This week, GrantBook launched the XYZ Foundation website, an overview of a fictional foundation of grantmakers trying on some new technology for size. Like many grantmaking organizations, the XYZ Foundation provides a range of grant programs that meet the specific needs of grantees and their community initiatives. We wanted the XYZ Foundation website to reflect that. That’s why we’ve structured it in such a way that it takes unique needs into consideration while illustrating a more general digitalization process. In short, we’ve taken processes that may seem complex, and have broken them down in easy-to-digest ways.
XYZ Foundation acts as a working prototype, allowing us to realistically demonstrate the implementation of real tools and resources that we recommend to grantmaking professionals as they go digital. It’s a culmination of our knowledge from engaging with over 70 organizations on their journey to enable social change.
So, why are we doing it? Research by the Center for Effective Philanthropy shows that “transparency matters, both to foundation leaders and to grantees,” and if there’s one thing we feel strongly about at GrantBook, it’s living the values we promote. Providing grantees with a timeline from proposal to completion, for example, is a measure that improves both transparency (trust) and efficiency – yet, 25 percent of foundations skip this step! The XYZ Foundation website highlights features like these – opportunities for organizations to improve their reputation amongst their target audience.
The “About” section covers employee characters and their roles, the organization’s values and a transparent budgeting spreadsheet. The “Stories & Impact” section allows visitors to interact with the characters, and read grantee stories. The “FAQs & Eligibility” section both answers the basic questions a grantee might have, and also gives a comprehensive outline of each type of grant and what’s required to apply. The “Data & Dashboards” section allows visitors to browse diagrams and play with data from five application years. Finally, the “Apply” section guides visitors through a demonstration of what the application and documentation processes look like using various pieces of software!
We think you’ll find that the site gives users a more thorough understanding of what digitalization may look like for their own organizations. Take some time to interact with the characters and data, and consider using some of the self-education features like the “where we draw inspiration from” button in the “Home” section. We hope you’ll enjoy your visit.