A project of the Council of Michigan Foundations
The launch of the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP) spurred community foundations to reevaluate their information management systems. MCFYP grants required that each community foundation operate at a minimum level of viability to support the increased work generated by the challenge grants. This requirement resulted in Michigan community foundations seeking technology-based solutions to assist their small staffs.
Some of the largest Michigan community foundations had already begun to develop their own “in-house” and custom solutions, just as the need for a sector-wide solution became apparent. Working together, the community foundations sought a common information management system that could scale to each foundation’s size and complexity, while supporting every function of a community foundation to include integrated donor relations, grantmaking, leadership projects, finance, and administration.
Working closely with MicroEdge, the Michigan community foundations helped develop an information management computer system that would scale variably to meet the needs of both the smallest and the largest community foundations. The resulting system was called Foundation Information Management Systems (FIMS).
While the new computer system was focused on the specific needs of Michigan community foundations, the project resulted in FIMS becoming one of the primary information management computer systems used by community foundations across the country.