Simplify is an Initiative of the Technology Affinity Group (TAG) which promotes using technology to streamline the grantmaking process. By adopting tools that improve funder processes and share funder and nonprofit data, foundations and nonprofits can spend less time (and money) on process and more time on the purpose of their missions. These tools facilitate data sharing, increase accuracy of data, and improve efficiency, leading to better reporting and benchmarking, and ultimately to better outcomes.
Lisa Pool, TAG’s executive director, explains “It’s our job to educate foundation technologists about all of these tools so they can lead their foundations to improve the effectiveness of the sector. TAG is uniquely positioned to be in this role because we represent the foundation community and have strong relationships with grants management software vendors and tool providers but we don’t have a vested interest in any of the software products or tools”.
The TAG Board recently voted to expand the Simplify Initiative to focus on promoting adoption. The expanded initiative includes providing information about many more tools, building a comprehensive knowledge center, hiring dedicated staff, and providing direct support for TAG members.
The Simplify Initiative will now cover a broad array of technology tools from several organizations which aim to improve grantmaking across the full grants management lifecycle. This will include tools to facilitate sharing nonprofit data, sharing funder data, and improving funder processes.
The Simplify Initiative’s new Knowledge Center, which can be found at www.simplifynow.org, already provides a central location to get information about all the tools included in the initiative, and will soon include information about the partners supporting those tools, the software vendors integrating with those tools, reference information and examples showing how to implement the different systems, FAQs, a blog to publicize events and news related to data sharing, and a place for funders to interact, discuss, and get support.
With its new focus on promoting adoption, TAG has hired a Simplify project manager to increase capacity and carry out the new efforts. Simplify will be running webinars, publishing articles and case studies, presenting at conferences, and finding other avenues of outreach and support. The project manager will also work directly with tool providers, grants management software vendors, and consultants to reach a broad audience, help ensure timely and accurate communication, and support all parties involved in adoption and implementation of these tools.
The Simplify Initiative will work to support the entire sector. However, TAG members will receive extra resources to facilitate adoption and implementation. “I’m incredibly excited to be joining TAG in this new role” says Poney Carpenter, the new Simplify Initiative Project Manager. “I have a personal passion for using technology to make business processes easier, and I think there’s a big potential for improving the grantmaking process by fostering adoption of all these tools which already exist.”