What You Need to Know about Digital Transformation for Government Grant Programs

If you work at a government agency that relies on spreadsheets, email, a clunky custom grant management software, or paper applications, at best you’re making it harder on your team and your constituents. At worst, you’re keeping people who need aid from receiving it.

The best time to embrace digital transformation for government grants and relief programs is pre-2020. The second best time is now.

But digital transformation is not about adopting the newest software you can find. Do not aim to be on the cutting edge of technology. Instead, find the tools and technology that empower your team to move quickly and equitably while prioritizing the applicant experience. 

At the heart of government grant and relief programs are real people. You need tools built around their experience. That’s why digital transformation relies on human-centered technology. 

A human-centric digital transformation

Every government agency that delivers aid should be thinking about digital transformation. But the true meaning of digital transformation goes well beyond improved technical capabilities, it’s about the human outcomes those capabilities facilitate.

The right technology for your program allows you to move with urgency to address sudden and unexpected needs. It gives you the data and agility you need to take meaningful action to support true equity. Plus, it reduces fraud and human error, which can undermine the impact of these programs and erode public support. 

In short, digital transformation must be human-centered, both in ethos and in practice. Look for technology built to suit the real-world experience of users on both sides of the equation—your team and the applicants seeking funds. 

Incremental change vs large-scale transformation

Government agencies need to find balance between small, incremental changes and large-scale transformation. Rather than thinking about them as two separate approaches, consider how incremental changes can support large-scale transformation over time. 

Find technology that supports both. You don’t want a solution that requires you to overhaul all of your programs all at once. But you also don’t want technology that only enables you to make small tweaks without fundamentally changing how you do your work. Look for technology that empowers you to take small steps as you need to, while moving toward a full-scale evolution. 

Your guide to the future of government aid

To help facilitate digital transformation for government programs, Sam Caplan teamed up with Corey Eide to give you a framework to support digital transformation. 

Corey Eide
Sam Caplan
Sam Caplan

As managing director of BDO’s Community Resilience, Corey Eide specializes in strategic planning, change management, and enterprise program design and delivery for government operations. Sam Caplan, former CIO and director of technology of the Walton Family Foundation is currently VP of social impact at Submittable. Together they lay out clear priorities for government teams. 

The full guide explores how to improve processes for your internal team and for applicants. It gives you actionable advice on how to build a strategy that supports a human-centered future for all your grant and relief programs.

Ready to embrace digital transformation?

Sam and Corey lay out the steps to get you and your team on the right track.

Laura Steele

Laura Steele is a social impact writer and editor at Submittable focused on the world of grantmaking and corporate giving. Her work often explores the connection between technology, equity, and social good. She also writes fiction and nonfiction. You can read some of her stories and essays at laurapricesteele.com.