RESOURCES - Sharing Good Ideas and Best Practices

Photo of keyboard @ keyMartin Schneiderman has served as technology editor,
industry analyst, and regular contributing writer for
Foundation News & Commentary
, the membership
publication of the Council on Foundations.  

IAA conducts regularly scheduled
presentations on a wide
range of technology and philanthropy related topics at
international, national and regional conferences.

In this section you'll find articles and presentations about technology, industry trends, surveys, and links to resources for foundations and nonprofit organizations.

To view these resources download and install Adobe's free  Acrobat Reader.


Click this chart to see the major North American service providers of integrated foundation information systems



Avoiding and Solving Problems Selecting and Implementing Integrated Philanthropic Information Systems
In this 21st century quickly evolving information age, selecting, migrating data, configuring, personalizing, testing, and providing ongoing support of new full featured integrated philanthropic systems is proving to be a major challenge. In this frank and practical session, IAA has identified many of the most common real-world problems that grantmaking professionals are encountering. We've worked with the session attendees to identify the causes, solutions, and practical things that they can do to avoid and remedy these problems.


Strategies and Deal Breakers for Choosing an Integrated Grants Management System
With so many Web-based integrated grants management systems now on the market, how do you make a well informed decision about which one is best for your grantmaking organization? What are the pros, cons and deal breakers that grantmakers need to carefully consider when selecting a new or upgraded cloud-based grants management system?


Selecting and Implementing Cloud-based Services with your Integrated Foundation Information System
The development, selection, configuration, and implementation of cloud-based integrated foundation information systems are key trends for grantmakers, philanthropic leaders, and their IT support staff. This is sure to continue and expand in the future. Access to this information and integration with a foundation s operational systems is now enabling grantmakers to efficiently conduct due diligence, see and understand data and trends, and to present information in graphical formats to facilitate decision-making.


Selecting and Implementing Cloud-based Integrated Foundation Information Systems
Many grantmakers are now planning to migrate to externally hosted integrated foundation information systems. While this has many advantages there are significant differences between these types of systems that grantmakers need to understand, carefully consider and plan for.

This presentation will help you to understand real world lessons learned (pros and cons), the key questions to ask when selecting and migrating to fully Web-based integrated systems, how to make well-informed decisions, and how to effectively manage systems on an ongoing basis.


Digital Dashboards: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Nowadays the development and implementation of digital dashboards of current and historical grant information is a high priority for grantmakers. The best of these graphical systems: are personalized for different types of system users, are easy use, present data clearly, and enable drill down capability.

See a variety of the major digital dashboards showing best practices in how each can be used for different targeted audiences. What works, what doesn t work and why?



What's New in Grants Management Software and Services
There are now many experienced and new vendors developing online applications and Web-based grants management systems. They enable grantmakers to take advantage of new features and functions to save time, reduce costs, and to streamline operations. This presentation provides an overview of major trends plus new features and integration with external systems.



Establishing the NGOsource Equivalency Determination Information Repository (EDIR) on Non-U.S. Based NGOs
Learn about this sector-wide service that now streamlines the equivalency determination process and has established a sharable repository of information on non-U.S. based nonprofit organizations (NGOs). A high level of support for this collaborative project has been provided by U.S. grantmakers, NGO leaders and international giving service providers. See the FAQs for more information.

Information Age Associates has served as the NGOsource project leader and strategic consultant since inception. TechSoup Global was selected by the Council on Foundations as the NGOsource host organization.



Online Information Resources for Grantmakers and Grantseekers
An overview of online information resources and analytical tools for grantmakers and grantseekers. Multiple searchable databases with charting, graphing and mapping capabilities are presented showing detailed information about grantmakers, U.S. nonprofits and international NGOs. Use these tools to identify funding partners and make better informed decisions. Try out the new interactive maps and charts that Foundation Center eGrant Reporters get for free.

