Compare Grant Systems

How To Choose Your Grant Management System


Step 1. Define Your Need?

There are dozens of grant management systems on the market today. So how can you tell what system makes the most sense for you? Start by downloading our guide to learn what government agencies across the nation require in a modern grant management system. Download The 7 Keys to Selecting a Grant Management System. If you are considering moving from spreadsheet management to a modern grant management system, like eCivis, download our paper. Download Excelling Beyond the Spreadsheet. To see the impact eCivis can make in your state, local or tribal governments, select one of the links below.

If you would like more information, or help defining your needs, contact us today!

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Step 2. Select SaaS or Custom Software.

The choice between custom built solutions and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud solutions is an important one. Read the General Accounting Office Report on information technology modernization, which provides in-depth insight into the high cost of customization and the risk of committing to these engagements in an environment of changing policy and requirements. With a true cloud solution, like eCivis, your ROI can start immediately and keep up with change without reinvestment or cost overruns - read our blog articles on this topic. As you consider how to modernize your grant management software, consider these 3 critical system requirements: 

1. Standardization: Your grant management system should create more standardization across your entire organization. This will help drive transparency, produce more timely and accurate reporting, and help comply with federal grant requirements, such as the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), DATA Act, GONE Act and GREAT Act. Building or purchasing a grant management system that does not standardize and streamline your processes will cost you more, and your return-on-investment will be measured in years rather than weeks.

2. Information Sharing: Your grant management system must allow for easier information sharing. Without this feature timely reporting will be very difficult to achieve. Most duplicative efforts that drive administrative costs are a result of disparate systems and complex processes that make it difficult to report to internal and external stakeholders. Today, your organization is likely exporting data into spreadsheets, reformatting that data, and then loading it manually somewhere else. This process creates administrative burden and internal control issues that lead to audit findings. A modern grant management system can help you avoid these costs.

3. Collaboration: Your grant management system must provide a means for all stakeholders to collaborate. The grant lifecycle covers many departments - both internal and external - and incorporates significant amounts of data from other areas of your organization such as finance and procurement. Without an easy way for these stakeholders to work together, relieving administrative burden and improving performance will be difficult.

SaaS solutions present a more effective and affordable option to custom built software solutions. Federal grant recipients, and subrecipients, don't need to pay millions of dollars for custom built grant management software systems anymore. The City of Fort Collins shares their perspective on how to make the right technology choice. Download How to Keep Your Implementation From Failing. If you would like more information, or help developing your business case, contact us today!

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Step 3. Define Capabilities & Features.

eCivis provides these standard capabilities and features in its SaaS grant management system. There is no long implementation. You can get started immediately once your contract is signed. More importantly, eCivis has grant experts to help you every step of the way. To learn more about eCivis solutions go to our grant management system page, or schedule a demo to see why so many government agencies use our grant software. Schedule a demonstration today!

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General System Capabilities

SaaS Capabilities:

  • Unlimited user accounts within an organization
  • Data integration capabilities with ERP and financial systems, including Tier 1 and Tier 2 systems
  • Multi-layered organization/account structure, for aggregation and reporting of data at multiple levels
  • Guaranteed uptime of at least 99.9% (excluding scheduled maintenance)
  • Ability to create, delete, and edit user accounts controlled by role-based permissions
  • All reports are exportable to Excel or CSV format
  • Infrastructure/application supports server-level performance of average transaction time of less than 2 seconds

Grant Research Capabilities


  • Analysis of key projects relevant to local governments, including likely sources of funding and examples of previously funded applications
  • Grant funding information is fully integrated into the software application to streamline the transfer of key data elements such as due dates, award amounts and matching funds into award and post-award management
  • Grant listings are searchable by keyword, eligibility, matching funds required, and funding agency
  • Save search criteria and automatically generate email alerts when new data meets search criteria
  • Route grant information to users both within and outside the system
  • Save individual grants with application intention and personalized notes
  • Role-based reporting on usage and grant research activity for any time period
  • Role-based review of all user-saved grants


