System Print

SurveyMonkey Apply

SurveyMonkey Apply (formerly branded as FluidReview) is an online application management platform that provides foundations with the ability to collect applications and progress reports online; track and manage grants; allow online application reviews; communicate with applicants and grantees; track payments; and run reports. The system has an easy-to-use interface that was built with the non-technical user in mind. Role-based interfaces provide views and functionality focused on the needs of certain groups of users, and are also used to manage applicant and reviewer access to the system (rather than through separate portals). Applicants who are the primary contact for an organization can manage their organization profiles themselves, and have the ability to add other users, set up teams, and manage which users have access to specific applications. Reviewers can be assigned to applications either manually or randomly by specified characteristics. Those who prefer to work offline can download applications and then enter their reviews in a simple “quick form.” Applications and other forms are built through a drag-and-drop interface, as are workflows and ad hoc reports. The system offers multilingual support for applicants, allowing them to view the site content in English, French, and Spanish. The system has limited functionality in…


Grant, Contact & Organization Records: Foundations can use SurveyMonkey Apply to track grants and linked records throughout the entire grant lifecycle. Organization records are tracked separately from grant records to allow users to see a history of all grants to an organization. Organization contacts are set up as user accounts in the system and can be marked as “inactive” to retain their historical association with the organization without providing access to the system. For foundations wishing to extend contact and organization record functionality, the vendor offers an integration with Salesforce.

System-generated emails are not automatically attached to grant, organization, or contact records, but instead are saved in a searchable email log. Interactions can be manually added to grant records via the “notes” section on each application (with the ability to control whether the notes are visible to reviewers) and to organization or contact records via custom fields. Custom fields can be added to a variety of record types and can be configured as several different types of fields. These fields can be used to collect demographic information on programs and organizations. They can be updated manually by administrators or automatically with system automations. There is no limit to the number of custom fields that a foundation can create. Administrators can also categorize records in the system using either pre-defined or user-generated labels.

Tasks can be assigned to users via workflows and the system can be configured to allow administrators to manually assign tasks to users in the system. Users will see tasks assigned to them when they log into the system. The system also includes an integration with Guidestar that allows a foundation to check the 501(c)(3) status of an organization and also incorporate 501(c)(3) status checks into applications by having a grantee enter the organization’s tax ID number.

Grant Applications: The system provides robust functionality in the area of online grant applications. Applicants can register as an individual or as an organization. When a new applicant creates a user account in the system, the system will check to see if the user’s email address already exists in the system and, if so, will prompt the user to recover the password. There is no separate applicant portal; the system provides role-based interfaces, so applicants only see the content related to the actions they can take. On logging in, existing users will see their active applications, awards, and any tasks assigned to them. The system supports multiple application stages, as well as eligibility quizzes that can branch to multiple application forms.

Applicants that serve as administrators for their organization's account can update the organization profile manually or by pulling in information from GuideStar. They can also add other staff to the organization profile and add them to teams within their organization in order to track departments or business units. Applicants can collaborate with individuals at other organizations by setting up a team for external partners and adding those individuals to the team.

Application forms are created through a simple drag-and-drop functionality that allows administrators to choose from a variety of question types, including electronic signatures, and that can include branching logic. Applicants can upload documents, spreadsheets, images, and videos to their applications. The system offers multilingual support for English, French, and Spanish that will translate all of the interface text when selected. The vendor can also provide a translation template once a site is built so that the client can create and upload translations for their own forms.

Application Review: Reviewers also log in to the system and are presented with an interface specific to their role. After logging in, reviewers see a list of the programs and stages that contain their active assignments. Administrators can define the information from an application that they would like to highlight to reviewers on the assignment table and summary tab at each stage of the review workflow. A reviewer can choose to export a PDF for each application assigned to them, a PDF for each application with attachments in their original format, or a single PDF with all selected applications. Reviewers who prefer to do their work offline can download the applications and, after completing their reviews, enter their responses in a simple “quick review” form.

Administrators can define multiple workflows and different scoring schemes for each application and can see and report on numeric scores from reviewers. Reviewers can be assigned to applications manually or an administrator can enable automatic review assignments that either distribute applications randomly or auto-assign reviews based on custom criteria. Reviewers can also mark applicants where they have a conflict of interest and the system will store that information and not assign them reviews of that applicant’s submissions in the future. The system automatically notifies reviewers when they are assigned applications.

Communications: SurveyMonkey Apply allows clients to send emails and attachments through the system to individual contacts and groups. Administrators can also set up automated emails that are sent based on certain events and email templates that include both standard text and merge data from system fields. Emails are not attached to grant, organization, or contact records, but are accessible in a searchable log. The log also includes some basic email performance metrics: sent emails, messages not sent, bounced messages, and error details if an email is not sent.

