System Print

Fluxx Grantmaker

Over the past decade, Fluxx Grantmaker has continued to evolve from an open source solution into a sophisticated, full-featured grants management system. Users can choose to view system data in a table view or a series of unique, customizable, card-based dashboard interfaces that feel similar to Kanban board-style project management tools. In the card-based interface, cards are marked with icons representing the type of data they contain (e.g. contacts, grant requests, payments, etc.) and can include everything from individual records to graphs and charts drawn from system reports. Records on the cards include links to related data across the system and a quick search function for contents within the card. While the system is easy to use, with a considerable amount of drag-and-drop functionality, the dashboards need to be set up thoughtfully to allow users to find the data they need with a minimum of horizontal scrolling. A series of dashboard templates available in the system can help in that endeavor. The system provides strong support for just about every function of grantmaking, including applications to review; communications; payment; reporting; and evaluation. Core system functionality is extended with a series of pre-built integrations with third-party systems, including a GuideStar integration…


Grant, Contact & Organization Records: Fluxx Grantmaker allows foundations to collect, track, and report on a wide variety of data about organizations and grants. Administrators have the option to add an unlimited number of custom fields to the system. While the system does not include a pre-loaded philanthropic sector-based taxonomy for tagging and categorizing content, the vendor reports that clients have the ability to build any type of taxonomy into the system and that it will be adding pre-loaded taxonomies in 2020.

All system-generated communications are stored on grant and organization records and Fluxx also offers an Outlook integration that allows you to save any email sent or received in Outlook (including attachments) to an organization record, grant request, or payment record. Fluxx Grantmaker also integrates with GuideStar to pull tax status and organizational information into the grants management system, but at this time the software cannot bring in demographic information from the database. The vendor reports they are continuing to work with Candid on future enhancements to this integration. While there is not currently the ability to run batch updates of GuideStar Charity Check, the vendor reports this can be set to run automatically as a grant and/or payment moves through workflow.

The system supports grants made in multiple currencies. Each grant and payment record can store the amount in both local and base currencies. By default, currency exchange rates are pulled and updated from the European Central Bank on a daily basis and the vendor reports that clients can link to another exchange rate source through API as desired. Currency rates can also be updated on a grant-by-grant basis if necessary.

Grant Applications: Applicants interact with the system through an applicant portal. New users can register themselves on the login page. Although the system does check email addresses for duplicates, it will not stop the user from registering; it will alert the administrator on the back end so that the duplicate records can be merged. Fluxx Grantmaker’s integration with GuideStar allows applicants to pre-populate an application form with their organization’s information from the GuideStar database by entering their tax identification number. Fluxx allows multiple individuals—both within an organization and from organizations wishing to partner—to collaborate on an application. At this time, the grantee portal is only available in one language, but the vendor reports it is currently developing multi-language capabilities and expects this functionality to be released in 2020.

The system supports multi-stage applications, including eligibility quizzes that can govern which grant applications applicants see in their portal. Application pages can include logos, and can also be styled with headers, colors, and fonts. A foundation can not only include help text for each field of an application, but it can also create landing pages for help documentation available for grantees directly in the grantee portal and add instructions or directions directly on forms and portal information pages. The system does not auto-save data entered into an application; applicants need to click a “save and continue” button to save the data they have entered. Fluxx Grantmaker also offers an integration with DocuSign to allow electronic signatures on applications.

Application Review: Fluxx Grantmaker offers solid reviewer capabilities. Individuals receive automatic notification when applications are ready to review and access applications assigned to them through a reviewer portal. Applications can be assigned to reviewers on an individual basis or to groups of reviewers organized into panels. They are able to read and/or download the grant information and provide comments and ratings but are not able to see comments and scores from other reviewers. Administrators can allow reviewers to see a history of grants to an applicant and can also assign reviewers additional permissions in the grants management system. Administrators can set up a variety of scoring schemes for different grants and can aggregate and report on the numeric scores. The system supports multiple workflows for grants review processes.

Communications: The system allows foundations to communicate with applicants and grantees through email and can generate letters and documents related to grants. In addition to automated emails triggered by certain events, administrators can send emails to individuals and groups, attach files to emails, and include merge fields to personalize the emails or include certain types of information from the system. Fluxx Grantmaker also allows the creation of documents such as letters, grant agreements, and board dockets that contain both merge fields and standard text. Letters can be printed individually or in batch and can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format so that they can be further personalized before sending.

