clients / case studies / non-profit

Arizona Community Foundation


To replace its manual paper based management of millions of dollars worth of grants


A revolutionary method for connecting the philanthropic marketplace designed and built by Ephibian



The Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide philanthropy organization that brings together donors, volunteers, staff and nonprofit organizations. Their process begins by pooling donor gifts and investing the total amount. From this investment the interest is used for a variety of grants and scholarships, be this for work in the arts, welfare or scientific research.

The awarding of funding is provided year-round to various community organizations, educational institutions and government agencies through more than 40 competitive grant cycles and many non-competitive grants. Since 1978, ACF has awarded more than $280m in grants and scholarships.

However, ACF was coping with a manual, error-prone process to manage this grant cycle process which is fundamental to their business. They approached Ephibian to enquire about the possibilities that automation could bring to a particularly labor-intensive and tedious process. Their vision was to revolutionize the way in which the ACF donors and grant seekers connect with one another.

What did we do?

Ephibian designed and built a complete custom software solution known as the Donor and Community Exchange Application that:
  • Bridges the donor-grantseeker connection easily and efficiently by collecting philanthropic information in one location
  • Dramatically cuts the time lag between the receipt of funds and the commitment to a grant seeker of those funds from six months to a matter of days
  • Created an outward presence for ACF that interacts more effectively with its public
  • Created electronic interaction with donors, professional advisors, private foundations, grantseekers (nonprofits), and the ACF internal staff

How did we do it?

  • Created modules to allow donors to research nonprofit organizations and areas of interest, readily finding current data to make more informed giving decisions
  • Provided access to the application by professional advisors to help them guide their philanthropist clients
  • Provided a unique electronic showcase with which grant-seekers can show their organizations' stories, and detail their funding needs to a widespread donor audience

What was the result?

Two significant results came from the ACF project.

The first was that organizationally ACF has become far more efficient and able to offer many more services as a result of freeing up staff time by automating what was previously an enormous administrative burden.

The second has been that the software is hugely influencing the way the entire philanthropic community is developing. In 1995 the solution was purchased by ChesterCAP LLC and commercialized and today supports a dozen community foundations nationwide. These include half of the nation’s top dozen largest community foundations, including Marin Community Foundation, Cleveland Community Foundation and the Greater Milwaukee Community Foundation. Ephibian continues to develop and modify the software, as needed.