Written by Kevin Volz.
Nonprofit organizations contribute valuable services to their communities and depend on federal grant money and networks of volunteers to operate. Keeping track of the people and resources flowing in and out of a nonprofit can be complicated, and it must be done effectively in order to qualify for future funding. StreamLink Software in Cleveland, Ohio, has developed AmpliFund, a cloud-based system to simplify and automate the federal grant process while tracking an organization’s progress toward its goals.
“For every dollar someone donates to a nonprofit, they expect 85 percent to go toward programs for that cause,” said StreamLink Software CEO Adam Roth. “With the 15 percent left for administration, organizations need to pay for building costs, maintenance, employees and vehicles. There’s usually very little dedicated to technology and logistics, so AmpliFund gives them an affordable option that can help keep their finances in order.”
AmpliFund helps organizations track the entire lifecycle of a grant, from identifying potential revenue streams to reporting back to the federal government about how the funds were used. The software can also help reallocate federal grant dollars. This is particularly useful for local and state governments who may award funds to several organizations.
“For example, if the state of Ohio receives a federal grant for housing, money might be sent to 70 counties,” said Roth. “AmpliFund’s system can redistribute funds to different recipients or manage a competitive funding process by tracking and scoring applications, setting performance goals, and analyzing applicants’ qualifications.”
Roth spent 15 years of his career working with nonprofits and knows the challenges they face. At one point, he was managing 300 volunteers and 35 federal grants at one time. He says the logistics of such a job are overwhelming, but that hiring personnel to manage these systems is not financially feasible for many nonprofits. His mission was to create something that could be easily accessed via the web, and was simple enough for organizations to manage themselves. He started StreamLink Software in 2008 with the goal of helping nonprofits create clear goals and figure out how to reach them.
StreamLink Software received a $100,000 grant from the Innovation Fund, a northeast Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier, which helped them to develop their software and find additional investors. The company also received funding and entrepreneurial mentorship from the North Coast Angel Fund and the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE), two other partners of Ohio Third Frontier.
The company has grown to 43 employees in its downtown Cleveland office. Hundreds of organizations across nonprofits and all levels of government are currently utilizing the company’s software to improve their funding and operations. Roth says the company truly benefited from the resources available in northeast Ohio, and is paying it forward.
“All the support we’ve received has pushed the business in the right direction,” said Roth, “We are now part of a group of startups that is committed to downtown Cleveland, and the success is evident in the economic growth we see here. We’ve been able to hire talented employees from area universities, and it’s an exciting place to be as the city continues to strengthen.”