Emerging Technology Trends and Choosing the Right Integrated Grants Management System for Your Foundation
How does a foundation select and implement their next generation integrated foundation information system? What are the significant trends and key questions you should ask to make an informed decision? Presented at COF Annual Conference 2006 and AGM 2007.
View a chart describing the products and services offered by the vendors of grants management and online application systems and services.

Implementing a Multilingual Grants Management System
A case study of how Belgium's King Baudouin Foundation selected, adapted, enhanced, and successfully implemented an integrated multilingual (French, Dutch, German and English) grants/project management system. Presented at the 2006 European Foundation Center Conference in Brussels.

USA Patriot Act - Impact on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
An overview of how U.S. anti-terrorist legislation and the November 2005 revised U.S. Treasury Department Voluntary Guidelines are impacting nonprofits and philanthropy.

Click here for the US Treasury Department's Questions and Answers about the Patriot Act and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) checking.

Lessons Learned from Managing the Grand Challenges in Global Health Program
How this $436 million milestone-based program was managed by implementing integrated online systems to solicit and process 2,000 proposals from researchers in 98 countries and conducting 6,000 critical online peer reviews by internationally renowned scientists.

Technologies That Enable Knowledge Management:
Understanding the Options and Taking the First Steps

An overview of different technologies that can and are being used by grantmakers to implement integrated systems to facilitate knowledge management. It includes an overview of the overlapping and complimentary capabilities of many different commercially available products and services.

Beyond Project Management: Create More Impact With What You Know
Best practices in knowledge and grants management (a.k.a. "Project Management" in Europe) for European foundations. Covers system capabilities, design and implementation, and European software and service providers. Presented at the 2004 European Foundation Center conference in Athens. Also see the Bertelsmann Foundation case study.

Seeking Safe Harbor
How some foundations and corporate grantmakers are using technology to facilitate compliance with the USA PATRIOT Act and the Executive Order 13224 intended to disrupt the support of terrorism.

Presentation at COF 2004 about the USA PATRIOT Act and Implications for Grantmakers and a description of selected compliance verification services.

Googling Your Grantee: Due Diligence and the Web
Learn about how grantmakers are using Web-based tools to conduct research and due diligence of nonprofit organizations. This presentation includes comprehensive survey results of US philanthropic organizations.

Funding Technology: Lessons Learned
Lessons learned by foundation program officers about helping nonprofits to develop strategic plans and make effective use of technology to meet their organization's goals.

Maximizing Use of Grants Management Software
A Web broadcast at the TAG 2003 annual conference that provides an overview of market trends and new opportunities for interoperability between grants management systems and other foundation applications. Click RealPlayer or Windows Media Player to play the Webcast now.

Designing Your Next Generation Foundation Website
Would you like to take your foundation's website to the next level? These best practices to emulate and pitfalls to avoid can guide you through the process and minimize headaches.

Key Technology Trends for Grantmakers
An up-to-date review of the key technology trends for grantmakers. This presentation includes graphical highlights of the recently released results of the 2005 TAG/COF Grantmaker Information Technology Survey Report and Executive Summary.

Trends in Grants Management Software and Services
An overview of the leading market trends in commercial grants management software and services. It includes a detailed chart that describes the major vendors' products and services. Click here to learn about the strategic directions and product enhancements that vendors say are on the way.
Reader feedback

Grants Management Software: How to Manage Your Existing System in the Midst of Product and Market Changes
A presentation at the Council on Foundations 2003 Annual Conference. Learn about key market trends, ASP services, new development platforms, capabilities of the best grants management systems, plus common pitfalls and mistakes.

Broadening Communications - Redesigning Your Web Site to Reach Diverse Constituents
Your first-generation Web site needs a redesign. You now want to communicate your message to all of your target audiences. See and learn how foundations have designed cost-effective sites that are broadly accessible, easy to navigate and manage, and facilitate online collaboration.

Some Words to Remember and Live By
This collection of quotes shows how hard it is to predict where technology will take us, and how important it is to learn from mistakes we've made.

