Community Healthcare District Benefits from Streamlined Grant Management Process
Just over a year ago, we shared a case study about Sequoia Healthcare District and as promised, it’s time for an update. First, a quick refresher on Sequoia:
- The first community healthcare organization of its kind in California, Sequoia provides health and wellness initiatives that aim to enhance the lives of all residents in southern San Mateo County;
- Sequoia supports two primary initiatives – Healthy Schools and Caring Communities – plus the work of over 50 non-profits annually;
- After managing its grants program using paper proposals, email and spreadsheets, Sequoia adopted Versaic’s grants management system and within 90 days, transformed a formerly cumbersome grants process into a well-oiled machine.
Phase One: Off to a Great Start
Once Sequoia had implemented their grants management system, the initial benefits were significant. Not only were they able to get out from under all the paperwork, they were able to free up valuable time to spend with their grantees, supporting their work and helping them achieve their desired impact. Eliminating manual steps translated into a process that was more efficient as well as less error prone and labor-intensive.
Phase Two: Bigger Benefits with Less Time
Now, after more than 18 months of using the Versaic system and going through a full grants cycle, Sequoia is discovering new benefits from their online grants system. The Sequoia and Versaic teams have collaborated to automate more steps of the grant process, making it even easier for Sequoia to administer their programs. Many of the steps that used to be time-consuming (and often required setting reminders manually to remember!) are now fully automated including letters of intent, applications, reporting prompts and more.
Here’s an example of a significant time-saver according to Pamela Kurtzman, Director of Grants and Programs for Sequoia Health District. “With Versaic’s help, I am able to create specific emails to be sent out automatically on a date I determine in the system. I simply go into the systems and add dates for email communications to be sent to the grantee. For example, I can tell Versaic to send a reminder email six weeks prior to a report due date. It’s immensely helpful.”
Enhancing Collaboration and Decision Making
Pamela remains enthusiastic about the Versaic system and team. “Our partnership with Versaic has continued to grow and I’m delighted with the way the team is able to listen to the challenges we have as an organization and respond with solutions that save time and make our lives easier.“
With Sequoia’s grants management system fully automated, ad hoc reporting and analysis are not only possible, but easy to do and have enhanced decision making. Lee Michelson, CEO of Sequoia Healthcare District, is particularly fond of the notes feature. “It may seem like a small thing, but being able to add notes, review them as-needed and share them with committee members is a huge plus. It makes us more effective collaborators and decision makers.”
Making Life Easier for Grantees
Sequoia has made a concerted effort to make their online grants process as easy as possible for their grantees and the team invests significant time in training grantees and working with them through the process. According to Pamela, Versaic has enhanced the experience with key features such as enabling grantees to automatically populate grant applications with information from their letters of intent. Grant applications are also structured to eliminate unnecessary steps for grantees and help them focus on clearly communicating goals and strategies. Input from grantees during the application phase is linked back to reports so that the right outcomes are tracked and reported.
Next Phase: Bigger Impact
Sequoia Healthcare District and Versaic continue to team up to find more and better ways to improve the program and deliver higher results. As Pamela puts it, “The next challenge for our teams is to dig deeper into additional capabilities like Impact Reporting, where there will be significant potential benefits for both our organization and our grantees. And ultimately, that delivers more value to our community and that’s what really matters.”
Interested in learning more? Read the case study about Sequoia Healthcare District.