Government Funding for First Nations: How it can be tracked and managed easier (with better results) in tech

Whether First Nations are living on or off reserves, they are eligible for Government Funding for education, health & social services, roads, housing, water and waste management. While Government Funding is quite important, it also requires meticulous management of details and processes.

Without a unified system in place, managing Government Funding can quickly become both time consuming and difficult, when it doesn’t have to be. Having the appropriate software to manage Government Funding, such as a Customer Resource Management (CRM) solution, can make it seamless & easy, and having a dependable solution is essential as many First Nations bands depend on Government Funding as a key source of revenue.

Value of a Centralized System

First Nations frequently run multiple systems for managing their accounting and other data, which makes maintaining all of the information they need to qualify for funding challenging. They are increasingly starting to use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, such as Sage Intacct or Sage 300, so they have one unified system for all of their data, whether it’s accounting data, member information or data from organizations and businesses.

ERP software is extremely beneficial because it provides one centralized system for data, which in turn offers First Nations more visibility and insight into their information than they could ever have using disconnected systems. With everything from financials to applications to maintenance reports all in one place, First Nations have the tools to do comprehensive analysis and reporting on their information for whatever they need. ERP’s also offer a number of different software modules that can be added to personalize the solutions to meet unique requirements and for First Nations, integrating a Customer Resource Management solution, such as Sage CRM, with their ERP is one of the easiest and most effective ways to manage and simplify Government Funding.

Streamline Government Funding Tracking with Sage CRM

In Sage CRM, Government Funding is treated as revenue, so it’s handled through the same process that you would handle sales opportunities. You can create an ‘Opportunity Pipeline’ to track the stages involved in Government Funding with a process flow outlining all the actions that you need to take to get the funding.

You would start by setting up all of the Government branches you’re involved with as ‘Customers’, so you can move them through your Opportunity Pipeline as you progress in the funding process. Next, you set up each step or hurdle in the funding process as a stage in the pipeline. For example, determining the requirements for eligibility of the funding can be stage one and determining if you meet those requirements can be stage two and so on.

Once you’ve defined the different stages for funding in your Opportunity Pipeline, you can map a workflow (example in image below) to catch any processes that might need to be repeated, or the sequence in which steps have to be completed. For example, you can specify in your steps that an application for funding can’t be submitted before all funding requirements have been met. Having a workflow in place for both funding and grants will help improve the reliability of applications being submitted and promote easy & efficient processes surrounding funding.

The Value of Reporting

Sage CRM offers an abundance of reporting templates that can be modified to suit your specific needs. Applications for Government Funding and grants often require detailed data about the First Nations bands and members to illustrate that they meet the set requirements. The use of Sage CRM, particularly when it is integrated with an ERP, means that all of the information required for Government Funding is tracked in one place, and through the use of templates, reports can be created for that information both quickly and easily. Similarly, after funding is received First Nations can use the reporting tools to measure and track the impact of the funding.

Wide Range of Helpful Features

The benefits of Sage CRM aren’t limited to tracking funding. It gives First Nations a single source for all of their contacts, communications and data. With all of your communication in one place, you build a collaborative environment in which everyone can work together, thereby greatly reducing the amount of double work, as well as improving consistency in how funding and other information is tracked & requested. A CRM solution helps eliminate the need for unreliable and time consuming paperwork, helps identify good processes vs bad ones, and allows you to create and use dashboards to track information such as funding status and activities tied to the funding request.

Obtaining and managing Government Funding is an ongoing process for First Nations and without the appropriate solution to manage this process, it is exceedingly difficult. Sage CRM gives First Nations groups the tools they need to effortlessly track and manage both funding and grant processes from start to finish. Travis Taylor, Strategic Account Manager at Sage and Sage CRM expert explains, “Sage CRM is what every First Nations group needs to stay on top of and effectively track all initiatives and funding programs they are working on.  It is intuitive, easy to use and can be accessed from anywhere”.