In 1990, Colorado Governor Roy Romer created the Great Outdoors Colorado Citizens Committee with the help of Ken Salazar, then-executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. The committee consisted of conservation, business and political leaders from across Colorado. They wondered: What should we do to sustain and enhance our outdoor resources—parks, trails, wildlife, and open space? After an extensive public process, the committee issued recommendations that included establishing a trust fund to invest in the future of Colorado’s outdoors.
As a result of the committee’s work, citizens placed an initiative on the 1992 ballot: a constitutional amendment to create the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund. 58% of the state’s voters voted in favor.
The Great Outdoors Colorado Amendment (Article XXVII of the Colorado Constitution) redirected lottery proceeds to projects that protect and enhance Colorado’s open space heritage. The Amendment also created the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund to distribute those funds.
Salazar, notably, later became a U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of the Interior. There he established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to conservation and recreation ethic to reconnect Americans with the natural world.
Today, GOCO still helps to preserve and enhance the state’s open spaces. An independent board awards grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. GOCO committed more than $1 billion in Colorado Lottery proceeds to more than 4,900 projects in all 64 counties without tax support.
GOCO previously managed grants in GIFTS. The foundation only accepted grant applications on paper, totaling up to 100,000 pieces of paper each year. As such, stacks of paper buried staff on grant deadline days and they manually entered paper applications into the database.
GOCO’s Board recognized that business processes like these were time-consuming, error-sensitive and prevented staff from doing what they do best. To streamline the grantmaking lifecycle and to save time and money, GOCO’s Board placed a priority on becoming a paperless foundation.
GOCO seeked a variety of functions that would support the foundation’s operations, including a CRM, better data tracking and online grant applications. But most of all, the foundation wanted to become paperless and work more efficiently. With the power of the Salesforce platform and roundCorner’s grantmaking solution foundationConnect, that goal appeared within reach.
foundationConnect’s Grantee Portal enabled GOCO to accept online grant applications, saving the foundation 600 hours and up to $18,000 annually. The solution also enables the team to identify potentially ineligible applicants before they get too far down the road.
Paper-based approval processes that moved around the office for signature were turned into email-based approvals residing in the cloud. Easier execution of grant contracts with integrated apps like DocuSign prevents staff from mailing paper copies to stakeholders. This frees up time, letting them focus more on their mission instead of dealing with the minutiae of paperwork.
Salesforce and foundationConnect have not only streamlined GOCO’s business processes. GOCO’s environmentally-minded grant applicants love the ease of using foundationConnect to submit their grant applications online. Salesforce Admin at GOCO, Dale Craker says, “foundationConnect is the indispensable bridge between where foundations are now and where they need to be. It is a fully integrated system that houses most, if not all, of their essential functions.”
foundationConnect is a Salesforce-based grants management application for foundations delivered by roundCorner. It offers a grantee portal, reviewer portal, payment management, grantee report management, budget management, reporting and more. foundationConnect enables foundations to focus more on their mission and less on administration, so they can achieve a greater impact in the world. To learn more, visit www.roundcorner.com/foundationconnect.