There's really nothing we liked about SMA because we never got as far as being able to use the software for our grants program. During the implementation process, it became clear that there are several significant flaws in the structure of SMA. As an example, SMA/FluidReview was developed for the Canadian market. As such, the organization information form (which cannot be changed) asks for CITY and PROVINCE. There are no fields for the US market such as STATE and ZIP CODE. Yes, you can add custom fields for STATE and ZIP CODE; however, these fields will appear at the end of the form away from the rest of the address information. And adding custom fields does not remove the PROVINCE field. The implementation person we worked with suggested that we ask for a US-style address on our grant application form, thus duplicating data entry. Using work-around solutions (kludges) was the order of the day. As another example, formatting for the budget form that was created for us was chaotic and confusing. Some number fields had one decimal place, others none (and not the two decimal places we were expecting). Some fields had a US dollar symbol; others did not. Again, we were told that SMA/FluidReview was developed with French formatting conventions in mind. Early on we did not see any way SMA would produce an elegant, easy to navigate solution designed for use in the US. It was at this point that we encountered the aforementioned refund policy.
The implementation process did not go smoothly for us. We were asked questions about our current grants program, which is rather simple: we use one web form hosted by Formstack. The implementation person intended to simply replicate our current grants program. This made no sense to me. We were never given the opportunity to understand what features SMA could bring to our grants process. I'm not sure how this type of implementation process would work for a foundation that is just getting started or is using an informal paper-based process. These implementation questions would be overwhelming. The biggest problem with SMA (and other similar grants software packages) is the amount of time and training expected of an administrator. These grants software packages expect that there will be one person within a foundation whose responsibility it is to administer the software. During the implementation process, it became very clear that SMA expects that administrators would devote significant time to not only training but also administrative duties. Sadly, there is no structured training program, no technical manual. So, training would be catch-as-catch can (a video here, an article there). Without someone on the foundation payroll who has a high degree of technology knowledge, SMA would be a very tough go for small foundations with few to no staff. Before you commit to SMA/FluidReview, make sure you have an administrator with a high degree of technological knowledge (and patience).
Response from SurveyMonkey
Thank you for taking the time to provide this review. We would like to apologize that your experience has not met your expectations. We are always looking to improve and your feedback is critical to that.
We would like the opportunity to address the concerns you¿ve raised as there may be a misunderstanding on the some functionality. For example, organizational profile is country agnostic and can be configured to align with the United States, Canada and other countries. We have users from around the world, and they can submit their address in any format. We will reach out to you directly to discuss further.
We aim to ensure that all of our administrators feel supported and trained with the solution. We understand that learning a new software can be challenging and have built a comprehensive database of training videos and articles for our administrators. We also offer one on one training if you prefer this option.
Thank you again and we look forward to speaking with you.