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Zengine by WizeHive

Zengine by WizeHive is a flexible and robust grants management system that can scale from a low-cost option with more-limited functionality for foundations with more simple needs to an Enterprise-level system that includes extensive integration and customizations. The system has undergone significant changes since the 2016 edition, and WizeHive reports it is migrating many clients from the Select (legacy) platform to Zengine. The strengths of this system lie in its flexibility, with drag-and-drop functionality that allows users to personalize and filter views of data in the system; its ability to link data across the system and make that easily accessible from any type of record; and its ability to integrate with numerous third-party systems to extend functionality. It also provides some less-common features, including the ability to provide Excel .csv versions of application forms that applicants can fill out offline and upload to the system; use its reviewer portal to provide functions similar to a board portal; and collect objectives as separate records and link them to different types of records across the system. Subscription pricing is based on several factors, including the number of programs that will be managed in the system, the complexity of those programs, and the…

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Grant, Contact & Organization Records: Zengine by WizeHive pairs flexible grant tracking with an easy-to-configure Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Grant, organization, and contact records all display on the left side of the screen with linked records appearing on the right. A drag-and-drop form builder allows foundations to easily add a variety of custom fields to organization records and organize them on the screen, which enables the capture of nearly any type of data, including organizational demographic data. All system-generated interactions, such as emails and letters, can be captured and linked to related grant records. It is also possible to capture emails sent from external email systems into records via customization work by the vendor.

Grant and organization records display in tables with data in columns that can be filtered, added/removed, and reordered and grouped via drag-and-drop functionality. This allows for easy grouping of grants by category or cycle, and these views can be saved for later access. The system allows batch updates to records

Users can upload documents to the system and attach them to records. The content of readable uploaded documents is indexed and included in search results. The system’s integration with GuideStar Charity Check allows users to look up an based on the nonprofit’s tax ID number, but at this time does not bring in organization demographic information.

Grant Applications: All subscription packages allow foundations to collect grant applications online, but Zengine by WizeHive customers subscribed to the Premium or Enterprise packages also have a robust submission portal that allows applicants/grantees to track their grants through their full lifecycle. When new applicants create accounts, the system checks their email addresses and prompts them to recover their passwords if the addresses already exist in the system.

The system supports eligibility quizzes for customers at the Premium and Enterprise levels, but the quizzes cannot branch to multiple application forms. Once a draft record is saved, the system will automatically save any information entered into an application from that point forward. Applications can be customized with a variety of different types of fields and can include a foundation’s logo, but the colors, fonts, and navigation cannot be changed.

One feature that can be helpful for applicants with low internet connectivity is that the system allows applicants to download an Excel .csv of the application form that can be filled out, uploaded, and parsed into system fields. The system also supports collaboration on applications and partnership applications with simple customization and configuration. While the system does not include electronic signature capability or an integration with a third-party provider, they do provide fields that can be used for check boxes and typed name signatures.

Application Review: Zengine by WizeHive offers reviewer portals for customers at all plan levels. Reviewer records are set up in the system differently from contacts and do not have the ability to have additional system permissions assigned to them. It is possible to track potential conflicts of interest for a reviewer by creating a custom field on the reviewer record and setting up a rule to check against the field, but that would require customization work.

When reviewers are assigned an application, they are notified by email and can log into the reviewer portal. The dashboard displays all the applications assigned to them with large buttons showing the status of their reviews. Administrators can set up different information and scoring schemes for different programs, view and report on numeric scores, and define multiple workflows for grant review processes. They can also allow reviewers to see each other’s comments and scores.

Communications: The system allows users to send emails to contacts via a built-in integration with SendGrid. SendGrid does provide reporting on email performance metrics, such as opens and clicks. At this time, emails cannot include attachments. The system also allows administrators to set up automated emails that send based on certain events.

Users can create letter and email templates as well as documents that combine standard text and merge data. Letters can be printed individually; printing a batch of letters requires customization. The system does support the creation of board dockets and administrators can also set up the review portal to function similar to a board portal to display grant applications and serve as a repository for board agendas and other relevant documents.

Payments & Budgeting: Zengine by WizeHive provides solid payment functionality and budget-tracking functionality with appropriate setup. Administrators can define a payment schedule on a per grant basis or create a default payment schedule that applies to all grants and can be adjusted individually. Payments can be made contingent on completion of a specified grant requirement, and with appropriate workflow configuration or via reporting a user can see upcoming scheduled payments and whether the grantee has completed any linked requirements. Grantees can view the payment schedule for their award through the submission portal (which requires Premium or Enterprise packages).

