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InfoStrat Grants Manager Plus Overview

by James Townsend

Grants Manager Plus is one of InfoStrat's most popular software solutions.  We developed Grants Manager Plus to help grantor organizations streamline their grant processes.  We've built Grant Management Solutions for public sector since the late 1990s.  We developed Stimulus 360 for Microsoft in 2009 to help state and local government track stimulus funding.  Grants Manager Plus was introduced in 2010.  The solution is based on Microsoft Dynamics 365, the product formerly called Dynamics CRM.   InfoStrat maintains Grants Manager Plus to take advantage of new features in Dynamics 365 as well as follow our product roadmap of new grant features. 

The overarching goal of Grants Manager Plus is to capture the entire grant life cycle, starting with establishing funding sources, accepting applications, online review, scoring, award, and post-award reporting all the way to close out. Grants Manager Plus provides a portal user interface for grantees to interact with the system as well as an internal user interface for the grantor organization to track the grant and generate reports.

Applicants interact with grantors through a portal

The grantee portal allows grant applicants and recipients to sign in, fill out applications and track the progress with all their grants and their payment requests.  The portal is configured so that the grantee can work on their application in stages and it saves their work as they go along.  As soon as they submit the application for review, notification is triggered internally so that a grant reviewer can check for compliance with the requirements of that specific program.

Grantees create payment requests in the portal which are routed for verification and approval.  They can also see the status of their payment requests such as which payment requests has been processed.  They can use file attachments for backup material such as invoices.  

Because it's based on Microsoft Dynamics 365, Grants Manager Plus offers a rich security environment integrated with Office 365 and active directory.  It has built-in auditing tools including data audits to track all changes that are made to the data.  It supports reporting, dashboards, graphs and even powerful visualizations based on Power BI from Microsoft. It also not only the latest web browsers but also mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.  

Grants Manager Plus is available on the Microsoft U.S. Government Community Cloud (GCC).  The GCC provides the latest security accreditations and a full spectrum of controls that are expected by government agencies.

We built integration points into Grants Manager Plus for your financial management system.  The template is extensible which allows you to add in your own custom fields, entities, reports, dashboards, queries and business workflows.

The data model covers block grants and individual grants 

This graphical depiction of the logical flow of Grants Manager Plus shows two types of grants:  one on the left and one on the right.  On the right is a simplified track which allows you to monitor direct grants from the grantor to individual applications.  On the left side of the graph we see a more complex data model for Block Grants which includes sub-recipients. That means that the grant is awarded to a sub-recipient who then in turn issues grants to agencies or individuals who perform activities under the contract established by that sub-recipient application.  

Payment request are submitted via the portal
For both types of grants we offer the option to monitor budget milestones, key performance metrics, payment requests, and invoices.  

The system issues reminders to grantees to provide the requisite reporting under their grant program, along with over 300 pre-built workflows.  The Grants Manager Plus data model allows you to set up business rules that are appropriate for each grant program yet maintain a single consolidated view of all your grants.   You can set up projects that span multiple grants and each grant program can have multiple payment sources. Grand Review and scoring can be simple or complex depending on your business requirements.  The questionnaires that are used by grant applicants and also for scoring grant applications are configurable.  

For more information on Grants Manager Plus, see my blog posts including these:

5 Ways to Ensure Compliance with Your Grant Management System
6 Things to Look for in Grant Management Software
Estimating the Cost of a Microsoft Grants Manager Plus Implementation
Extending Grants Manager Plus
Flexible Grant Management Software: Long Term Considerations
Grant Management for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Grant Management Portal: What to Include
Grant Management with FedRAMP Certification: Microsoft Dynamics 365
Grants Manager Plus: Theme and Variations
InfoStrat Grants Manager Plus Review on FinanceOnline
InfoStrat Releases New Version of Grants Manager Plus
InfoStrat Releases New Videos on Grants Manager Plus
Microsoft Grants Manager Plus
Microsoft Grants Manager Plus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Online Resources for Microsoft Grants Manager Plus
Portal Options for Microsoft Grants Manager
Statewide Grant Management Systems
The DATA Act Driving Grant Management Automation
The Story of InfoStrat and Grant Management
Usage Scenarios for Microsoft Grants Manager
User Stories for Grants Manager Plus
Understanding Budget, Payments and Milestones in Grants Manager Plus
Understanding Grant Management Data: CDBG-DR Programs
Understanding Programs in Grants Manager Plus

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