Skip to Content Launches foundationConnect: The CRM + GMS for Grantmakers

By Lori Freeman May 15, 2019

Jim Rutt“Since moving from an outdated, siloed grants management system to foundationConnect, our staff has time back in their day to focus on the more important work. For example, it used to take to three weeks getting ready for a board meeting. Now with foundationConnect, it takes us about two hours.”

– Jim Rutt, Chief Information Officer of The Dana Foundation

Dana FoundationAt, we care about empowering nonprofits, education institutions, and grantmakers with the best solutions to improve the state of the world. We moved one step closer to this goal with the release of foundationConnect, a next-generation grants management system for foundations and public charities now offered by With this new development, nonprofits and foundations have the tools and technology to have greater impact on the same technology platform.

Why a grants management solution?

We have some lofty goals to accomplish in the next couple of years – just look at the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an example. But often times the work nonprofits and grantmakers do is bogged down by paper and spreadsheet-based processes, data and information trapped in different places, and inadequate reporting tools. Collaborating between grantors and grantees often takes place via email and slowly.

So what is foundationConnect?

A CRM + GMS for the Grantmaker

Access your data while on the go with mobile.With foundationConnect, grantmakers have a modern and secure constituent relationship management (CRM) platform and a grants management system (GMS) in a single solution. Grantmakers can seamlessly manage the entire lifecycle of philanthropic giving — from eligibility and application, to application reviews and evaluations, all the way through grants distribution and real-time outcome tracking. Since each organization has its own processes, grantmakers can customize foundationConnect to accommodate your unique processes. foundationConnect can also automate tedious, repetitive tasks so staff can spend more time on what’s important: your mission. Simple changes are easy to do in-house without having to be super technical or knowing how to code. For more complex processes that require additional domain expertise, has Customer Success Architects who can provide guidance and best practices along with a partner ecosystem who can help with configuration.

We all live in our mobile devices and email these days, so why not work there, too? foundationConnect is mobile-first, so you can access and update information while you’re on your way to do a site visit or meet with a board member. It also integrates with email systems like Outlook, Office 365, and Gmail, so as you’re working in your email, your Salesforce CRM is in the same window. No more toggling back and forth between systems to get your work done. Need to add or update a new contact? Emailing a grantee and want to see when the last site visit was? Need to log an email communication? Do it from your email screen.

Create a simple, seamless experience for the experts who help you make decisions with an online external reviewer portal. Reviewers now have a dashboard to manage their assigned reviews, study application details and provide the feedback needed to make responsible and informed decisions about your awards.

foundationConnect integrates with email systems like Outlook, Office 365, and Gmail so you can see Salesforce (right side of the screen) and your email on a single screen.

foundationConnect for the Grantee

It’s challenging for grant makers to engage and manage multiple relationships when there’s a lot of back and forth through email or even faxes! For the nonprofit grantee, having a one-stop-shop to give you what you need can save you time and make it a seamless experience for the grantee. With foundationConnect, applicants have access to an easy-to-use portal where they can search for, save, and submit grant applications. Once they become a grantee, they can collaborate and update status reports, and provide programmatic outcomes on an ongoing basis.

Grantees can submit status reports directly through the grantee portal.

Grantees can search for and apply for grants in the foundationConnect applicant/grantee portal.

Stephanie Cheney“We made a big switch to Salesforce, but we’re glad we did. We can finally keep track of our grants processes and where applications are in the cycle. And where I would previously spend two solid days to get ready for a board meeting, I now only need an hour.”
– Stephanie Cheney, Senior Grants Manager at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation

What’s coming next* in foundationConnect for the social sector

foundationConnect is a solution that works the way grantmakers work and connects grantors with grantees, making collaboration and data sharing easier than ever. A mature grants management solution that has been in the ecosystem for nearly ten years, it continuously improves with input from the sector. And with already existing solutions like Philanthropy Cloud and Nonprofit Cloud, adding foundationConnect accelerates the vision* for philanthropy: creating a true impact marketplace for grantors and grantees – making it easier to connect with one another, work together toward common goals, and engage in partnerships across the greater impact-making community.

Interested in learning more? Attend our free foundationConnect webinar on May 30 at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET for a live demo of foundationConnect in action.


*Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other blog posts or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase and applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. and have headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit,, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.