Payment data can be exported to accounting software or the system can generate check requests. The system can also be customized to integrate with a variety of accounting software. Grant award records can include account and routing data for wire transfers and the system can also track quid pro quo and in-kind payments.

The system allows users to track budgets by a variety of factors, including the amount available, awarded, or paid, and in hierarchically defined categories or program areas. Users can also pull reports on budgets with a variety of coding attributes, but this requires additional setup work. Similarly, additional setup is also required to generate forecasting reports that show current year payments to date plus projections.

Grant Requirements & Outcomes Evaluation: Administrators can define grant requirements, either for all opportunities or at the individual grant or program level. Grantees can submit progress reports online and administrators can track which requirements grantees have met. The submission portal is required to allow grantees to track their grant requirement deadlines online. If this is set up, grantees can see tasks due by drilling down into individual grants (tasks do not show up on the portal dashboard).

The system does collect objectives (i.e. outcomes) for grants and displays them as linked records for grants in the system. While the system does not automatically calculate the progress toward these outcomes from progress reports, this does allow users to aggregate and report on outcomes across all grantees. With proper setup, users are also able to report on data based on demographic and economic categories.

System Querying & Reporting: While the system does not provide a universal search that retrieves results across all data fields in the system, search and filter options are available for all areas of the database and search results can even include relevant attachments. Any data view set up by a user can easily be exported to Microsoft Excel.

The system does not include pre-packaged basic reports, but the vendor reports that it works with clients to set up reports and dashboards based on their needs and KPIs. Ad hoc reports can be set up to include nearly any field in the system and can include custom data columns, sorting, grouping, and formatting. Reports can be marked as favorites, but this is set on a program level, not a user level. Dashboard widgets are available but can only be customized by administrators for roles in the system (not by individual users). Dashboards can include charts, graphs, and summary data.

Security, Permissions, & Data Access: Zengine by WizeHive provides a great deal of documentation on its security and data protection policies. There are system-enforced password complexity rules and automatic logout after a specified time period of inactivity. For security reasons, only applicants/grantees are able to reset lost login credentials. Clients subscribed to the Enterprise plan have the option to enable Single Sign On (SSO), and the ability to enable two-factor authentication is based on their SSO implementation. Administrators can grant or limit user access to a wide variety of system functions via role-based permissions settings.

Client data resides on a multi-tenant database housed in the Amazon Web Services cloud, but every client has its own workspace and can access only its own client data. Administrators also have the ability to extract all data from the database and perform their own data backups. Virus scan and security measures are based on the AWS standard, and Zengine by WizeHive was recently certified as SOC 2 compliant.

The system provides an open API to facilitate integrations and includes a built-in connection with Zapier for access to the solution’s numerous platforms. It also can provide a direct integration with a client’s Salesforce database.

User Experience: The system interface is very polished and dashboards are neatly laid out. System functions are displayed as icons across the top, so it will likely take some training or hands-on use for new users to figure out where certain functionality resides. However, once they get accustomed to the system, they will discover that it is easy to accomplish many tasks through drag-and-drop functionality. Records are displayed in table format, and the font in the tables is very small, but columns can be added, hidden, or re-arranged to meet a user’s needs. Expert users can use this flexibility to be able to quickly accomplish tasks.

The system is designed responsively and can be accessed across a variety of devices, but there are no mobile apps available. The vendor reports that the submission and reviewer portals are Section 508-compliant, using WCAG 2.0 standards.

Support & Training: Zengine by WizeHive provides a KnowledgeBase of articles, videos, and other resources to help clients refresh training or troubleshoot issues. If clients cannot resolve an issue on their own, they have access to a support team, with support offered for free to all clients.

New clients receive training through their implementation team via web conference, videos, and one sheets. The vendor also offers free client webinars on new features and skill-building topics two to four times a month. Setup and training is either included in the annual subscription cost or as a one-time implementation fee.

Stability in the Market

Zengine by WizeHive has been in use since 2014. The vendor reports that the software package has more than 750 active clients, with 349 of those being private or family foundation clients.

Customer Experience Survey
Number of survey respondents who reported using the system: 15
Percent of survey respondents who would recommend the system: 96.7 percent
Training Score: 0.97
Implementation Score: 0.89
Support Score: 0.92