Meet Fernando. Before joining the XYZ Foundation, he cut his teeth on grassroots organizing. Fernando knows what to look for in loosely organized initiatives that needs a little ‘bump’ to get to the next level. Very action oriented, Fernando wants to get dollars out the door to the groups that need it the most. However, he is very pragmatic about what groups would qualify for a seed grant. A great communicator, Fernando likes to meet groups in person to better understand what drives a team and gauge their ability to deliver. Zig-zagging across the country, he assures prospective teams that if they can demonstrate impact, then they can get the money. While on the road, Fernando must be able to easily add contact and organization names very easily with as few clicks as possible. From a technology perspective, he is concerned about:

Managing his inbox

  • Because Fernando is so grass-roots, he receives 50+ emails a day and 20+ social media interactions
  • He needs to be able to organize all his communication streams to keep on top of his work
  • For groups he is really keen on funding, he must be able to add contact information from his inbox
  • He must also be able to customize email templates that provide clear instructions

Application Intake

  • As prospective grantee prepares a Letter of Intent, Fernando assists with edits prior to submitting
  • He makes sure that XYZ Foundation website has clear examples of successful applications versus poor ones
  • While the grants management system provides a range of reports that gives him a birdseye view of his granting program, he exports the data into a spreadsheet to better manage
  • This spreadsheet is his main ‘version of the truth’ of his grant portfolio


  • Fernando invites external reviews to participate in LOI/proposal reviews
  • The committee meets two times per year
  • He is required to create profiles in the grants management system
  • This includes a ‘decision-making’ cheat sheet that provides reviewers with clear instructions on how to score


  • Delighted that so many groups have received funding, he prepares customized email communication
  • One by one, he quickly customizes an email that includes standard next steps such as counter-signing a Grant Agreement
  • Once the Counter-signed Grant Agreements are completed, Fernando files and stores the grant agreements, and updates the grant system
  • This allows Fernando to create a cheque requisition request (and in some cases a e-payment) that is sent to Frasier
  • With all the documentation and payments nicely organized, Fernando can turn his attention to working with Grantees


  • With Daphne’s Monitoring and Evaluation plan in place, Fernando knows that XYZ Foundation’s reporting is right-sized to the grants his team has provided
  • The XYZ Foundation’s grants system is configured with a survey and evaluation technology that makes it easy for grant recipients to collect, curate and share data and information