Grant, Contact & Organization Records: CyberGrants provides solid tracking of grants, organizations, and contacts. Organization and contact records are separate from grant records, so that foundations can see a history of their relationship. Multiple contacts can be associated with an organization, contacts can be associated with more than one organization, and it is possible to send communications to contacts based on their role at the organization. At this time, it is not possible to track individual business units within an organization, but the vendor reports that they are working on adding parent/child organizational hierarchy. All system-generated interactions are saved on records and vendor configuration of the system can make it possible to log additional communications, such as phone calls and site visits, and link to an external contact management system. Records also have a collaboration cc: address that allows a user to save emails sent from outside the system.
Attachments can be uploaded to records, but the software does not allow users to preview the contents within the system; the files need to be downloaded to be viewed. Administrators have the ability to specify the names of fields displayed in the interface, define dropdown values for fields, and add custom fields to organization and contact records that can be grouped in sections or tabs (although the vendor says that collecting certain types of data in fields might require customization). Fields can be used to collect demographic data for organizations, projects, and programs.
Administrators can assign tasks to system users manually, or they can be assigned through workflow, and assigned tasks show up on a user’s dashboard. The system includes robust functionality to check organizations’ 501(c)(3) status. The system uses tax ID numbers to scan all organizations against IRS and other international nonprofit registry lists on a nightly basis and CyberGrants notifies their clients if one of the organizations in their database drops off the 501(c)(3) list. In addition, every organization entered into the platform is run against more than 75 watchlists. Tax status and watchlists can also be scanned manually.
Grant Applications: The system provides an applicant portal that also serves as a grantee portal for organizations that receive an award. The portal can be customized with a logo and includes support for 14 languages, and the applicant/grantee can choose the language of their portal experience. The administrative interface is only available in English, but the system will store applicant/grantee responses in the language used. New applicants can create an account and the system will check their email against the database and prompt the user to recover their password if it already exists and will also check to see if their organization is already in the system—if it is, it will prompt the user to log in with organization credentials, which are based on tax ID number . The portal can include an eligibility quiz that can branch to multiple applications.
Contacts already in the system are presented with a dashboard when they log in that includes applications in process, submitted applications, and pending requirements with due dates. The applicant has the option to use contact information from a previous application on a new form, but new applicants are not able to auto-populate applications forms with organization contact information by entering the organization’s tax ID. Applications can include branching logic and use a wide variety of field types. The system has a pre-built integration with an electronic signature platform. Contacts associated with the same organization can collaborate on an application and contacts from outside organizations can be associated with another organization to facilitate partnership applications. Administrators also have the ability to perform actions on behalf of a grantee, such as inputting a paper application into the system, and can change the proposal type if an applicant fills out the wrong form—the system will carry over completed answers for questions that are the same and return the application to the applicant.
Application Review: The system includes strong support for a variety of review structures and workflows but does not offer a separate reviewer portal. Reviewers log in to the administrative interface of the system, with role-based access providing simplified views. Reviewers can be provided additional system permissions, which would increase the number of options they see on their interface.
Administrators can configure as many workflows as they need and layer in different levels of logic (e.g. to segment applications by grant size), and reviewers receive automatic notification when they are assigned an application. Vendor configuration of the system can provide foundations with the option of allowing reviewers to see comments and scores from other reviewers and with the ability to randomly assign reviewers to applications based on workflows or other characteristics.
Communications: Users can send emails and attached files to individuals and groups through the system and can set up and send automated emails based on certain events. Administrators have the ability to see some email delivery metrics. Email and letter templates can include both standard text and merge data, plus attached files. Letters can be printed individually or as a batch and can be downloaded and personalized before sending. The system does not support the creation of board dockets at this time.
Payments & Budgeting: The system allows administrators either to define a default payment schedule to all grants and adjust dates and amounts individually or define a payment schedule on a grant-by-grant basis. Grantees can view the payment schedule for their award on the portal. Payments can be made contingent on the completion of a specified grant requirement. Users can see upcoming scheduled payments and whether or not a grantee has met the requirements linked with that payment and can void payments and place payments on hold. The system also supports an automated payment approval process with configurable workflow steps.
