Comparing and Selecting the Right Salesforce Grant Management System

When it comes to comparing and selecting the right Salesforce Grant Management System (GMS), there’s a lot of factors to consider. Do you need a system that’s flexible and easily customized to meet your organizational needs? Or maybe you want to scale up with the most advanced grantmaking technology available. If neither of those options feel right you might want to go a fully custom route, building out a right-fit solution on the base Salesforce platform.

You’ll be leveraging the database for years to come, while building on it incrementally to keep your team and technology in sync. Because of that, it’s important to spend some time considering how your teams work and what exactly you need from the Salesforce platform.

To help in reviewing options and making the right-fit decision, we put together this whitepaper that provides an in-depth feature comparison of the three currently available Salesforce GMS options. And in this blog post we’ll be providing a big picture overview of the various routes, plus sharing some tips to keep in mind when it comes to making the final decision.

What are the Three Salesforce Grant Management Systems?

On the Salesforce platform, there are essentially three different GMS routes. These are Outbound Funds Module, Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking, and a custom Salesforce solution. Each option has unique pros and cons, and it’s important to know the needs of your organization and teams, plus have a long term strategy in place to guide this important technology decision.

Below is a short overview of each route. For a more in-depth comparison, be sure to check out our GMS Comparison Whitepaper.

Outbound Funds Module

If you value open source solutions and system flexibility, Outbound Funds Module (OFM) may be the right solution. With OFM, the Salesforce platform is enhanced to provide a data model specific to grantmaking. This ensures that organizations can align with their peers on Salesforce, while retaining flexibility to configure the system to match their workflows.

Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking

If using the newest available grantmaking technology is important to you, then Nonprofit Cloud for Grantmaking (Grantmaking) might be the answer. Released in mid-2023, Grantmaking differs from some of the other Salesforce solutions in that it has a different data structure and is built on the Salesforce Industries platform, which provides some new tools previously unavailable to grantmaking organizations.

Custom Salesforce Solution

The custom Salesforce route is the least prescriptive and most flexible of the three options. It also requires more active involvement from staff and/or consultants during the product development process. With this route, organizations will be building their solution from the ground up, so it’s a great fit for orgs that have (or are willing to invest in) tech-minded staff with a fair amount of Salesforce experience.


“Each Salesforce Grant Mangement option has unique pros and cons, and matching the solution to your organizational needs will help ensure long-term success with Salesforce.” Click here to read the full whitepaper. 

You’ve Made a Salesforce GMS Decision. Now What?

Find a Trusted Consulting Partner

Congratulations on making it through the Salesforce GMS comparison process, and on making a final decision! You’re probably wondering, what do I do next? If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to find a trusted implementation consulting partner to work with your team on developing, and implementing your new tech solution.

Prepare for the Implementation

Salesforce Implementations are big transformational initiatives that are (ideally) guided by organizational strategy and values, so it’s helpful (dare we say essential) to have strong leadership and staff buyin for the new solution. In addition to leadership and staff buyin, you’ll need to secure a budget and ensure there is adequate staffing in place to manage the new system. Lastly, set aside enough time for data clean up and review.

Plan for Ongoing Support

Once the new system is in place and staff are trained, you’ll need a plan for ongoing support. Organizations manage this in different ways, but it generally includes either having a well-trained Salesforce Admin on staff to manage the daily care and maintenance of the platform, or outsourcing the role to a consultant that provides managed admin services. In the same way that each Salesforce GMS has pros and cons, how you choose to manage the system will depend on a variety of factors that are unique to each organization.

Next Steps

We’ve guided dozens of organizations along the path of choosing and implementing a Salesforce GMS, and we know that the process can be equally exciting and challenging. With a commitment to planning, preparation and strategy, organizations will end up with a high-functioning grant management system that matches their unique needs. Contact us today to get started.

North Peak Solutions at the TAG conference

About North Peak

North Peak provides Salesforce-based services for nonprofits and foundations who want to utilize the power of high-functioning CRM and GMS platforms to become and stay data-driven. We achieve this through a holistic set of services, tailored to the needs of nonprofits and foundations.

In Case You Missed It

North Peak Solutions has helped many organizations successfully make the transition from foundationConnect to Outbound Funds Module got Grant Management. Read How to Prepare for the Transition from foundationConnect, to learn more.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you’re considering implementing Salesforce for your nonprofit our foundation, need help with Managed Administrative Services, or simply have questions about how to transform your organization to become more data-centric, we’d love to talk! Contact us for a free 30 minute call.