Realizing Potential
Today practically all nonprofits depend upon information technology tools in their day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, many don't come close to realizing the full potential of these systems. It's time to take a fresh look at proposals for technology assistance.

Telecommuting in Philanthropy
In the past few years foundations have moved quickly to provide telecommuting capabilities to their staff. Learn about the latest summary statistics and the key factors that have influenced this.

Telecommuting / Teleworking in Philanthropy Presentation
A multimedia presentation concerning the trends, attitudes, issues, and practices about telecommuting in philanthropic organizations. Also view the detailed results of a telecommuting survey conducted in Spring 2002.

Take a Bite Out of Spam
Spam, spam, spam, e-mail and more spam. How do spammers operate and what can you do to minimize it?


Online Strategies for Foundations and Grantseekers
Grantmakers are now using the Web to disseminate information about their foundations and solicit grant applications online. Grantseekers are also turning to the Internet to conduct research and identify potential sources of funding. "Fundraising on the Internet" - Jossey-Bass Publishing 2002


Emergency Preparedness
Now is a good time to think about a back-up for your back-up plan. Learn about real-world emergencies that foundations and nonprofits have experienced in the past few years. Which could happen to you?


How to Quit the Commute
What to know before deciding whether telecommuting is right for your organization. (And it's not just a question of technology)


Are you Ready for E-mail Publishing?
Practical steps for getting the word out in the most cost-effective and timely way.


Choosing A Technology Consultant
Before your foundation or nonprofit can be well connected, it needs to be plugged in. Here's a guide to finding the right outside expert to advise, analyze and evaluate.


Brave New Broadband World
The demand for affordable high-speed Internet access is exploding. Broadband communications such as a digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modems, provide "always on" Internet access. Includes a chart of broadband options. Reader feedback


Donating Used Computers
Most grantmakers donate their used computers to nonprofits, but doing so is more complicated than you might think. That s why this expanded Technology column looks at some of the nitty-gritty details of giving directly to a nonprofit, working with an intermediary organization or letting staff members take them home. Reader feedback


Grants Management Software Moves to the Web
An update on the status of grants management software products and their Internet-enabled capabilities in 2000. It includes a detailed chart with references to the latest commercial products and services.


How Corporate Givers Are Taming Technology
Learn about corporate grantmakers' latest plans to use technology in their grantmaking operations. There have been some big changes in 1999 and 2000.


Upgrade Your Technology Skills
Practical suggestions for learning how to make optimal use of your computers and software to improve your productivity.


Using Web-Based Surveys
Several grantmakers have successfully implemented Web-based grant application forms. Learn about what they've done and some of the key issues facing grantmakers and grantseekers.


Getting Your E-mail Under Control
This article describes "Ten Steps to E-mail Heaven. " It provides practical tips on how you and your colleague can improve your productivity by reducing unwanted e-mail and respond to messages much faster.


Technology Planning for 2001 and Beyond
Thirteen things foundations need to consider when looking for near-term technology needs. Read about how some foundations are making exemplary use of technology to streamline their operations and improve their grantmaking.


Setting an Electronic Standard
The Foundation Center believes that grant reporting should be as simple as pushing a button. That's why it's working toward establishing some universal data protocols and a more efficient reporting process. The effort involves a lot of technology talk-but it is really about achieving greater accountability in philanthropy.

Click here to learn more about the e-grant reporting standard that is used by almost 600 of the largest U.S. grantmakers to report a total of 2.2. million grants online.


Anti-virus Testing - Evaluate your e-mail defenses using a benign EICAR test virus.

Cell Phone Tower Search. - A listing of U.S. cell phone towers as registered with the FCC. The information is compiled it into a searchable database and shown using Google Maps.

Council on Foundations - This is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. The Council is committed to promoting knowledge, growth and action in philanthropy. 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy -  A leading news source, in print and online, for charity leaders, fund raisers, grant makers, and other people involved in the philanthropic enterprise.

Cynthia Says - An online tool that enables the review of Web sites to evaluate their accessibility for handicapped users as established by the U.S. Government's Section 508 Standards.

