Scope of work - consultant for CRM/grants management project

Scope of work - consultant for CRM/grants management project

Our organisation:

Doc Society is a non-profit founded in the UK in 2005, committed to enabling great documentary films and connecting them to audiences globally. As an art form, we believe that documentary has a near unrivalled capacity to inspire, educate and change people’s understanding of their lives and societies. We bring people together to unleash the transformational power of independent documentary film. We support artist-driven films with social purpose and help to create a more connected and sustainable media ecosystem globally. A commitment to anti-racism, economic & climate justice is embedded in and informs all we do and is mandated into our mission.

In 2024 there are three key pillars of our work: the Climate Story Unit, the Democracy Story Unit, the BFI Doc Society Fund and various ecosystem strengthening initiatives. The Climate Story Unit reflects our major organisational commitment to the twin climate and sustainability crises. The work combines a Climate Story Fund and Climate Story Labs that bring filmmakers together with climate scientists, indigenous leadership, climate policy experts, youth campaigners, sociologists and even comedians.

Based on the same model as our groundbreaking Climate Story Unit, our new Democracy Story Unit launched in 2023, brings together global storytellers who are tackling perhaps the pivotal issue of our time - the question of how we govern ourselves. Our goal is to identify and accelerate the most timely storytelling projects, informed by and of service to democratic reform movements. The programme is a multiyear intervention to model the role that narrative strategy can play in engaging and transforming publics and advancing our collective futures.

The BFI Doc Society Fund supports and nurtures independent non-fiction film and immersive projects by UK filmmakers, prioritising expansive, director-led storytelling. The work revolves around the BFI Features Fund, Made of Truth shorts fund, and the Research and Development fund.

Purpose of role

With support from one of Doc Society’s long term partners, we are seeking to appoint a consultant to help us map, research, test and implement a CRM and grants management system or systems for Doc Society which will exponentially improve Doc Society’s processes across all teams at the organisation and super charge Doc Society’s effectiveness as fundraisers and grant managers.


Doc Society’s work and impact have grown considerably over the past years. We operate globally and, to date, we have helped to fund more than 530 award winning documentary films, distributing over $21m to artists and storytellers around the world - an amount that doubled since 2019.

As our income has grown, our internal processes have complexified and we need to invest in our organisational capacity and make sure we are properly equipped to support our networks of independent filmmakers, grantees and partners across the globe.

Doc Society distributed over USD22m in grants in the UK, Europe and the US since its inception. Our newsletter reaches over 40,000 subscribers and we hold at least one event for between 30 and 40 attendees every year, on every continent.

Several systems are in place to facilitate our processes: a database of funders, a customised grant application system via our website for our grantmaking; internal tools, including but not limited to: filing and storage systems (eg: Dropbox, Google Drive and other databases for our grantmaking streams) and accounting systems, such as Quickbooks. Doc Society also has a specialist, custom built database (nicknamed Marvin) which holds attendee information for Good Pitch and is accessible by us and partner organisations globally, as well as acting as invitation engine for Good Pitch hosts.

These tools are currently held on separate platforms and in various formats (Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Airtables, newsletter lists, Quickbooks etc.), and the external and internal relationships are not all captured in the same place.

The data we hold on various platforms and in various formats is codified in ways that make it difficult to get an overview of it, or to easily access and manage it. Because of this, our fundraising team, our Events Producers or the Internal Affairs team spend considerable time managing the multitude of trackers and databases when they wish to select the information they need and the productivity of our work is affected.

Criteria for a CRM and grants management system suitable to Doc Society

We believe that a cloud-based system able to manage grantee and partner information as well as support our grant making process would work well for our organisation. We are not proposing commissioning a bespoke system, due to considerations related to cost, reliability, security, functionality and automatic updates.

On a functional level, we are considering the following Internal Affairs criteria for the grant-management functionality of the CRM and grants management system - with the note that the criteria may change depending on the needs identified by the consultant we expect to engage for the research phase of the project:

  • A system that works from application to award/contract/payment and deliverables;
  • A system that incorporates an audit trail;
  • A system that is cloud based;
  • A system that can link to other admin tools like GDocs, Dropbox and accounting systems, such as Quickbooks;
  • A system with an inclusive pricing structure (not too many levels or add ons);
  • A user-friendly interface (possibly multilingual), with integrated email options (including individualised mass emails, the possibility to select contacts and create email groups etc).

In addition to these, the CRM and grants management system should be able to:

  • map relationship “owners”;
  • map finance/grant management relationship ownership;
  • Indicate active grants and projects;
  • Highlight any funding restrictions or specific requirements (such as - branding, credits, data sharing, etc);
  • Incorporate reporting requirements;
  • Incorporate recoupment requirements;
  • Highlight any fiscal benefits from passthrough through Doc Society;
  • Include due diligence provisions regarding funds and/or individuals.
  • Allow multiple internal users

Consultant’s duties:

  • to conduct internal mapping to understand user needs across different teams and functions and current processes in place at Doc Society
  • to research the available CRM and grants management systems on the market - including, but not limited to Salesforce, Fluxx, Submittable, Blackbaud, Zoho CRM;
  • to conduct mapping amongst similar partner organisations to establish which systems are widely used and how they are used within those organisations;
  • to identify and recommend the system(s) that would best suit our organisation and needs.
  • to scope out the data protection and management implications of transferring personal information held in our existing system into a new CRM and grants management system, including by creating a policy and ensuring that Doc Society would be compliant with GDPR laws.
  • to test and implement the identified CRM and grants management system, with the aim of centralising all our grant-making, fundraising / stakeholder interactions and communications onto the same platform;
  • with IT support, to transfer Doc Society’s databases and trackers onto the new system;
  • to train staff to use the chosen platform effectively and consistently.
  • to compile a report on the work undertaken in a form agreed with Doc Society, to be shared with the project’s funder.

Requirements / person specification

We are looking for an independent consultant or consultancy with:

  • Extensive experience and knowledge of CRM and grant management systems;
  • Demonstrable experience of analysing, mapping and implementing systems;
  • An understanding or knowledge of working with grant giving organisations;
  • The capacity to deliver within the defined timeframe; and
  • An understanding of virtual workplaces and teams working remotely and internationally.


The project runs until 30 September 2024, we expect all work to be completed by 1 September 2024.


We are looking for responses setting out the cost of the project as set out above.

Please email by 18 February 2024, with your response to this brief, which should include your proposed approach, costings, and any specific requirements you may have to deliver the work.