Ball Brothers Foundation and Reporting | akoyaGO User Story

When every dollar’s impact is crucial, the efficiency and effectiveness of grant management processes become significantly important. This narrative explores the transformative journey of the Ball Brothers Foundation, which overhauled its grant management system with akoyaGO, turning obstacles into avenues for growth and innovation.

The Ball Brothers Foundation

The Shift from Traditional Methods

Donna Muchel, the Program Officer and Grants Manager at the Ball Brothers Foundation, described the pre-akoyaGO era as marked by inefficient, manual routines. Previously the sole gatekeeper of the grants system, Donna faced a relentless cycle of paperwork, making the decision-making process laborious and time intensive.

"Before, when a rapid grant request came in, I would process it, print it, and circulate it among the staff for review. They would return their feedback to me, and I would manually enter it into the database to finalize the decision. Now, with akoyaGO, I simply notify the team when a request is ready for review. They input their comments directly into the system, and I am alerted once they are done so I can finalize the decision. The introduction of online reporting has also significantly cut down on time. Data flows directly into the system, and the dashboards I've created help track due dates and remind grantees, streamlining the process much more than before."

With akoyaGO, the entire staff at the Ball Brothers Foundation can now directly access and engage with the database. This shift has been groundbreaking, eliminating the need to print and manually distribute grant requests for review. The foundation now leverages akoyaGO’s comprehensive online reporting tools to enhance data management and drastically reduce administrative workload.

Advanced Search Logic: A Game Changer 

Donna highlighted akoyaGO’s advanced search features as particularly transformative. The ability to tag grants and search by multiple criteria has reduced their reliance on cumbersome tools like Excel. “We tag contacts by categories such as board members, family members, or specific focus groups, which helps manage multiple initiatives and avoid duplicating efforts across various lists,” she notes. This function has been pivotal, especially in reviewing specific initiatives like Emergency Management, identifying funding gaps, and driving strategic reassessment.

Enhanced Reporting and Data Utilization

The reporting capabilities of akoyaGO have improved how the foundation manages its data, Donna points out. “The integration with GOapply, akoyaGO’s grantmaking portal, has simplified receiving final reports. The grantees appreciate it, and having data import directly into our database saves a lot of time,” she says. While the foundation continues to explore deeper data analysis, the current system has already enhanced their monitoring of fund utilization and the timeliness of their grant impacts.

Strategic Decisions and Operational Improvements

Since adopting akoyaGO, the Ball Brothers Foundation has witnessed marked improvements in operational efficiency and strategic planning. “akoyaGO has significantly boosted our foundation’s efficiency. It has streamlined grant processing, facilitated information access, and enhanced our board communication,” Donna remarks. Integrating with Dynamics 365 has further refined these processes, minimizing errors and improving communication through automation and configurable email templates.

"Allowing everyone to access information independently, coupled with the use of workflows and automated processes, has been transformative."

The partnership with akoyaGO marks just the beginning of a technological evolution for the Ball Brothers Foundation. With a strategic plan that leverages technology, the foundation is well-positioned to enhance its grantmaking impact further. “We are now better equipped to handle the complexities of modern grant management,” Donna concludes, “and we look forward to continuing our journey with akoyaGO.”

For any community or private foundation professional seeking a comprehensive system to revolutionize their grant management, the success story of the Ball Brothers Foundation with akoyaGO provides a powerful testament to the potential benefits. akoyaGO is not merely software—it is a gateway to greater impact and efficiency in philanthropy. 



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