The “Dynamic Documents” function allows users to create .docx files in Microsoft Word that include merge field variables from SurveyMonkey Apply and attach those documents either to manually-triggered or automated emails. The system will populate the document with the merge data when the email is sent. This can be used to personalize documents such as letters and grant agreements.

Payments & Budgeting: The system provides limited functionality in the areas of payment and budget tracking. Payment schedules need to be defined on a grant-by-grant basis, either individually when making an award or in bulk for multiple awardees at one time. The system is not able to track quid pro quo or in kind payments. Payments can be made contingent on the completion of a grant requirement and can be approved manually or through a workflow process. Awards are tied to applications and administrators can see all past and future payments associated with an application, along with any notes associated with those transactions, and completion of the tasks associated with the application. Payment data can be exported to accounting software or an integration can be set up using the system’s API.

Budgets can be tracked at the program level. Payments can be split across more than one program for budgeting purposes. Program budgets and transactions are displayed in the sections for each program in the system. In addition, the financial management dashboard displays amounts paid, allocated, and balance remaining, along with the percentage of budget utilized for each program budget. The system allows users to update program balances via a spreadsheet and also set up funds that can be used to track larger pots of money that can be transferred into program budgets. Administrators can use the report builder to look at payments and projected payments for basic forecasting.

Grant Requirements & Outcomes Evaluation: Administrators can configure requirements and workflows for each program, including automated reminders that are sent based on a user having incomplete tasks or on specific deadlines. As with applications, online progress report forms can be built with a simple drag-and-drop interface and can bring in project goals identified in the initial grant application, collect data on outcomes, and include calculations that will calculate an organization’s progress toward goals. Reporting on outcomes across grantees is done through the report builder.

System Querying & Reporting: Users are able to search for applications and grants by a number of criteria and perform a number of actions on this filtered set of grants. A universal search accessible from the toolbar at the top of the screen brings in results from all data fields, although it is unable to search the contents of uploaded documents. The system includes a variety of reporting dashboards that users can view and interact with but cannot modify. The report builder provides a drag-and-drop interface to create ad hoc reports that can bring in data from nearly every field in the system and can also incorporate charts and graphs, custom data columns, sorting, grouping, logos, and headers.

Security, Permissions, & Data Access: Administrators can grant, limit, or restrict user access to a wide variety of system functions with role-based permission sets. User actions and changes are recorded in an audit log. Login security is managed by system-enforced password complexity rules and automatic logout after a specified time of inactivity. SurveyMonkey Apply can integrate with several Single Sign On (SSO) systems and, if using SSO, the client can also use that system’s Multi-Factor Authentication. Users can self-reset their login credentials via a standard password reset email, but administrators cannot reset credentials on behalf of users.

Data resides on a shared server with client data logically segregated from other clients. The vendor provides end-to-end encryption and a virus scan for all file uploads. All data within the database can be extracted by a system administrator. The vendor provides a pre-built integration with Salesforce and provides an API to allow clients to extend system functionality through integrations with other third-party platforms and tools; however, the vendor cautions that clients who use the API are responsible for building and maintaining their own integrations.

User Experience: The interface for SurveyMonkey Apply is simple and clean. System modules are represented as icons with tool tips that appear on hover in a toolbar that runs across the top of the interface, with dropdown contextual menus organized in buttons or in section headers. Much of the system is built to provide non-technical users the ability to perform a wide range of tasks. Workflows are created through drag-and-drop functionality that allows a user to add a stage and then work through a series of screens that define what happens in the stage. Automations are easy to create, with plain-language instructions. Role-based interfaces allow administrators to simplify system views for casual users.

The system is designed responsively to display across a wide range of devices; there is no mobile app. The system is not fully accessible by default, but the vendor reports that the system allows clients to create an experience for applicants that is compliant with Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards.

Support & Training: The system includes unlimited technical support that is available online, by email, and by telephone. During the implementation process the client works with an implementation specialist who will provide multiple demonstrations of the functionality as the site is being built. The vendor also offers a library of self-guided training resources that cover all aspects of building and managing a site. Additional training options are included with some packages or clients can purchase them for an additional fee.

Stability in the Market

SurveyMonkey Apply has been in use since 2011. The vendor reports that the software package has approximately 2,700 active clients, with about 2,000 of those being private or family foundation clients.

Customer Experience Survey
Number of survey respondents who reported using the system: 6
Percent of survey respondents who would recommend the system: 41.7 percent
Training Score: 0.86
Implementation Score: 0.74
Support Score: 0.6