E-mail Blacklist Check - Enter your e-mail server's IP address into MXToolbox's service to find out if your server is on one or more of 100+ e-mail blacklists. This may explain why some messages being sent to you are not getting through or bouncing back to the sender.

European Foundation Center - The EFC serves a core membership of more than 230 members, associates and subscribers, 250 community philanthropy initiatives, plus 48,000 organizations linked through a network of information and support centers in 37 countries worldwide.

Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers - A membership association of twenty-eight RAGS from around the country, assists RAGS in providing local leadership to grantmakers on the issues of public policy, promoting the growth of new philanthropy, technology, and measuring effectiveness and impact.

Foundation Center - The Center is responsible for collecting, organizing, and communicate information on U.S. philanthropy. They also conduct and facilitate research on trends in the field and provides education and training on the grantseeking process.

Grants Managers Network - The Grants Managers Network (GMN) is an association of foundation professionals responsible for grants management. The Network provides a forum to exchange information about grants management and its relevance to efficient and effective grantmaking.

GuideStar - The GuideStar Web site contains detailed searchable information about the operations and finances of nonprofit organizations. It includes the subscription Charity Check service that verifies the current US Treasury Department status of U.S. nonprofits.

Idealware - This May 2016 detailed consumers guide and November 2016 update supplement about grants management systems summarizes the features of Windows and fully Web-based systems available from 24 different providers (but not for community foundations) used by grantmakers to track proposals, reviews, requirements, payments, and all related files, with prices and a comparison chart.
There is also another new 2012 detailed 63 page consumers guide and executive summary specifically about grants management systems for community foundations. This report focuses on 5 different systems.

Information Age Associates was a significant contributor to all of the Idealware reports listed above.

Independent Sector - A national coalition group that is committed to promoting philanthropy, volunteering, and citizen action, by bringing together nonprofit organizations, foundations, and corporate giving programs. 

Internet Speed Test - Test the upload and download speed of your dialup, DSL, cable, fiber optic and satellite Internet connections.  Here's another test that lets you check bandwidth to/from locations worldwide.

National Center for Charitable Statistics - NCCS is the national repository of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States. Its mission is to develop and disseminate high quality data on nonprofit organizations and their activities for use in research on the relationships between the nonprofit sector, government, the commercial sector, and the broader civil society. 

Network Security Testing - Gibson Research's top-rated ShieldsUp security testing and information service. Use it to check your system and identify potential vulnerabilities.

NPower - Through partnerships it is a national network of independent, community-based organizations dedicated to helping nonprofits better serve their communities through technology.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) - of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Philanthropy News Digest (PND) - A weekly online publication in the field of philanthropy. Includes a searchable archive.

Project Streamline - Project Streamline is a collaborative effort of grantmaking and grantseeking organizations working to improve grant application and reporting practices. Download and read the excellent landmark report Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted From Purpose full report and executive summary.

Secunia Software Inspector - Detects insecure versions of applications installed, verifies that all Microsoft patches are applied, and assists you in updating your system and applications. It's free, runs through your browser and no installation or download is required.

TechSoup Global - TechSoup Global is one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit technology assistance agencies. They provide comprehensive online technology resource for nonprofits. They offer the NGOsource service to determine if non-U.S. based NGOs meet U.S. Treasury Department requirements to be equivalent to U.S. nonprofits. They also provide a low cost product donation service that enables registered nonprofits to purchase hardware and software at very low cost.

Technology Affinity Group (TAG) - An affinity group of the Council on Foundations that serves as a technology forum for professionals working in philanthropy. TAG has also partnered to establish the Simplify project to establish data sharing and standards. Also see the complete TAG/GMN 2014 Grantmakers Information Technology Survey and the report's executive summary

USIG. United States International Grantmaking (USIG) is a project of the Council on Foundations in partnership with the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law. The USIG project facilitates effective and responsible international grantmaking by U.S. foundations.

Web Site Link Checker - Download and use Xenu to check your Web site regularly for dead links.


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