Meyer Memorial Trust: Low Maintenance Grantmaking
Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT) is a local foundation that invests in organizations and communities in Oregon. For the past ten years, MMT has depended upon a custom grant database. This system serves two main users: applicants seeking grants, and admins reviewing these applications.
Years of fixes and add-ons had turned their in-house solution into a complicated tool that was far too rigid and full of issues. Additionally, knowledge of how to use the tool wasn’t documented, resulting in a steep learning curve for new users. The end result was high maintenance overhead for upkeep on a tool that wasn't cutting it.
To ensure scalability and adaptability, these were our main goals:
- Streamline their constituent/organization database and registration workflow
- Develop an efficient path for their entire application and grant process
- Create a flexible application management tool for admins
- Track ownership and accountability for a variety of tasks, from reviewing applications to making grant payments
To accomplish these, we first defined each workflow. Then, we designed user interfaces that guided potential grantees or internal staff along a clear path from beginning to end.
Reconstructing a tool with years of additions and changes requires a constant gauge on goals and objectives. Sometimes, it takes an outside team to break down patterns with fresh ideas. More often than not, it also takes a deep dig to uncover the roots of these goals and objectives. Stripping away roundabouts and add-ons to find the most efficient route from point A to B is key.
Our collaboration with MMT was built upon simplification from the beginning. The end product is a more efficient grant management process for both applicants and admins. This tool also provides MMT flexibility. They can now adapt to community needs and adjust funding initiatives and programs accordingly.