State Arts Agency Efficiently Manages Grants and Easily Communicates with Applicants and Grantees with Salesforce Experience Cloud

One Midwest state’s art agency works to build a strong, creative, and connected community through the arts. It develops the state’s public arts policy, fosters quality culturally diverse programs, and approves grant expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources are provided by the Governor, the state General Assembly, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

This agency serves the state through a variety of grants and services, primarily geared to: 

  • Support the State Arts Sector: Operating and technical support provided to organizations and programs statewide help keep the arts sector vital, vibrant, and accessible to all.
  • Advance Arts Education: The arts can be a part of the education of every single child in this state through the programs, services, partnerships, and collaborations.
  • Foster Creativity and Working Artists: Providing resources, opportunities, and direct support for the work of individual artists.

State Arts Agency Needed Centralized Platform to Easily Manage Grants & Communicate with Grantees

This agency struggled to manage grants awarded to their wide range of constituents—including individual artists, art organizations, educational institutions, government, and religious organizations—while also managing their grantee relationships, documentation, and communications. They needed a system that would allow their grants management staff to collect and report on each step of their grants process. With a portal, grantees and constituents could access and participate in grant opportunities; they’d be able to communicate and complete applications efficiently. 

The agency contacted Provisio Partners in July of 2020 to implement Salesforce Experience Cloud as a grants management platform. Experience Cloud is Salesforce’s digital experience platform built on the Customer 360 platform. With Experience Cloud, it could quickly build their grantee and applicant portal to engage and digitize their business process to move more efficiently. Since all staff, grantees, and constituents would be using this portal system, it needed to be easy to access and intuitive. 

This system would allow the agency to increase transparency throughout the grantmaking and awarding process. The system would need to house their grant program criteria and requirements to reduce manual back-and-forth between staff and grantees. They needed a document generation, eSignature, and form builder for constituents to complete the application process. They also required an enhanced quality of data and reporting to track applicants and understand where their constituents were located to send awards and essential communications. 

A Completely Revamped Grants Management System with Salesforce Experience Cloud 

The agency went live with their new system in December of 2020. With their Experience Cloud community portal, they can now view applicant information, notify applicants of deadlines and application status, be notified of any outstanding items, and see historical information on applicants and grantees. Their Experience Cloud portal allows for panelists to review and score applications, creating an easy way to effectively evaluate submissions. They can manage the entire grant process and communications within one centralized database, saving time and money and maintaining an efficient grants process. 

Pairing Formstack for Salesforce with Experience Cloud allowed the agency to add seamless data collection, document generation, and digital signatures to the system. Using Formstack, they can build and publish forms directly in Experience Cloud to collect panelist information—plus they can easily compile reports on form submissions. With Formstack’s document generation tool, they can automatically create grant agreements and connect them to  eSignature technology to quickly sign their application agreements on any device. 

With Salesforce’s Experience Cloud and Formstack, the agency can:

  • Streamline the grant process for staff, simplifying the ease of use
  • Provide transparency for the grantmaking process for their staff, panelists, and current or prospective grantees
  • Create more efficient workflows, reducing the manual entry between staff and grantees
  • Enhance reporting capabilities to make the best use of their information and data
  • Flex their system to meet their present needs as well as allow the agency to grow and adjust to fit their organization’s needs over time

Achieving More With Salesforce Experience Cloud 

With Provisio Partners’ expertise, the agency implemented a flexible and fully customizable solution to manage grants easily and communicate with grantees. It can now automate their grants process and engage with their staff and grantees better. In addition, applicants can follow an easy process through the Experience Cloud portal, allowing the agency to serve even more individuals within the arts sector.

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