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Understanding Budget, Payments and Milestones in Grants Manager Plus

Managing finances is at the core of InfoStrat's Grants Manager Plus software for grantors to manage the full lifecycle of a grant.  This post explains key concepts for understanding how budgets, payments and milestones are managed in the solution.

Grants Manager Plus may be configured to your business rules, so your implementation may differ from the scenarios described here.  Many of the functions and workflows are nearly universal for grant management, such as having an approval routing workflow or checking the amount requested against budgets and remaining funds.

When a grant manager creates a grant program, it will contain related budget codes, budget line items, and optional budget gates and milestones.  The budget codes are used by grantees to provide their proposed budgets, and hence to roll up totals for reporting.  Budget gates are thresholds which are tied to project (grant) progress which is measured by milestones.  In a building project, for instance, a payment may be…

Dynamics 365 Power Apps: When You Want CRM Power without Sales, Customer Service or Marketing

My company InfoStrat has been working with Dynamics 365 for over 13 years since version 3.0 of Dynamics CRM was released.  For more than half of our customers, we have been using Dynamics for line of business solutions which are not the typical sales, customer service and marketing applications that make up customer relationship management (CRM).

Microsoft offers a subscription for these users who do not need sales, customer service or support.  This subscription is called Power Apps, and provides the same user interface, platform and development tools as are used for the CRM apps.

Power Apps offers significant savings -- the U.S. list price is $40/user/month compared to $95/user/month for each of the sales and customer service apps or $115/user/month for the Customer Engagement bundle which includes sales, customer service, project service and field service.

Another way that customers can save is through combining the subscription types so that users are only paying for the services…

InfoStrat Grants Manager Plus Review on FinanceOnline

Understanding Programs in Grants Manager Plus

InfoStrat's Grants Manager Plus solution helps grantor agencies with the full lifecycle of a grant.  This blog post focuses on setting up grant programs.

A grant program allows you to establish rules that govern applications, scoring, and reporting for a set of applications.  For instance, a grant program is of a specified type, has dates that relate to it, and draws funding from one or more funding sources.  Applications for a specific program have questions and metrics that may be different from one program to another but are consistent across applications for that grant program.  Reporting is often tied to a specific program, such as budgets and spending.

One of the design goals of Grants Manager Plus was to allow a single system to be used for an extended period rather than creating a new system each time a new program is established.

Creating a new program involves defining all the attributes of the program, such as:

Start and end dates for the grantsDeadlinesReporting schedu…

Victim Notification Software: InfoStrat SAVIN360

InfoStrat developed the SAVIN360 Victim Notification System to help agencies manage contacts and alerts when offenders are transferred or released. State departments of correction and county jails and related public safety agencies must deploy a system for notifying victims, constituents, law enforcement officials and other stakeholders when an offender’s custody status changes.

Today three states rely on the SAVIN360 solution, with another statewide implementation going live later in 2019.  SAVIN360 provides many options for notification, including notification by event type.  It uses a web portal powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 for registration and management of notification preferences. InfoStrat implemented SAVIN360 for all interfaces, which include Court, Prosecutor, Law Enforcement, Jail and Corrections data sources. This provides a single code base for all exchanges, enabling the application of both source specific and global business rules for all incoming data. This also m…

Understanding Grant Management Data: CDBG-DR Programs

InfoStrat Grants Manager Plus is used for tracking many types of grants because the data model may be extended with new fields and entities.  For tracking Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the system tracks grants in ways that are different from typical grants.

CDBG-DR grants flow from a federal grant to a state, where they are broken into multiple grants to local entities which in turn are used to fund individual grants for such activities as housing repairs, infrastructure projects and remediation of damage such as erosion.

The grant management system must track funding at all stages of the grant life cycle.  As shown above, a CDBG-DR grant recipient develops action plans along with associated budgets and metrics.  Sub-recipients such as local government agencies apply for grants which ultimately become contracts when awarded.

After award, as projects are completed, grantees submit pay…