more, just to be the man who wrote 1000 words to meet your maximum word limit. It’s a pity Christmas is over as I believe I have the makings of a number 1 right there.

Excuse me, I believe I have gone a bit mad. Please read on.

7 Top Tips to Becoming a Productive Morning Person - Blog Image

7 Top Tips to Becoming a Productive Morning Person

Written by Claire, Marketing Executive at Fluent Technology, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based life form.

I was never a morning person. I’d wake up at 11am, go to sleep at 3am (earliest!) and tut at people with 9-5 jobs. Then I became one of them 🙂

Maybe I Like Misery - Blog Image

Maybe I Like The Misery…

Written by Bob, Implementation Consultant at Fluent Technology, office ‘Flex-pert’, keen musician and resident Dr Love.

There is an episode of Father Ted where the housekeeper Mrs Doyle, disgusted when a salesman informs her that the TeaMaster “Takes the misery out of making tea”, says with a scowl “Maybe I like the misery!” If you haven’t seen it, here is the link…

We Could Hold Your Hand But We Don't Want To - Blog Image

We Could Hold Your Hand But We Don’t Want To

Written by Jackie, Office Manager, proof reader, fan of combining travel, photography and food, novice cocktail maker and mum of three.

Our daughter lives in Zurich and we have just returned from a week-long visit. This was our first visit to Switzerland and as with all holidays to new places I did my usual pre-holiday prep: buying, reading and sticking post-its in a Travel Guide (this time it was Lonely Planet’s Discover Switzerland) and googling stuff on the interweb. Once all this painstaking research had been carried out my usual next step would have been to draw up a detailed itinerary of things to do and places to visit on each day of the holiday…

Blog Image - Triangles

Going in circles? Think triangles Padawan!

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I have managed small projects, large projects and some very, very large projects. Some projects have lasted weeks, others have stretched into years. Some have been really complex, others have seemed straightforward. No matter the size or shape of the project I have at times found myself going round in circles wondering how I ever ended up in the middle of this! When problems arise (and even when they don’t!) I try to take a breath and remind myself of something I first encountered over 2 decades ago – the project management triangle (sometimes known as the triple constraint)…

Great Grant Making: Vicar’s Relief Fund

Co-written by Claire, Marketing Executive at Fluent Technology, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based life form; and by Jackie, Office Manager, proof reader, fan of combining travel, photography and food, novice cocktail maker and mum of three.

The VRF raised a staggering £2.3million in their Radio 4 2014 Christmas appeal, have awarded 3,245 grants nationally in 2014 and use a grant management system that has been described by one applicant as “the best of all the charities I’ve used”…

“Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Stone”

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I was onsite with a client earlier this week and making small talk before the meeting started. The young lady I was talking to had had a few issues with her house and being (a little) aware of this I asked if these had been resolved. She described having a fire start in her bathroom and the damage resulting in very hefty repair bills. Obviously she was feeling stressed about this so I decided to lighten the mood and focus on something more positive. “How are your wedding plans going?” I asked. “It’s off” was the short reply…

Confessions of a non-techie in a techie world!

Written by Jackie, Office Manager, proof reader, fan of combining travel, photography and food, novice cocktail maker and mum of three.

In the comedy series The IT Crowd there is a wonderful scene where the IT geeks give their boss, Jen, a box and tell her that it IS the internet and that she must treat it with great care. Of course she believes them and much to their amusement proudly displays it at her next staff talk. They also tell her that if you type Google into Google search you will break the internet. Now I know this is a joke but being in confession mode I have to say that, like looking under your bed at night, I would be reluctant to do this just in case…..

Submit. Click. Award.

Written by Bob, Implementation Consultant at Fluent Technology, office ‘Flex-pert’, keen musician and resident Dr Love.

The work involved in getting a submitted application to award should not be tedious, it should not be difficult, and it should not be time consuming. After all, your real efforts should be focused on ensuring your awards are being put to good use.

Submit. Click. Award.

