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How Goodyear AZ Leveraged eCivis to Grow its Grant Portfolio

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Finding the right grants is essential for local governments looking to diversify revenue sources and alleviate the burden on the General Fund. To maximize the efficiency of grants, an organization needs to know where efforts are being made, what grants the organization already has, and where funders are most inclined to invest. 

For the good people of Goodyear, Arizona, eCivis provides a framework to monitor grant lifecycle management despite decentralized grant administration. 

Our hero of the story, Christina Panaitescu, Grants & Neighborhood Services Supervisor for the City of Goodyear, led the charge in developing a process to centralize grant lifecycle management, so grant efforts could easily be monitored and reported on to City leadership while allowing departments to retain the responsibility for grant administration.

Leveraging eCivis, long recognized by city staff as a research tool, Christina built out the tasks to support her recently adopted citywide grants policy. Now ready to serve as the City’s Pre-Award System of Record, eCivis offers departments so much more to support them in the pursuit of grants. Beyond research, the tasks Christina put in place help department grant administrators to comply with the City’s grants policy and improve grant administration and accountability.

 Centralizing Grants Processes to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

Without an official grants policy, City leadership would sometimes be surprised by department application efforts when a grant had been awarded. In cases where funded projects did not align with Council priorities or acceptance would demand growth of the budget outside of the City’s budgeting process, this could create an unpleasant situation with both Council and the funder. 

Christina recognized the opportunity to expand the use of a tool the City already had and built needed workflows into the grants management system so that, from the moment colleagues in the City mark a grant “under consideration,” they would be prompted with tasks to coach through compliance with the City’s grants policy. 

Streamlining to Measure for Success

Assessing the City’s current grant landscape could also prove challenging in Goodyear. The process involved pulling project codes from accounting and working backwards to figure out the actual details for each individual grant. 

“Leadership wanted to see us increase our grant revenue to help offset the General Fund. What we did was try to help staff identify projects suitable for grant funding and establish a system where employees could use eCivis -- not just to research grants to apply for, but also -- to maintain a record of their efforts and outcomes,” Christina said. 

With eCivis, Christina and her team are able to generate regular reports of grants for the executive team and City Council, shining a light on the departments who are contributing the most towards the organization’s goal of increasing grant revenue.

“I can easily pull a report of the grants considered, whether or not the city is applying, and the outcome,” Christina said. “And the feedback from notes entered by staff regarding why they decided not to apply or why a grant was not funded, helps us focus our efforts on projects and funders that are likely to be the best fit.”

 Finding More Grants to Expand the Community

Christina is currently working to prepare the City to receive CDBG entitlement funding from HUD.

 Her goal is to build the City’s capacity to receive grant funding and ensure the greatest possible impact in the growing City for years to come. 

 

Ready to be the hero of your own story? Let us help you simplify your grants management so you can drive more impact in your community. 

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