No matter how well you prepared your AwardSpring site before your first award cycle, there will likely be adjustments you can make to your site to better streamline your process for your next cycle. Perhaps you didn’t anticipate that certain questions that would trip up your applicants. Maybe you forgot to ask an additional question or essay that could better illuminate students’ qualifications for your reviewers.
It's best practice to make these types of changes as you are preparing for your next award cycle. You have the chance to revisit your application and qualifications to smooth any wrinkles that arose during your previous cycle.
Here are some suggestions of changes you might want to consider:
Make workflow corrections Were there particular sections that made the process difficult for applicants? Did you forget to ask an important question? Look back through old emails and tickets from your applicants if you need a refresher on what needs to be adjusted.
Request custom reports Although you can request custom reports at any point during your award cycle, it is beneficial to ask for them in advance. During your cycle, you might have discovered that the default reports in the AwardSpring system could be tailored a bit more to your process needs. If this is the case, requesting custom reports at the beginning of your cycle will ensure you have your report when you need it. It’ll be right there in the report dropdown!
Create donor profiles Between cycles is the perfect time to start building out donor profiles, if you haven’t already done so. We built the donor functionality to drive engagement and educate applicants about who is providing the opportunities. Donor profiles can include both internal fields (contact tab) and public-facing information such as profile photos and social media links (profile tab). Profiles can be maintained by either the donors themselves or by you the administrator, depending on how hands-on your donors want to be.
Acquaint yourself with new features We are regularly adding new features and improving existing ones so we might have removed a constraint you experienced when setting up your previous award cycle. Release notes from the entire year can be found in the Help Center if you would like a full review of the new tools that have been built over the course of the last year. Implementing them might require making larger changes to the application itself so between cycles is the perfect time to do so. Some notable additions from the past year include external requests, custom reports, and impersonating student users.
Add instructional text Were there places in your application that presented issues for your students? If you found yourself talking through the same questions, you might want to consider adding instructional text to your application to curtail confusion. For example, if you want to clarify for students where they can look up their student ID, you could include a hyperlink in an instructional text box to help them locate that information.
You can find useful articles about how to make changes to your site in our comprehensive Help Center. And, as always, our support team is always available to talk through any questions you have come across or to help adapt features to fit your process. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Implementation & Training Specialist
Posted on Fri, November 18, 2016
by Valerie Henderson