  • Contains materially all Federal & State grants intended for U.S. recipients for the last 5 years
  • Contains foundations with a history of giving to local governments
  • Contains all application materials including notices of funding, application files, guide files, federal & state forms
  • Contains information culled from Agency program officers that is not publicly available (e.g. information
  • increasing the chance of winning)
  • Contains original analysis on grant information as opposed to a direct copy of or simple link to publicly available information
  • Includes monthly Federal Legislation updates on key legislation affecting local governments
  • Includes specific scoring criteria for grant proposals
  • Financial and matching information for each grant is available, including allowable types of in-kind support
  • Application procedures are clearly delineated
  • Includes lists of previously awarded grantees
  • Includes grant-specific keywords for each grant to enhance searchability
  • Grant information is updated on a regular basis with update activity notated clearly
  • Includes proprietary articles on grant-related topics

Pre- and Post-Award Management Capabilities

Project Management Features:

  • Create an unlimited number of projects
  • Set up project teams with specific permissions for each team member
  • Select project teams across multiple departments
  • Align projects to organizational & departmental strategic objectives
  • Associate projects with departments
  • Supports usage by internal staff, as well as limited access to users outside the organization
  • Track both original funding and allocation of a funding pool to multiple projects
  • Support Uniform Grant Guidance (2 CFR 200) requirements.

Grant Lifecycle Management Features:

  • Supports a traditional pre- and post-award grants workflow including intuitive guidance to support phases within each stage such as consideration, application, award, implementation, reporting, close-out and archival
  • Integrate grants information from such as due date, matching information
  • Provides automatic alerts to project team upon material change in grant application or compliance requirements
  • Collects key financial, performance period, and compliance information
  • Assign tasks to project team members
  • Create custom task and process workflows that can support policy and procedures
  • Create custom approval workflows
  • Create groups to manage tasks and/or approvals
  • Solicit awards in a competitive or discretionary process
  • Manage solicitations and awards applicants/sub-grantees
  • Create customized tasks and set reminders
  • Schedule and assign all post-award financial and progress reports
  • Alerts to indicate when tasks are not completed
  • Configurable calendar functionality
  • Automatically alert central management or finance when key milestones are achieved
  • Full validation to ensure workflow entries are completed correctly
  • Detect and notify if multiple departments are evaluating or applying for same grant program

File Management Features:

  • Upload an unlimited number of documents at each stage of the grants workflow
  • Automatically associate documents with grants workflow steps
  • Retrieve documents at project, departmental and organizational levels by document category

Reporting Features:

  • Pre-defined and configurable reports
  • Supports reporting access based on user role and department assignment
  • Reports that reflect all pre-award and post-award activity, from evaluation to close out
  • Configurable reports that show all completed, pending and past-due tasks
  • Reports that show late financial and progress reports
  • Reports that reflect spending and reimbursement activity by project, grant and performance period
  • Grant utilization reports, including actual-to-budget and spending-to-date
  • Grant conflict reports
  • Create and save configurable reports, selecting from all grant data elements within the system

Data Integration Capabilities

Integration Features:

  • Securely import or export financial data from ERP or financial systems to match financial data with each grant award
  • Automated import or export process with a frequency of daily, weekly or monthly
  • Automated import or export process that requires no manual uploads or frequent configuration to perform
  • Allocate imported financial data into the correct project and grant
  • Clear documentation of the process to avoid long implementation times

Training and Support

Training Features:

  • On-demand, self-guided courses on grant writing, grants management, compliance, and fundamentals of grants
  • Expert handbooks and reference material related to federal grant acquisition and management
  • Access to webinars and other rich media resources covering relevant grant-related topics
  • Searchable library of resources and news that cover all aspects of the grants lifecycle including professional and organizational topics
  • Templates and forms
  • Extensive grants glossary


  • Unlimited telephone support for every user
  • On-demand, self-guided training for all products
  • Implementation team and project management contact
  • Dedicated support team
  • Optional customized onsite training
  • Optional professional assistance with the import of current and historical grant data


Schedule a demo to learn more about the nation's #1 SaaS grant management system for state, local and tribal government.

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If you're considering eCivis or want more information contact us today.

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