Selecting and Optimizing Award Management Software: 9 Key Features for Nonprofits and NGOs to Prioritize

By Jodi Buchholz | April 12, 2024

Nonprofit 9 Key features for Award Management Software

Finding the right award management software for your organization can help you handle the complexities of managing multiple awards with unique timelines and criteria.

For nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) navigating grants and awards, selecting the right software is paramount to efficient fund management. Additionally, for international organizations the software should accommodate managing multiple currencies and languages, further emphasizing the need for a robust solution and thoughtful selection

Your software decision is pivotal to ensuring successful management and grant compliance for your organization. At Stoneridge Software, we understand the critical benefits organizations seek from their award management systems, and we're here to guide your search. In this blog, we've compiled a list of 9 essential features crucial for effective award management software, commonly sought by nonprofits and NGOs.

These insights will assist you in evaluating and selecting the ideal software solution tailored to your specific needs.

9 Key Features to Prioritize with Award Management Software

Once you've outlined your overarching software goals, it's time to delve into key features to prioritize and consider as you begin reaching out to software providers and evaluating the myriad of potential solutions.

1. High-Level Requirements

Begin your evaluation process by documenting specific requirements and consider providing samples of internal documentation. Using a spreadsheet can help track and compare various software solutions.

2. Security

Ensure the software complies with industry security standards and supports integration with authentication providers. This helps you establish seamless single sign-on capabilities.

3. Hosting

Look for software solutions hosted on leading cloud platforms, providing scalability, reliability, and accessibility.

4. Integrations

Seek software that integrates smoothly with document management, email, and office productivity tools like word processing and spreadsheets. Additionally, prioritize solutions that offer application programming interfaces (APIs) or software development kits (SDKs).

This will help enhance custom integrations based on current standards (e.g., web services and XML).

5. Proposals

Opt for software that facilitates creating proposal estimates (budgets) aligned with funders' specified line items. Additionally, make sure it aligns with your organization's general ledger (G/L) account numbers.

The ability to track revisions and milestones (e.g., certifications, budget narrative, key personnel bios), and attach relevant documents (e.g., emails, spreadsheets, PDFs) is essential for efficient proposal management.

6. Awards

Choose software that supports the following:

  • Award-specific currencies
  • Incremental fund obligations
  • Comprehensive tracking of:
    • Terms
    • Conditions
    • Modifications
    • Deliverables.

Features like expense control, budget tracking, the ability to define sponsor-imposed restrictions, handle in-kind gifts, and manage cost matching are crucial for effective award management.

7. Rules

Prioritize software that can calculate and record indirect costs (e.g., organization-wide rates or award-specific rates), revenue recognition, and generate sales invoices based on cost reimbursement, unit price installment, or time and material methods.

8. Subawards

Look for features that enable detailed tracking of sub-awarded funds, including:

  • Modifications
  • Terms
  • Conditions
  • Milestones
  • Certifications
  • Clearance status
  • Monitoring level
  • Expenses associated with subawards in different currencies.

9. Intercompany

Consider software that supports intercompany transactions across regional and local offices. This will facilitate data flow and entry without redundant processes. This feature is especially beneficial for organizations with decentralized operations.

Starting with a comprehensive list of requirements tailored to your organization's needs is crucial for effective software evaluation. This approach enables vendors to provide more informed and accurate proposals. It also ensures the selected solution aligns with your specific objectives and operational demands.

Goals for Award Management Software

Microsoft offers discounts and special benefits for nonprofits who want to use their technologies. Stoneridge can help you implement, configure, and maintain these technologies. Working with Microsoft and Stoneridge has several great benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Decision Making: You aim to gain real-time insights into expenses, subawards, and obligations through intuitive displays. This accessibility to key information supports informed decision-making.
  • Increased Efficiency: By eliminating information silos, you seek software that promotes productivity. With everyone accessing the same data, communication gaps are minimized, reducing unnecessary back-and-forth exchanges.
  • Streamlined Processes: You require software that provides a comprehensive overview of your entire process from start to finish, minimizing redundancy and data conflicts.
  • Automated Grant Compliance: You strive to simplify compliance with automated processes and the ability to access your data in the required format as frequently as needed, ensuring adherence to grant guidelines.
  • User-Defined Multi-Currency Viewing: You wish to effortlessly view and report grant data in various currencies to accommodate multinational operational needs.
  • Support for Multiple Languages: It is essential to specify preferred languages for all users, ensuring ease of use across diverse teams.

Ultimately, you should choose software designed to empower your organization with these essential capabilities.

Stoneridge Can Help You Find Software That Works for Your Organization

At Stoneridge Software, we specialize in empowering nonprofits and NGOs with award management solutions that streamline operations and drive improved outcomes. As you navigate the complexities of selecting and optimizing award management software, our experts can guide your search.

We can assist you in evaluating and selecting the ideal solution tailored to your organization's unique needs.

Reach out to us today to discover how we can support your organization's journey toward efficient fund management and grant compliance. Let's work together to achieve your goals with confidence and clarity.

Related Posts

Under the terms of this license, you are authorized to share and redistribute the content across various mediums, subject to adherence to the specified conditions: you must provide proper attribution to Stoneridge as the original creator in a manner that does not imply their endorsement of your use, the material is to be utilized solely for non-commercial purposes, and alterations, modifications, or derivative works based on the original material are strictly prohibited.

Responsibility rests with the licensee to ensure that their use of the material does not violate any other rights.

Start the Conversation

It’s our mission to help clients win. We’d love to talk to you about the right business solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up to get periodic updates on the latest posts.

Thank you for subscribing!