Wouldn’t it be nice? An application is submitted, you click, and hey presto it’s either awarded or it isn’t…

When you can’t have fried chicken…

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

Some days you just feel the need for something tasty. OK, to be specific, some days I feel the need for something tasty. Today I felt like fried chicken. I tried to tempt a colleague to join me in a quick trip to a local purveyor of fine fried chicken but he declined. You just can’t get support when you need it! I will not name and shame my colleague who let me down in my hour of need but hopefully Bob will do better next time…

New To Grant Management? Check Out These Websites and You Won’t Be!

Written by Claire, Marketing Executive at Fluent Technology, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based life form.

Many of our clients are grant experts. They’ve been managing and distributing grants for a number of years, in many different capacities. They know where to go to get advice, they know how to create meaningful data from applications and they follow best practice like it’s going out of fashion.

BUT there are those of us out there that are beginners, (like myself two years ago). They enter the market knowing nothing and needing to know EVERYTHING…

Investors in People? What? Why? How?

Co-written by Matt, Operations Manager, MBA student, seasoned traveller, music festival fan and husband of Jenni; and by Jackie, Office Manager, proof reader, fan of combining travel, photography and food, novice cocktail maker and mum of three.

If you’re not familiar with the Investors in People (IiP) management framework I strongly encourage you to check it out! It’s a worldwide recognition for excellence; the prestigious accreditation is all about one thing – creating a high performance organisation through its people.

Accepting Creepy Projects.

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

It was all going so well. The project was running smoothly, every team-member knew their responsibilities. We were on time and to budget. But then it happened…

5 Sites With The Best Free Stock Photography.

Written by Claire, Marketing Executive at Fluent Technology, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based lifeform.

We don’t know about you, but we love images! Why? Because a picture speaks a thousand words.

We’re in the middle of the ‘image marketing era’ and the direction that social media is taking is the testament to how true this is. Platforms like Instagram are getting triple the amount of engagement than that of its counterpart, Facebook (source: The Marketing Eye, Sept 2015). This is all great in theory…BUT stock photography is expensive (especially if you’re a small organisation with an even smaller marketing budget!)

I hate flying.

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I hate flying. While I don’t like heights it’s nothing to do with that. What gets to me is the chaos that invariably ensues during boarding. I can hear you sighing and saying “Is that it?”. Ok, I admit it, I am a process nerd. I like things orderly and running smoothly, that’s when I’m at my happiest. Try boarding a plane and watching what happens. Try sitting on a plane that’s full and listening to the Flight Attendants’ continual announcements that passengers should stow small baggage at their feet as the overhead bins are too full. A good test of their patience (passed with flying, excuse the pun, colours), not so good if you are listening and wondering why everyone didn’t understand it the first 3 times…

Standardise or not to Standardise?

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I have been fortunate to sit in on a number of review panels over the years and have observed many different ways in which review panels and committees reach their decisions.   What I find most interesting is how different individuals approach the job of scoring applications.  Even though there can be guidelines and a common scoring framework some reviewers like to be generous with their scores and take off points if they feel applications are missing essential details.  Others reviewers are “less generous” with their scores (I was tempted to say meaner but that would be cruel!) and only award points when they feel an application merits it…

Infographic Blog Image

Infographic: 5 Core Questions to Help You Assess Your Grant Management Processes.

Written by Claire, Marketing Executive at Fluent Technology, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based lifeform.

So you’ve made the decision as an organisation to upgrade your grant management system…but you need something that’s tailored to you. Your grant process is different from others, you have more review stages, your grants are larger, you only have a limited amount of resources in terms of finance and employees. Whatever the reason…you can’t get a new system until you assess where the current one is working for you and where it’s not…

Reports, what Reports?

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

While giving a product demonstration last week I was inevitably asked “What reports do you have?”.  I hate that question!  Why?  Because I know as soon as I start to show any standard reports that we have in Flexi-Grant I will invariably hear: “That’s great but what I really need is…”.    As a result I try to avoid showing reports as an immediate response to that question!