Geoff Hamilton, Founder & CEO, ZoomGrants
It takes great leadership to build remarkable teams. Only successful leaders with far-reaching vision know the art of nurturing outstanding teams that can communicate, cooperate, and innovate in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Yet, the key factor that separates successful teams from the rest is the insights, ideas, and guidance of their leaders. ZoomGrants, an industry leader in online application management, is the right example of great leadership and an exceptional team. By serving over a million people using its smart and intuitive technology, the company has become the most sought-after solution provider in online application management.
However, ZoomGrants is not just another tech solution provider. Built on the principles laid by Geoff Hamilton, founder, and CEO of ZoomGrants, the company’s mission has always been to help make grant and scholarship management professionals’ jobs easier, better organized, and cost-effective. Since its inception in 2002, the company has been committed to helping organizations with the administration process of grants, scholarships, and collecting applications. And ZoomGrants has been successful in living true to its mission. By solving the real-life daily challenges of grant and scholarship administrators, the company has stayed true to its founding objectives and has achieved steady growth year after year.
Today, the company serves customers ranging from local governments, non-profit entities, foundations, schools, and associations to any organization that receives applications. Over the past two decades, ZoomGrants has been able to establish a trusted advisor status with customers owing to its customer-centric services and its ability to make a positive impact on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) by helping people and protecting the planet’s natural resources. However, to understand the philosophy whereby ZoomGrants operates, we have to trace back its history and comprehend the factors that led Hamilton to incept ZoomGrants.
Hamilton, CEO & founder of ZoomGrants, had to make an important career decision in his early stages of career: pursue venture capital or philanthropy. As a humanitarian, Hamilton was committed to pursuing life as a servant leader and making a difference in the lives of people and the impact on the planet. This personal calling led him to choose philanthropy and laid the foundation of his brainchild: ZoomGrants.
With a passion for philanthropy and strategic ideas, Hamilton created ZoomGrants inside of the Morgan Library on the Colorado State University campus in 2002. The company was established with a focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Prosperity. And ZoomGrants’ culture was built on two core principles of Hamilton: make a positive impact on CSR principles by helping people and protecting the planet’s natural resources and streamline the workload and efficiency of other grant administrators by doing more with less through smart technology.
And the aspirations to do greater good led ZoomGrants to use its people and technology to support critical causes and outreach in our society. Those programs include the following: CARES Act related grants, HUD Community Development & Planning Grants, Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships Grants, and many more.
When asked the reason behind the company’s continued success, Hamilton says, “The Company’s culture is a driving force in ZoomGrants steady growth year to year. However, the explosive growth over the past half dozen years has changed the trajectory of our company in ways to better serve our clients. This positive growth helps us evolve through added features based on the needs and feedback of our clients.”
When it comes to services, ZoomGrants has kept its focus on solving the real-life challenges faced by grant and scholarship administrators. The company’s remarkable team includes not only former application management professionals but also former ZoomGrants users who offer tremendous insights to best serve its peers. “A great compliment to any organization is when people actively pursue joining a company after seeing how they operate,” adds Hamilton. Fostering this kind of peer collaboration of ideas and acting on those critical user priorities has transformed its platform into an industry leader committed to developing smart and useful technology.
With its uniquely qualified people and intuitive technology, ZoomGrants is setting a precedent for others to follow. In keeping with its responsive customer service nature, the company continues to add new features to its technology listening to its clients' needs and acting accordingly. “Most of the features designed by the ZoomGrants tech team come from requests by clients. Grant, scholarship and application management professionals are uniquely qualified to offer critical user application ideas that make our job and their job easier,” states Hamilton. This proactive approach has allowed ZoomGrants to establish a deep and robust library of templates, applications, and real practices that streamline the administrative workload.
ZoomGrants has built long-lasting relationships with its customers and has enjoyed an unprecedented customer retention rate. However, what makes it more gratifying is the fact that the company receives the vast majority of its new clients by referral from its current clients. Another great example of customer loyalty is that the current clients moving to new organizations become the advocators of ZoomGrants and immediately implement its online application management in their new workplace.
A testament to the reputation of ZoomGrants’ suite of products is its users. The customer’s testimonials of ZoomGrants bespeak a lot about the credibility and the wonderful experience of working with the company. For instance, the grant industry’s highly regarded and respected Grant Professionals Association (GPA) chose ZoomGrants to manage their scholarships and call for speakers. The GPA uses the online management system for their annual national conference call for speakers’ applications and the Grant Professionals Foundation implemented ZoomGrants to help provide scholarships to individuals to advance their careers.
And Barb Boggs, Events & Volunteer Relations Manager, Grant Professionals Association shares her experience of working with ZoomGrants: “ZoomGrants is an outstanding company to work with, it helped us move away from a very manual process and for that I am grateful! It’s easy to use for you as the administrator to set up and follow-up with your team. And it’s easy for your team of reviewers to use as well”.
At the moment, ZoomGrants is focused on responding to the time-sensitive Cares Act and COVID-19 grants and awards. ZoomGrants is the clear industry leader in the government sector serving grants that include but are not limited to homelessness, affordable housings, the arts, transportation, open space/parks/zoos, and justice victim assistance. “However, the critical nature in making sure any and all COVID-19 related grant administrative tasks are executed immediately again aligns with our mission of serving people,” concludes Hamilton. The combination of the leading status in various grants sectors and the prompt national crisis response bodes well for this company that places people and the planet as a priority.