NetSuite.Org, Creating Social Solutions in Grant Management

As NetSuite’s corporate citizenship arm, we believe in using the power of our greatest resources, our technology and our people to make a difference in the world. Outside of donating our platform to nonprofits and social enterprises, and giving our employee’s time and talent through our pro bono work, we also strive to develop social solutions. To that end, we work very closely with grantee organizations to understand their operational challenges so that we can build a technology solution that better meets their ongoing needs. I am particularly proud of the Grant Management module we worked closely with one of our SuiteCloud partners to deliver to non-profits and social enterprises, helping these organizations become even better stewards of donor funds.

Particularly when multiple countries and currencies are involved, our grantees tell us that allocating expenses to grant income sources can quickly turn into an administrative nightmare. When managed on spreadsheets, this process is invariably backward-looking, meaning that the organization cannot work through scenarios to maximize the effectiveness of grant dollars. When mistakes are made and program costs exceed grant sources, non-profits typically have to tap unrestricted funds—grant money which comes with no guidance or strings attached. These unrestricted funds are relatively more difficult to come by and are usually reserved for administrative expenses, so it is vitally important that non-profits get the help they need in matching up grant income with program expenditures. Naturally, without automation, these mistakes happen more frequently and in larger amounts.

Fortunately, NetSuite's support for 190 currencies and detailed accounting standards in over 40 countries makes it well-suited to the complex processes involved with multi-national grant management. The detailed analysis our grant management module provides non-profit organizations helps them avoid unpleasant surprises and protects unrestricted funds. Superior grant management also helps non-profit organizations provide real-time insight into income and expenses on a given project, which not only helps program staff deliver services more effectively and without interruption, but also makes it possible to give valuable donors ongoing, detailed reports about how their money is being spent. Major grantors want to know that their money is being well-spent, and the transparency grant management delivers can make a difference in future fundraising rounds.

Non-profits and social enterprises who are interested in learning more about accessing the Grant Management module can apply online for a donation of NetSuite. We’d love to hear from you about other social solutions you’d like to see us develop. You can find me @NetSuiteOrg.

David Geilhufe - Program Manager, NetSuite.org 

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