January 2019 will see the introduction of new IT application management systems which have been specially designed to increase responsiveness, reduce application processing time and significantly reduce the costs of application processing.
Currently, applications are held until the next physical meeting of the Grant Panel, this has created an average Application to Decision lead time of around 15 weeks. This is a long time for someone who is suffering and although we have a Urgent Application system this is reserved for time-critical applications.
The majority of applications are quite straightforward and can be processed for presentation to the Grant Panel within a few days. Under the current system, these applications would be subject to the lead time delay mentioned above. This delay has the potential to exacerbate suffering.
By moving all cases onto our secure on-line internal IT system the Grant Panel is able to make a decision within a few days. This also allows us to increase the frequency of the Grant Panel meetings from quarterly to monthly.
We will still maintain the urgent time critical application process as many of the applications channelled through this method have required action within a few days of application.
BH Associates have developed the facilities within their beHubb system to make this possible and are rolling training out to the Grant Panel members so that the trial can commence in the new year.
In terms of savings, the adoption of this IT solution will save the charity £7,260 a year. If we were to contrast with holding physical monthly meetings the saving increases to £20,460. This is all achieved without any reduction in application scrutiny and delivers a more responsive system able to meet the needs of beneficiaries when they arise.
There are also a number of changes to the regulation of grant applications to ensure more funding is targetted at wider need beneficiaries, this article can be found in the article CWI Fund Regulation of Grant Applications.