Payments can be exported to accounting and users can import payment details or the vendor can integrate the system with accounts payable software. Integrations are also possible using the system’s bi-directional API. The vendor also reports that they can disburse payments on behalf of clients. Payment records can include notes, organization records can store bank and wire transfer information, and the system provides the ability to track quid pro quo and in kind grants.
Users can track budgets by a variety of criteria and look at allocated, unallocated, committed, and paid amounts. Grants can be split across more than one program for budgeting purposes. Budgets can be defined hierarchically and administrators can specify which users are authorized to schedule payments against a specific budget line item. The system allows users to use previous years’ budgets as a base and adjust them for the current year, as well as look at budget data for the current year or future years.
Grant Requirements & Outcomes Evaluation: The vendor can configure the system to allow administrators to define a default set of grant requirements either for all grant opportunities or by program or individual grant opportunity. Grantees can track grant requirements and deadlines on the portal, but configuration is required to allow foundation users to track which requirements grantees have met. Grantees can submit progress reports online and, as with grant applications, an administrator can change the proposal type if a grantee fills out the wrong form and return it to the grantee. The system automatically calculates progress toward grantee or program outcome goals using submitted progress reports. This outcome data can be aggregated and reported on across programs or for all grants
System Querying & Reporting: CyberGrants users can search for grants and applications by a number of criteria and view pre-packaged reports based on this filtered set of grants or can use the system’s universal search to retrieve results from all data fields in the system (but not the contents of uploaded files). Set searches are available on the Main tab and users can add a search they create to the list or set it as the default screen on the Main tab.
The system includes a number of templated reports for users. Users cannot make changes to pre-packaged reports but can favorite reports and save ad hoc reports that they crate or modify, as well as schedule them to run and be sent to users. Ad hoc reports are created using a drag-and-drop interface and can include any data field from the system. Data in ad hoc reports can be tabbed, grouped, or organized into a matrix or pivot table and users can chose from a selection of calculation options for subtotals. Users are not able to add graphs or charts to reports, but the data can be exported to a business intelligence (BI) or data visualization tool for further manipulation. Users can personalize their dashboard and also integrate it with BI tools (such as Tableau) to provide visualizations.
Security, Permissions, & Data Access: System access is governed both by license type and by administrator-managed permissions. Users with full licenses have access to all system functions, while users with limited licenses do not have access to the reporting suite. Administrators can set security levels or roles at the section level, with granular control over specific permissions. The system includes a built-in virus scan for all uploads and records changes and user actions in an audit log.
Login security can be controlled by password complexity requirements (which is a system configuration) or by Single Sign On or two-factor authentication (which would require vendor customization work). Users are automatically logged out after a specified time of inactivity, and both applicant and grantmaker can reset login credentials.
All client instances are housed on a shared server, but clients have the ability to turn different feature releases on or off. Administrators can download all their system data at any point in time. The vendor provides API access to data in the system and offers pre-built integrations with a number of platforms that have an open API.
User Experience: The interface for CyberGrants is polished looking and neatly laid out. System modules are accessible from a bar at the top of the screen, with contextual menus in the left column. Links and buttons are clearly distinguishable from text. The system is designed responsively and displays across a variety of devices. At this time, it does not offer a mobile app, but the vendor reports that they are in the process of designing one. While the system is not fully Section 508-compliant, it is generally accessible to users with disabilities and works with screen readers.
Administrators can set up role-based tabs in the system that are visible based on a user’s permission level. An executive tab can show the high-level health of programs, whereas grants administrator tabs can be more action-oriented and task-based. The report builder is extremely intuitive, allowing non-experts to easily create reports relevant to their needs.
Support & Training: Technical support is included with license fees and can be based on service level agreements. The vendor can also provide technical support to applicants and grantees using the system Onboarding training is provided to new clients, and they have the opportunity to attend additional training webinars. Clients are also able to purchase extended training via webinar or onsite.
Stability in the Market
CyberGrants has been in use since 2001. The vendor reports that the software package has more than 400 active clients, with several of those being private or family foundation clients.
|Customer Experience Survey|
|Number of survey respondents who reported using the system: 4|
|Percent of survey respondents who would recommend the system: 75 percent|
|Training Score: 0.83|
|Implementation Score: 1.0|
|Support Score: 0.84|