Grants Customer Service Survey

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) launched its first grants customer service survey during the first quarter of 2023. The survey addressed external stakeholder satisfaction related to our website, FFAR’s grants management system (BBGM) and FFAR’s grants management department interaction with external stakeholders.

The responses showed that although more than half of participants are satisfied with our website, there is room for improvement to make the website more intuitive. To that end, we have added a menu option for applicants/grantees directly under our Grants and Funding menu and we plan on streamlining information, summarizing RFAs, creating specific application instructions and providing samples of applications as word files to improve the user experience.

According to the feedback, 26.4% of respondents have used the Blackbaud Grantmaking system for application submission and 22.5% of those that provided feedback have used it for progress/final report submission. About half of the respondents felt that the system is confusing to use. Therefore, we are developing user manuals and online application instructions.

The main area of focus of the survey was the customer service provided by FFAR’s grants management department. According to the survey results, 80% of respondents noted having been in touch with the grants department over the past 24 months for support with an online application, pre and post award set up and payment support. Over 50% of respondents stated that they were very satisfied with their interactions with the grants team while 24.3% of respondents are somewhat satisfied and 19.5% were not satisfied with their interaction. The challenges were, in priority order:

  • Use of the budget template
  • Clarity of FFAR match grantmaking guidance and policies
  • Timeliness of grants team response
  • Clarity of agreement terms and
  • Difficulty understanding reporting requirements

Based on this feedback, we have redesigned our budget template. The new template includes the budget and reporting sections in one single form to assist users with tracking finances and making it easier to share the information with stakeholders across the grantee institution. We are in the process of planning for bi-weekly office hours calls in which we will present information on different topics, such as agreement terms, match guidance and reporting requirements, and address any questions from grantees and administrators.

We are happy to share that our customer service response time has significantly improved. We are responding to most emails within 3-5 business days of receipt or less, we are following-up with grantees regarding administrative issues on a bi-weekly basis and when needed, we are scheduling calls to address major issues in a timely manner.

We are proud of the work done to improve your experience working with FFAR, yet we acknowledge there is still work to be done. We appreciate the responses provided through the survey and will continue to request your feedback to ensure FFAR continues to provide excellent customer service.

array(0) {