ERP Case Study

Arizona Community Foundation

Location Arizona, USA
Industry Other
Sage Intacct Case Study - Arizona Community Foundation

Arizona Community Foundation Case Study for Sage Intactt

The Company: About Arizona Community Foundation

Since its establishment in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) has been dedicated to enhancing the overall well-being of Arizona residents. With a remarkable track record of over $1 billion in grants, ACF has played a pivotal role in fostering effective philanthropy within the state. Following the footsteps of community foundations nationwide, ACF and its affiliates throughout Arizona unite the benevolence of countless Arizonans, creating a powerful force for positive change

Meeting the distinctive needs of a community foundation, the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals in Arizona by promoting and facilitating impactful philanthropy. Since its establishment, ACF has distributed a total of $1.2 billion in grants and scholarships, supporting a wide range of initiatives including health innovation, community development, environmental conservation, as well as arts, culture, and education.

The Situation: Outdated and Labor-Intensive Operations 

With a total of $1.4 billion in assets under management (AUM) spread across numerous funds, and experiencing annual growth rates of 10% to 20%, ACF faced challenges in efficiently handling its complex operations using labor-intensive methods and outdated on-premises software. The previous Blackbaud FIMS system used by the organization made it difficult to effectively track and manage funds, including inbound donor gifts, various shared investment pools, and outbound grants. ACF desired a modern and flexible solution that could be customized to meet the specific donor management requirements of a community foundation, while also offering robust general ledger accounting capabilities.

The Solution: Sage Intactt

Streamlining Cost Savings and Efficiency

The finance team at ACF made the decision to integrate Sage Intacct and Salesforce CRM into their operations in order to streamline and automate their donor, grantmaking, financial, and reporting processes. This implementation allowed the organization to keep up with a growth in transaction volume of over 11%, process 6.5% more grants, and save $24,600 annually in technical infrastructure costs.

ACF partnered with Clark Nuber, a Sage Intacct implementation partner, to successfully implement Sage Intacct and integrate it with Salesforce. This integration resulted in substantial cost savings as it eliminated the requirement for a remote desktop environment. The combination of these two cloud-based solutions now serves as the organization’s new operating system,’ effectively streamlining all workflows related to managing ACF’s extensive portfolio of nearly 2,000 funds across 18 different fund types. Each fund has its own unique goals, constraints, arrangements, and fees.

Salesforce plays a crucial role in managing donor relationships for the organization. It seamlessly integrates with Sage Intacct, allowing for the tracking of fund balances, grant payouts, and confirmation sending. Additionally, a Salesforce donor portal pulls in fund reports from Sage Intacct, providing donors with visibility into gifts, grants, and investment earnings from various investment pools. Kyla Quintero, CFO at ACF, expressed her satisfaction with the seamless information flow and user experience between Salesforce and Sage Intacct.

Clark Nuber also assisted the organization in tackling two complex financial processes: investment allocations and fund fee management. They utilized Sage Intacct Dynamic Allocations to precisely compute and distribute the correct portion of earnings from ACF’s investment pools to the respective donors. Additionally, a new Sage Intacct Fund Fee Management tool was developed by the team to evaluate administrative fees for each donor based on their average daily fund balance or other criteria outlined in their agreement with ACF.

Implementing this modern and user-friendly solution resulted in a significant increase in efficiency for the finance team, reducing the monthly close process by one week. Despite facing challenges such as employee turnover during the pandemic and a major software migration, they successfully kept up with ACF’s growing gift and grant activities. By eliminating manual spreadsheets and streamlining workflows, they were able to effectively manage accounts payable, reconciliations, inter-fund transactions, fund reporting, and grant processing in a more efficient manner. Kyla highlighted the improvement by stating, With our old software, it took 25 clicks to record a grant everywhere it needed to appear in the system.” She continued. Now, with Sage Intacct and Salesforce, we click once, it goes all the way through both systems, and we’re ready to pay a grant within 20 minutes.”

The Results: Sage Intactt helps enhance visibility for ongoing improvement

ACF’s finance team now has access to powerful reporting features that eliminate the need for manual Excel manipulation or Crystal Reports analysis. Using Sage Intacct, they can easily generate individual balance sheets and profit-and-loss statements for each fund, and monitor activity across different fund categories such as donor-advised, scholarship, and endowment funds. Having the flexibility to run reports directly from Sage Intacct on our own and drill down into specific categories is super important,” Kyla commented. With this visibility, we now understand the amount of granting that happens out of each fund and can more easily monitor the constraints of certain fund types.” 

Dashboard Analytics

A personalized Sage Intacct dashboard showcases essential community foundation metrics such as total contribution volume and dollars, grant volumes and amounts, and current AUM. This instant, self-service access to ACF’s key performance indicators provides the finance team with a more profound understanding of operations, enabling them to drive continuous enhancements over time. The expediency with which we can get information means we can have conversations about it quicker, too,” Josh Kenzer, ACF’s vice president of information services, shared. We can analyze financial trend data as a leading indicator instead of a lagging indicator, and make changes by looking at today’s numbers rather than looking back.”

Furthermore, ACF has identified areas for improvement in its grant approval processes. Josh mentioned, Because we have Sage Intacct and Salesforce working in tandem, we can conduct interesting analysis on where our bottlenecks are. As we see which points in the approval process take the most time, we can make modifications in order to get funds from donors to grantees faster, which makes everyone happy.”

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