Our Work: SharePoint Grant Management System

The Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association (BSFA) managed their grant-funded research projects using paper-based forms and an Excel spreadsheet containing the master budget. As the number of programs increased, this process became increasingly cumbersome and difficult to accurately manage.

To improve their process, BSFA asked Resource Data to build a Grant Management System using SharePoint Online in Office 365, for which they already had a subscription.

The Solution

We designed and built a SharePoint Grant Management System, using Office 365 as the host.

This system includes all the information and workflows BSFA needs to effectively and consistently manage their projects. Key functionality includes the following:

  • A project setup process that captures initial project information, such as schedule and budget
  • Automated reminders for recurring tasks, such as emailing contractors one week before a financial report is due
  • Automatic adjustments to a project’s remaining budget when a contractor uploads a financial report
  • A change request process with approval steps and automated adjustments to a project’s schedule and budget if the change is approved
  • Dashboards for monitoring all active projects

Our Approach

BSFA needed the Grant Management System to not only support their internal management of projects but also to enable external contractors to easily submit required project reports and requests. To meet both of these stakeholder needs, we configured the solution to integrate metadata between Microsoft Word and SharePoint.

With this approach, contractors complete a Microsoft Word template for the type of report they are submitting. When the document is added to SharePoint, configured fields in the document—such as expenditures and remaining budget—automatically synchronize, populating the metadata fields in SharePoint. This functionality allows contractors to use a standard tool (Word) for their reports, while BSFA leverages that information for powerful SharePoint metadata-based functionality, like views and search.