Payments & Budgeting: Fluxx Grantmaker includes advanced payment and budgeting functionality to allow foundations to approve and track the flow of funds through their grantmaking processes. Grantmakers can bulk update a payment schedule for a set of grants or for all grants and adjust individual payments or create payment schedules on a grant-by-grant basis. Payments can be made conditional on the completion of certain requirements, and grantmakers can automate the payment process by using configurable workflows. Grantees can view their payment schedule through the applicant portal (which also serves as a grantee portal following a grant award).

Foundations can export payment data to accounting software, and Fluxx also offers integrations with a number of financial systems, including Intacct, NetSuite, and Quickbooks Online. Clients also have the option of integrating with other financial systems via Fluxx Grantmaker’s API. Administrators can update payment details and create payments in batch and can also void payments and place payments on hold. Administrators can also configure system permissions so that only approved staff can see and change payment information.

There is strong support for payment and budget reporting, with the ability to generate reports on payments made and scheduled to be paid out, as well as payments that carry a variety of coding attributes. Budgets can be tracked by either the amount available, awarded, or paid in a particular year or in hierarchically defined categories or program areas. Administrators can use previous years’ budgets as a base and adjust them for the current year and also use fund budgeting to predict cash flow needs based on scheduled payments.

Grant Requirements & Outcomes Evaluation: With the ability to define grant requirements for individual grants, and also a default set that applies to programs or grant opportunities, Fluxx Grantmaker offers solid support for progress and outcomes reporting and evaluation. Grantees can track grant requirement deadlines and submit reports through the applicant/grantee portal and can even see their original stated outcome goals on the progress report form. Foundations can aggregate reported outcomes from all grantees in order to evaluate and report on progress toward programmatic goals. In addition, foundations can capture and report on data along demographic and economic categories to aid in their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

System Querying & Reporting: The system offers robust reporting tools that can look at data from nearly any field displayed to users. There is a universal search option at the top of every screen that retrieves results from all fields in the system, although it does not search the content of documents uploaded to the system. Every card on a user’s dashboard also has a search function at the top, and the records on each card can be exported to Microsoft Excel with one click. The system offers pre-packaged basic reports that can be modified and saved, as well as ad hoc reports that can include custom data columns, datasets, sorting, grouping, logos, and headers. Reports can include charts and graphs and report data can also be displayed in cards on user dashboards.

Security, Permissions, & Data Access: Administrators have the ability to grant system permissions to users on a granular basis. The system includes a number of security best practices, including system-enforced password complexity rules and automatic log out after a specified time period of inactivity. Fluxx can integrate with a number of Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions, such as SAML, LDAP, Ping, and Okta authentication and with SSO services, such as Okta, Ping, Azure that enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). System actions are recorded in an audit log.

Virtually all data in the system can be exported into another file format, including Microsoft Excel and .csv, and the vendor reports that it is possible to extract data via an optional secondary database. Fluxx offers out-of-the-box integrations with third party financial, email, digital signature, and CRM applications, and can integrate with other REST services from third-party applications and integrations via a two-way synchronous API.

User Experience: The card-based interface is polished and neatly laid out and the customizable dashboards allow expert users to set up their workspaces so that they can easily access the key functionality they use most often. However, more casual users might become overwhelmed by the amount of data on dashboards that are not set up with their specific activities in mind and may find that they need to do some extra clicking to get to the specific information they seek. This can be mitigated by thoughtful setup, as the system can be configured to display only certain objects to specific roles.

The system is designed responsively to display across a variety of devices, and Fluxx also offers iOS and Android apps. Fluxx Grantmaker is accessible to users with disabilities and undergoes periodic accessibility audits to ensure conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

Support & Training: Initial training (including administrator and “train the trainer”) is typically included as part of the system implementation fees. Training can be delivered in-person, recorded, or via video conference. Fluxx also provides technical support, an online knowledge base, and an online user community. Additional training packages may be purchased if necessary.

Stability in the Market

Fluxx Grantmaker has been in use since 2010. The vendor reports that the software package has more than 275 active clients, with 120 of those being private or family foundation clients.

Customer Experience Survey
Number of survey respondents who reported using the system: 50
Percent of survey respondents who would recommend the system: 84 percent
Training Score: 0.74
Implementation Score: 0.72
Support Score: 0.64