• 3 AwardSpring Features That Drive Donor Engagement

    Donor engagement is an essential component to any scholarship program and a top priority for our customers. That’s why AwardSpring includes three features that help foundations, colleges, and universities draw their donors closer to their scholarships and recipients. Donors who wish to be active participants in the award process can do so with the tools offered on the platform, while donors who prefer less direct involvement can still benefit from processes used by administrators.

    Start engaging your donors today by:

    1. Creating Donor Profiles

    You can create profiles for your donors that include as much or as little detail as you (or they) would like, from photos to short biographies to their social media contact information. In our experience, donors feel more connected to the institution and the scholarship when they have a profile. Plus, it helps students connect the scholarship with the person who funds it. It’s a simple way to offer donors recognition for their investment without requiring any proactive engagement from them.

    2. Setting Up Your Donor Portal

    Donors who wish to be more actively involved and informed about their awards and recipients will appreciate having access to their own donor portal. As an administrator, you can control how much - and how little - information your donors can access through the portal. We recommend that you allow donors to access both applications and awarded student profiles. That way, your entire scholarship process is transparent and accessible. Over time, as more and more students are awarded scholarships, your donors will be able to see the impact of their investment on your student population.

    3. Collecting & Sharing Thank You Letters

    Administrators can use their AwardSpring platform for professional, streamlined donor outreach - most notably, for “thank you” letters from awarded students to donors. Simply create a follow-up or essay question for awarded students to answer with their expressions of gratitude and then share the “thank you” letters with donors in their portal. You’ll save time and effort on gathering, printing, and mailing these letters while your donors will enjoy a “feel-good” experience on the platform that might just encourage greater future engagement.

    If you need any help setting up any of these features, we’re always here for you. Just submit a support ticket or contact your AwardSpring partner!

  • Feature Spotlight: Auto-Apply

    AwardSpring’s Auto-Apply feature makes life easier for student applicants and administrators alike. For administrators, Auto-Apply eliminates tedious work, enhances award decisions, and increases long-term student retention. Meanwhile, student applicants save time with one universal application and appreciate the opportunity to be considered for all qualified scholarships.

    Here’s how it works. Let’s say that John, a prospective student, just completed a simple scholarship application for your college. AwardSpring will scan all of your other scholarships to see if John qualifies for any of them. If so, John’s application will be automatically submitted for each qualified scholarship.

    “The AwardSpring Auto-Apply feature is amazing.” -Cassie Fleming, Grants Manager, Community Foundation of Grant County Indiana

    With Auto-Apply, you have a larger applicant pool to choose from for each of your scholarships. You’ll be able to use more of your scholarship funds, and you’ll have a better chance of finding the student who best matches your donor’s goals. That will keep your donors both happy and engaged!

    “Our first year, we had a one-third increase in the number of completed student applications over all previous years.” -Sonja Hix-Cortina, Director of Member Services, Civica Management, Colorado Nurses Foundation

    Students love Auto-Apply, too. It eliminates any confusion about eligibility and saves students time in the application process. Students instantly become eligible for more scholarship funds, making your institution more attractive.

    AwardSpring’s Auto-Apply feature is turned on by default, but you can always turn it off if you’d like. If you do turn it off, just keep in mind that you’ll miss out on 5-10% of your qualified applicants.

    Other scholarship management software solutions may offer similar qualified matching, but they typically still require several additional steps and may not capture all qualified students. AwardSpring auto-applies students based on robust matching criteria that you customize. During implementation, our incredible staff will take care of setting up all of your scholarships - including your matching criteria. Then, you can sit back and enjoy watching all of those qualified applications roll in!

    To learn more about AwardSpring, request a walk-through of our platform and its benefits.

  • AwardSpring Implementation: What to Expect

    Traditional software implementations come with a negative stigma. Doesn’t it seem like software companies habitually overpromise and underdeliver? None of that is true with our system. In fact, empirical evidence and feedback from our customers shows that implementing AwardSpring is usually described as “no big deal”. So, what’s our secret?

    Here at AwardSpring, we have a long tradition of making incremental improvements to our implementation process based on our customers’ feedback. We’ve made it our mission to make implementation as smooth and seamless for our customers as possible. Here’s how:

    --Dedicated implementation support. At the very beginning, we assign you your very own implementation manager who is dedicated to your institution throughout your entire first cycle, from the day your contract is signed through the last award that’s handed out. He or she will become an extension of your team, learning as much about your scholarship administration as your best employee.

    --Optimized training path. We’ve developed a very specific order of operations for all of our implementation milestones that maximizes your understanding of the process while minimizing your time commitment. We’ll train you using your real data, not a simulation, so you truly understand every aspect of your new scholarship management system.

    --Streamlined data entry. Many of our competitors force their customers to do all the data entry work required to set up scholarships in their system. Not us! Just give us your data in any format - spreadsheets, PDFs, web pages, etc. - and we will build a simple, clean version of your scholarship application, with check-ins along the way to make sure you’re happy with our work.

    --Highly responsive customer service. Have a question? We’re here for you throughout the life of our partnership. In fact, we’ll respond to your inquiry within 30 minutes during our normal support hours. 98.8% of respondents rate their AwardSpring support experience as “good” after their issue is resolved.

    "The ease of setup benefited both administrators and students…They assisted us from start to finish with custom designing the system to meet our needs." -James Trimboli, Director of Financial Aid, Niagara County Community College

    If you’re currently using a manual process to manage your scholarships, implementation should take 8-12 weeks. It can take even less time if you’re switching from another scholarship management software to AwardSpring. Find out more about implementation through a one-on-one conversation with us.

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