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How can a shared services model benefit grant management and grantmaking?

At AIMS we are seeing an increase in demand for systems that can support shared services models within a variety of sectors. This reflects a rising demand for efficient work streams and cost-saving. We see how an effective grant management platform can support a shared services model, and we also believe that this model can benefit efficient grant management.

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What is a shared services model?

A shared services model is a business strategy where different departments or teams within an organisation, or across multiple organisations, collaborate and consolidate certain functions and services. Instead of each body independently managing and performing these tasks, services are shared, often through a centralised structure or system.

This approach supports economies of scale, increased efficiency, and enhanced resource use. Shared services models are implemented across many sectors, including business, government, and not-for-profit. Most commonly, organisations implement a shared service model for their IT, HR, finance departments – and we now see bodies coming to us for systems that also provide grant making services within their shared services software.

How can a shared service model benefit grant management?

We know that all grant makers are striving for cost efficiencies in order to reduce the cost per grant.  A shared service model underpins this by allowing for easy collaboration, reduced administration time and by standardising processes across departments and even between partner organisations working together on a project.

Cost efficiency

  • By consolidating grant management functions into a shared services model, organisations can achieve economies of scale. Shared resources, infrastructure, and technology can lead to cost savings for all.
  • Organisations can share the costs associated with grant management, reducing the financial burden on individual bodies. We see that is can be incredibly beneficial for small organisations who might have limited financial and administrative capacity to manage the whole process as to the level they would perhaps like.

Standardisation and consistency

  • A shared services model has at its core the implementation of standardised processes. This ensures consistency and reduces the likelihood of errors or discrepancies.
  • We also see that shared services models can help streamline workflows by establishing common procedures and protocols. This leads to increased efficiency and a smoother grantmaking process.

Resource flexibility

  • Shared services models provide flexibility in scaling resources up or down based on demand. This can be particularly useful during peak periods of grant activity or when facing budget constraints.
  • Organisations can share human resources, such as grant reviewers or administrative staff, as needed. This resource pooling provides more efficient allocation of personnel.

Expertise and specialisation

  • A shared services model allows organisations to tap into a wider pool of specialised professionals – allowing greater access to expertise. This can enhance the quality of grant management services as professionals with specific skills can be dedicated to managing different aspects of the process.
  • Shared services models often encourage continuous improvement through the sharing of best practices and the adoption of industry standards.
  • Shared services models also foster collaboration and networking between the  participating organisations or departments. This exchange of ideas, partnerships, and shared initiatives can benefit the broader grant making community as well as all the stakeholders using a shared services system.

What is the future of shared services models within grant management?

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Overall, we believe that the future of shared services models within grant management is likely to be shaped by advancements in technology, a focus on data-driven decision-making, and a commitment to collaboration and adaptability in the face of changing global and organisational landscapes. We anticipate that shared services models for grant makers are likely to see continued growth and evolution as organisations continue to seek ways to enhance efficiency, collaboration, and cost-effectiveness.

We can’t see into the future but we have an idea that a few trends may shape the new few years for those offering shared service models for grant makers.

Increasing adoption of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain may transform how grant management services are delivered within shared services models. Automation can streamline processes, reduce errors, and enhance data security. This type of technology integration responds to a desire for efficiency and benefits from the ever increasing availability of new tech.

Access to these technologies might also lead to an increased use of data analytics tools within shared services within shared services systems. Predictive analytics may help identify trends, assess the impact of grants, and inform decision-making, contributing to more strategic and data-driven grant management.

We think that there will be an increase in cross-border collaboration. Shared services models in grant management may extend beyond national borders. With the right systems in place organisations  can more easily collaborate on an international scale, leading to more efficient and coordinated efforts in addressing global challenges and supporting cross-border initiatives.

As the importance of data security and privacy continues to grow, shared services models within grant management will likely focus on implementing robust cybersecurity measures and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations across many different regions.

As a shared services model becomes more prevalent across the grant making sector, we believe that systems will become more flexible and customisable to accommodate the unique needs of different organisations or grant programs. This adaptability will better support a diverse range of grant management requirements and ensure that the model remains relevant across various contexts.

At AIMS we are working to ensure that our grant management software supports shared service models for our clients – and we continue to update our technologies and knowledge to ensure that we can help you give grants better.

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We’re here to help you give grants better.

Talk about your future grant making with us.

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