After more than a year of development, we’re happy to announce that our newest product, WizeHive Current, is now available to our WizeHive Select customers. And so far, feedback from our Select customers has been great!
Amy Kane, Director of Core Programs at the Rheumatology Research Foundation, has been an early adopter of WizeHive Current. Already a WizeHive Select customer, Amy was familiar with WizeHive, so getting started with Current has been quick and easy.
We caught up with Amy to learn more about her organization, her grants management process, and how she is using WizeHive Select in tandem with WizeHive Current to manage her grants, awards, and recipients.
“When we started, our processes were all paper-based just like everyone used to be just paper,” began Amy in reference to their application process before moving online. “People would mail us CDs and paper applications, and then we would do all of our reviewing by burning CDs and distribute by mail to all of our reviewers. Reviewers would then fill out their evaluations and email comments back to us.” The final stage of review included face-to-face meetings where reviewers discussed each applicant in depth. Applicants were given a final review and judges wrote down their scores and submitted them on paper. Those scores were then collected, typed into a spreadsheet, and tallied up so an applicant decision could be made.
As application inflow continued to increase (inflow increased more than 27% last year) there was an obvious need for a new, more automated solution. “We had our IT department here build out an online system. We used the new system for some of our programs, but it was really difficult to build out,” said Amy of their in-house system. “We were having to go through our IT department to make changes to the system and build everything out. It was really tough for us to make system changes in a timely manner.”
“So we used the in-house system for the [programs] that we built it for but still used paper for other programs,” said Amy. Still needing a new solution, the Rheumatology Research Foundation began their search for an external vendor.
“We really wanted the autonomy to do things on our own and so we decided to look at systems that others were already successfully using to manage their application processes.”
“We did a bunch of research, talked to other organizations, read all the reports” and wound up finding WizeHive at the 2013 Grant Managers Network Conference¹ in St. Petersburg, Florida. With WizeHive Select, Amy and her team saw just how easily and quickly they could make changes to their applications. Amy and her team realized that WizeHive Select allowed them on their own to make quick edits to applications and provided the ability to make review assignments for our reviewers, and then to run reports.
As the Rheumatology Research Foundation is finishing their first cycle with WizeHive Select, all feedback thus far has been positive – applicants, staff and reviewers have all been happy with their new online system. Now that a good system has been put in place to manage the collection and review of their applications, Amy turned to another need, enhancing how she could manage and track all current and past awardees in one easy to use online database.
Enter WizeHive Current.
“We have a million spreadsheets… everywhere.”
Rheumatology Research Foundation awardees fall into one of three main buckets: 1) Those who have received money, 2) those who are currently receiving money, and 3) those who will receive money in the near future. Especially since their awards are paid out over different periods of time, it’s important for Amy to track both current and past grantees.
In year’s past, Amy used multiple spreadsheets to track information regarding grantees. Data captured in WizeHive Select during the intake and awards process would be exported and stored in multiple Excel spreadsheets. This system worked for a while but as the number of awards and respective awardees grew, managing spreadsheets became significantly more challenging and quite difficult to track.
Having already been familiar with WizeHive, Amy approached us about using WizeHive Current to address this problem and thought, “Maybe this is a good way to create a comprehensive database for all of our awardees.”
WizeHive Current is designed so that business users can quickly create and deploy custom cloud-based business systems – without needing programmer or IT help. It is perfect for quickly deploying a system to manage customers, track job applications, manage projects, handle service ticketing, bug tracking or any data application that requires configuration to meet a company’s particular business need.
“The ability to easily import data from WizeHive Select and an existing database into WizeHive Current has really helped us quickly move all of our data into WizeHive Current… we were able to upload all our historical data on the 2000 awards we’ve given to date. It’s all there in one place which is awesome.” After completing the initial setup, Amy can easily import new data as it is captured in WizeHive Select. “We’re really excited to be able to quickly report on all of our applicant and awardee data,” she said of her new grant management tool. “I’m loving the ability to drag and drop column headers and create simple pivot tables; this has really been a significant improvement for quickly sorting and viewing our awards data.”
And since Current can handle file uploads and attachments, Amy can include file attachments (i.e. Word or PDF) and have it associated with the grantee record. “Being able to upload all the necessary files and link them to a record in WizeHive Current is really great and definitely above and beyond anything I can do in Excel.”
So now, instead of tracking down and sorting through dozens of spreadsheets, Amy has a centralized database of all the information she needs right at her fingertips. This is just the beginning: “We’re really excited about taking advantage of other WizeHive Current capabilities in the future including automating the import of information from WizeHive Select into WizeHive Current.”
About The Rheumatology Research Foundation
Founded in 1985, the Rheumatology Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization and the largest private funding source of rheumatology training and research in the US. Since 1991, the Foundation has funded researchers in the field of rheumatology and rheumatic diseases with more than $107 million dollars, supporting more than 2,200 projects.
“Our mission is to advance research and training to improve the health of people with rheumatic disease,” began Amy, “and the way we do that is by offering a number of awards and grants that are designed to support rheumatology education and training, as well as innovative research ideas.”
This year alone, the Rheumatology Research Foundation has committed more than $13 million to awards and grants (the most in their 29 year history. And the Foundation is incredibly efficient with money collected through their fundraising efforts, with $.90 cents out of every dollar donated going directly to the awards and grants program.
The Foundation currently has over 20 awards programs, most of which require proposals for research projects, and provide funding from $1,000 to $3 million. Awards help fund part of the grantee’s salary and cover a lot of the research costs involved with their project including supplies and equipment. Awards can be paid out over periods of time ranging from a few months to a few years, so it’s not hard to see how managing recipients and awardees (both current and historical) can be a daunting task.
Amy and her team have enlisted the help of WizeHive Select to manage the application collection, review, and selection processes, and WizeHive Current to manage grant and award recipients once the payout process has begun.