Evaluating Follow-up submissions
The ability to have an optional Evaluation stage to Follow-up forms would be helpful for some clients. The genesis for this idea came from an earlier discussion area post. Please use this post for any further comments.
Let the conversation begin! Thank you,
Here is the original post:
I am a new Foundant user. Prior to using the Foundant system, when a grantee mailed us a grant report, our two staff members would review it (especially the employee who was "in charge" of a particular grant), then we would copy it and enclose it in the (snail-mailed) docket for each of our board members to review. I was stumped today when, for the first time I reviewed a report and got ready to assign it to my board and ED for further evaluation, that this was not possible. Currently, it seems the best way to send reports to my board is to create a pdf and email them. Does anyone have a better suggestion?
Am I alone in thinking that it would be great if we could simply assign them to anyone to review as we assign the board/staff to evaluate proposals?
Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation
posted July 14, 2011 by Susan Haley, Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation
I think this would be a great way to engage the committees and help them see the outcomes. Also I want Committee members to be able to see the follow ups as well as Board members. This is a real downfall of the software that only Board members can see them and it's even hard for them to find it going through Requests & Decisions.
Paula Bellemore commented
We have a couple of follow-up stages that require evaluation and approval. (So first we need to say yes, the information you have us is complete (detailed enough for us to review) and then we need to say yes, we approve the request or step.
Adam Sanders commented
Evaluating of follow-ups would be very helpful. Please make this more user friendly.
Helen Hands commented
Why hasn't this been done yet? It was first proposed 10 years ago and has had consistent support since. We're in the process of evaluating interim reports (i.e., Follow Ups) right now. We do it outside the system and it's cumbersome and error prone. I have to download each report and upload it to Dropbox, make an Excel report form, ask my fellow board members to complete the form, and return it to me. I mistakenly didn't get all the reports uploaded to Dropbox and now 2 days before we're going to meet, I'm having to ask them to go back and review a few more reports. It shouldn't have to be this way. I've seen too many new ideas get implemented while waiting for this one.
Karli Moore commented
This would be a huge help!
Julie Wright commented
We are collecting a huge amount of qualitative data, and reporting is turning out to be quite daunting. We are trying to find a way to code the data for analysis and having an evaluation side-by-side with the monthly or quarterly follow-up report would be super useful for us to do that. That way we can assign the coding form to the appropriate person. We are currently working with "tags" within the form.
Mark Petersen commented
Being able to evaluate follow-ups reporting on grant outcomes has always been a missing link in the GLM in my opinion, so thank you Larry for raising this issue.
To me it makes sense that our evaluators should be able to be notified when a followup form from an applicant has been received so they can view it within the system. Currently our work-around solution is to save their report as a pdf and place it in Shared Documents for our evaluators to view. This is not a very intuitive nor seamless process, and our evaluators are not happy… I hope Foundant will consider reviewing this in the future.
This would be very helpful to alert Officers that a report has been submitted and requires their attention. The work around we've found thus far, is to push the Follow up back to incomplete once the applicant submits it, then assign it internally to the respective party and get their approval through Administrative questions at the end of the follow up form. The problem of doing so, is that once the follow up is set to internal, it is no longer accessible for the applicant. Having this function could simplify our workflow and fully transition our approval process into the system, which we are doing on paper as well at this time.
Alexandra Warner commented
I think this is an excellent idea. Additionally, this could allow easier access to follow-ups for which each staff member is responsible. My colleagues and I have multiple grant processes in each of our portfolios and I always need to use the filter to find which follow-ups I need to review. It would be great if they were more apparent on the dashboard.
Caroline, Scheidel Foundation commented
I would like to make a strong second to this idea. We're trying to move toward better practices, including emphasizing the review and evaluation of grantee's use of our grant and their general status and capacity at grant's end. It would be great to be able to assign certain staff and trustees to actually READ and digest the grant reports through Foundant, as part of this effort!
We are very much in favor of this idea. Having an evaluation at the follow-up stage is sound grants management practice. Having the documentation all in one place makes sense from an efficiency and audit perspective too.
Larry Hands commented
There is an Evaluation for LOI's and an Evaluation for Applications. I would like the opportunity for an Evaluation for Follow Up Reports. We have an initial follow up report of agreeing to our grant conditions, that doesn't require an evaluation stage, but our second follow up is for the grantee to tell us how well they spent our grant, and we want to evaluate this second follow up. There is an empty box on our dashboard to have an evaluation process on followups. We would like an evaluation process opportunity for this followup report that we require. Our board members complain about our difficult work-around and asked us in exasperation "Why can't we do this through the Foundant system!"
Helen Hands commented
This is something our foundation has wanted Foundant to do for at least 3 years. Right now we export all grant reports and upload them to Dropbox because our Board Members who aren't administrators would have a hard time finding the grant reports. Also, there's no point in them even trying because they can't evaluate them in Foundant. Then we email out an Excel spreadsheet for each Board Member into which to enter the scores. Then I have to copy and paste all the scores into one spreadsheet and summarize. Surely Foundant could do this easily if they wanted to.
Kelli Rojas commented
100% agree that this needs to be possible. This is one of our biggest challenges with Foundant... It is what prompts our program officers to keep "clandestine" paper files and keeps them from being fully bought into the system.
To add to what I said earlier, I don't think it would be necessary for the reviewers (Board, staff or Committees) to do a full evaluation of the follow up, but it would be good to have them check a box that indicates if they consider the follow up commitment fulfilled or not and to make comments if they want more information. It would be good to track who is seeing the reports and creates accountability for the committees/board and helps to track outcomes.
I too think this would be a wonderful way to give the Board/Committees access to the follow ups for any given process. Then if they have their own questions they can refer back to the application and review each and we can also be sure they are seeing the follow up.
Just chiming in to this conversation - we'd appreciate any improvement that allows sharing completed follow ups with our board easier. The current steps board members have to do to find and read a completed follow up means they never do it. Downloading, renaming and emailing dozens of pdfs is onerous. We don't necessarily require another form for reviewing, just an internal comment box would be enough. Thanks.
Yes! A review stage would certainly streamline access to each of the follow ups received. Having to access Requests and Decisions for each report is a time consuming and very cumbersome process. For now, I'll be printing all of our Mid Year Reports and scanning them to each of our board members. Help, please. :)
MV Banks commented
This is something that would be incredibly helpful for us. It would make it easier to track which Program Staff has already been sent the report and we could include any feedback they have for the report in the evaluation as well. It would help both for collecting the follow up approvals and for tracking which ones have been sent out.
Macy Hill commented
It would be helpful to have a way to evaluate grant reports. Currently, we use an excel file to keep track of program performance against the original grant request. We require grantees to disclose benchmarks, objectives and measures of success. It would be helpful to have a form in Foundant that allowed evaluators to review and track outcomes within the system for consistency and historical purposes.