Electronic Signatures

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edited January 2021 in Tech Tips & Virtual Engagement

We are thinking of moving to Electronic Signatures for our grant agreements. In the past, we have required physical signatures from the grantee's CEO or CFO so we have not had the grant agreement completed through Foundant.

Does anyone use a signature service like Docusign or Adobe sign?

I hope you are all well.



  • We are also looking at this - having just signed a contract with my phone/internet provider via Docusign.

    I have so far this past month set up electronic Grant Agreements and Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Acknowledgement Forms through Foundant's GLM and SLM modules. I'll be adding the Scholarship Acceptance and Verification form in the next week or so.

    The grant and scholarship applications use electronic signatures. Why not use them for the other forms? I have asked for some legal guidance on this (no response yet.)

    Bettie Stammerjohn

    Executive Director

    Community Foundation of Greene County, Pennsylvania

  • TramKieuTramKieu
    Groundbreaker Second Anniversary Photogenic
    edited May 2020

    We also looked into using DocuSign and Adobe. After researching and deliberating, we decided to stick to using Foundant's Collaborator feature for grantees to provide e-signatures.

    We decided to keep the workflow in Foundant as to avoid using another service to add to the various programs/processes we already have. It was fairly simple to add to our grant agreement process and we added the usual technical verbiage for grantees to authorize their signatures electronically. You are able to verify a timestamp and the name of the person who filled out the signature. Secondly, we didn't want to burden grantees with more work on their side and kept this step in Foundant. If you are looking into Adobe, you have to create an Adobe account and then create an e-signature. Docusign was also very user friendly and simple. If Foundant didn't have a Collaborator feature, Docusign would've been my second choice.

    If you are still on the border, I'd recommend contacting your CSM to talk through the details and other advantages/disadvantages in particular to your grantmaking process.

    Tram K.

  • We also require multiple signatures on our agreements and have always required hard copy originals, but realized in the current environment it could take some time to get everyone's signature, which would end up delaying payments. We added an electronic signature clause to our agreements and now are using DocuSign. It has worked really well for us.

    The program is easy to learn/setup, very user friendly, agreements are fully executed much quicker and everyone automatically receives a pdf copy when it is fully executed. You can also cc recipients that aren't required to sign, but need a copy of the agreement (such as the accounting dept.). It's definitely made our agreement process much more efficient.

  • This conversation is of interest to me. I have not incorporated a grant agreement process within Foundant but would like to add that to my process this cycle and thinking of using the Collaborator feature. Would any of you be willing to share your grant agreement and process?

  • We are using DocuSign for everything signature related. Its super easy to use and i love the signing order feature, it pushed it out the contacts with out a person having to do it manually. We also love the template feature !

  • How did you push it out to the contacts without doing it manually?

  • We use GLM for the grant agreements but use DocuSign for fund terms, conflict/confidentiality agreements, etc... Be sure to check out the offering from TechSoup for the discount if their offering meets your needs.

  • We use Adobe Sign to get grant agreements signed. It is easy to use and the recipient doesn't need an Adobe account. They just get taken to a link where they can choose to upload an image file of their signature or type it in, and then the document will have an Audit Report with times and dates that everyone viewed and signed the agreement. I have not had any complaints so far.

  • @BethNuttall

    Thanks! I will have to look into that.

    Have you used it with electronic agreements built into Foundant GLM or SLM?

    Bettie Stammerjohn

    Executive Director

    Community Foundation of Greene County, Pennsylvania

  • @BettieStammerjohn No, we do the grant agreements outside of Foundant and then upload them under the Documents tab for each request.

  • @BethNuttall - Have you tried using the Mail Merge feature in GLM/SLM to create the documents before adding the signature functionality provided by Adobe? I'm wondering if we can save you some time that way?

  • @AaronSpevacek Hmm no I haven't tried that! That could be a good idea though...will check it out!

  • State laws vary, but in Texas, electronic signatures are binding and acceptable for contracts. Everyone can do business here virtually without wet ink signatures, the exception is the estate planning attorneys. A will still requires in person witnesses to the signing.

  • @BethNuttall Did you have any luck getting an electronic signature on a mail merged doc? This came up the other day and I thought about you.

  • @AaronSpevacek Honestly I have not tried it yet - stuck in my old ways I suppose! I will add to my to-do list though for some time this year :D

  • @BethNuttall Thanks. Let me know if we can help at all when you try it out.

  • We started using DocuSign almost 2 years ago and it has been the most helpful tool available for signatures. I found this to be true over the last year. I use DocuSign for charters, confidentiality/conflict forms, expense reimbursements, anything needing a signature.

    You can set up as many signers as you need and create a signing order. You can also create one standard message to communicate to all signers or individual messages based on their title and reason for signing. Additionally, you can turn on commenting to allow the signer to comment on a specific section of the document they may have questions on.

    My favorite feature is the program allows you set a number of days for the document to expire and also how often you want a reminder sent to the person next in line to sign. This feature alone has created an efficient workflow and has allowed documents to be reviewed and signed in a timely manner.

    We accessed a non-profit discount on the program from Tech Soup and pay $100 a year for the basic program.

    Karen Wolf

    Operations Coordinator

    Email [email protected]

    Web www.cfcwi.org

    Facebook www.facebook.com/cfcwi

    AshleyHarper[Deleted User]SusieLotreck
  • Thanks for sharing this @KarenWolf. We often have clients ask if others are using this service, so I'll refer them to your comment!

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