Building a Digital Presence
Established in 2005, the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation actively contributes to enriching civil society in North America and Israel. The Foundation’s mission encompasses three areas: scientific research, which improves public health; experiential and informal education; and community capacity building.
The Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation is looking forward. Since its founding 14 years ago in Montreal, the Foundation has spanned two generations and is quickly approaching its third. The family’s commitment to funding scientific research, community capacity building, and education has remained steady—but the way the Foundation approaches funding initiatives has changed. With the help of technology, each grant application has evolved to symbolize potential new partners, learning opportunities, and data that guide the Foundation in strategizing for the future.
Prior to working with Blackbaud, the Goodman Foundation did not have a website. Together, the Foundation and a team of developers created an online presence that provides information and action steps previously unavailable as a paper organization.
For example: Interested grantees can now contact the Foundation in several ways, so it can reach as many people as possible.
Senior Manager Sharon Bitensky stresses the importance of the Foundation’s increased ability to understand specific funding needs, based on this open communication stream through the website. Even if the Foundation chooses to not fund an initiative, it benefits from the perspective that each grant applicant brings. All applicant information populates a database, and the Foundation can use that intel to optimize its funding mix in the future.
Letting Data Direct Strategy
More prospective grantees are finding the Goodman Foundation through the new website, which translates to more connections and data points. The result is highly collaborative meetings with the board of directors, where reports guide conversations that focus on the overall strategy of the Foundation.
In addition to reviewing the usual operational aspects of the Foundation, the board meetings can now expand their discussions around future decision making and overall philanthropic impact. In fact, the board at Goodman Foundation was so intrigued by the newly available reporting and data on applicants that the group created a separate retreat dedicated to strategic planning for the Foundation. Newly-collected data paints a more comprehensive picture, helps to guide a long-term vision, and allows the Foundation to initiate a relationship with grantees.
A key contributor to the Foundation’s analytics is the online grant applications, and Blackbaud Grantmaking™ has been instrumental in collecting the information the Foundation needs to better understand its funding landscape. Through details provided in the application, the Foundation can follow up with grants that it’s interested in, within its areas of focus. The Goodman Foundation also aims to develop partnerships beyond a single funding opportunity—and with Blackbaud Grantmaking, the Foundation can track its interactions. This clear insight allows the Foundation to pivot if a grantee loses traction as a long-term partner.
Streamlining Work-Flows Across Time Zones
A separate benefit the Goodman Foundation has experienced from migrating to grantmaking technology is the reduction of human error. Since the Foundation operates in Canada, USA, and Israel, currencies differ depending on the location of the supported organization. Prior to Blackbaud Grantmaking, all conversions were done manually.
With the Foundation’s current software, all systems are unified. Foundation staff can see the rate of conversion at the exact time a check is disbursed. Staff members also track the date a request was put into the system, allowing them to update all check amounts based on the appropriate currency and conversion rate at once—both saving time and ensuring accuracy. Having strategic technology in place enables future generations of family members to live and work in multiple places. The technology that grantmaking and the website offer brings everyone together for decision making.
Strengthening Engagement with Blackbaud Solutions
The core of the Goodman Foundation is a focus on data-driven decision making and strategic grantmaking. Accomplishing these feats requires collaboration—both internally among staff, board members, and the family, as well as with potential grantees. The availability of strong reporting from multiple data sources provides a level of transparency and accountability with the board that results in strong engagement and a commitment to working within the parameters of the Foundation’s Theory of Change.
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