Thursday, September 22, 2016

From Sea to Shining Sea: Meeting the Needs of US Government Granting

No two granting organizations are alike, and this is especially true for government agencies. The levels and layers of funding that move from federal government departments down to state agencies and out into local communities is a complex trail that is challenging to track, validate and report on.

Kenny Lew, CEO, Innovation Network
How are they currently coping with these challenges? What are the key concerns for government granting agencies at the state and federal level? We had the opportunity to sit down with one of our partners, and expert in software implementation, Kenny Lew. Lew is the CEO of the Innovation Network, a D.C. based provider of cloud-based software platforms for organizations looking for flexible automation solutions. “Our team has been working with government granting since our inception 12 years ago,” says Lew.
Lew and his team of experts are keenly aware of the unique challenges facing government granting agencies and the organizations they support at the state and local level. “Tracking and managing the flow of money is more complex because the dollars travel through multiple organizations.
"Let’s say for instance the Department of Justice provides $4 million to the State of Maryland to fund safety initiatives. Those funds would then flow from various state agencies down to select community organizations whose grant applications to the State were approved for initiatives such as educational seminars on community safety, gun safety in schools and the purchase of bulletproof vests. Keep in mind this is just a basic example, the granting process is generally far more complex.
"At the end of the day, the state agencies are responsible to not only receive and approve grants applications, but fund them, track them, and report backup to the State of Maryland and the Department of Justice. It’s a lot to keep track of to ensure that appropriate initiatives are meeting the goals of the federal government agency.
"What can add even greater complexity is that some community groups may only receive funding from a single government agency while others may be funded by multiple agencies, and it all needs to be accounted for. Plus, when you’re dealing with thousands of grants, the sheer volume makes managing and tracking funds even more difficult.”
There’s also a higher level of responsibility required of government agencies to be accountable and transparent. When you’re dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, that’s to be expected. State-funded grants are public record, so tracking and reporting must be complete and accurate.
Up to now, there has been no single tool or software platform robust or flexible enough to manage all this information. “Today, many agencies at every level use their own solution, be it custom software, paper, spreadsheet programs or a combination of all three. It would be absolute nirvana to have one, single, centralized system that could handle everything for every level of government and the community agencies they fund.”
Being a leader in grants management software, SmartSimple already had the expertise and experience to provide solutions for granting organizations with diverse and unique needs, so, with input from the specialists at the Innovation Network, we created a new product geared to meet the complex requirements of government granting agencies.

SmartSimple Revere offers a single platform solution for single and multi-state granting. Now, state agencies and the organizations they fund can track and report on every dollar granted out, starting from the state or federal funding source, all the way through to the organizations receiving their grants.
A highly flexible and dynamic system, SmartSimple Revere also has the ability to evolve and grow as the requirements of individual agencies evolve and grow.
“SmartSimple’s implementation and licensing models are conducive to the processes of granting and re-granting that’s unique to the US government. It captures all of the relevant data in one centralized platform, providing an end-to-end solution. And, SmartSimple Revere imports granting information directly from Grants.gov, supports Federal Grants Reporting, and supports the preferred data formatting requirements for the government,” concludes Lew.
Visit the SmartSimple Revere page to learn more about this latest solution. Curious to know more? Request a demo of the Revere 1 or Revere 2 platform to see it in action.