Program Cycles is a new concept for running the same program over multiple application periods, available now at the Enhance and Bells & Whistles levels. Those at the Create level will see no changes to their current processes other than changes to form editing, noted below.
Program Cycles benefits you in a few ways:
-Run application reports on application-specific information across multiple application periods.
-Keep the same application link from year-to-year without any need to make copies of your programs or update the application link on your website.
-See a list of all of the applications across all programs and all cycles or across selected programs and cycles.
How does it work?
You create a cycle (e.g. "2017-Q1", "Spring 2018", etc.) and apply that cycle to a program or multiple programs. Whenever anyone applies to that program while it is set to a specific cycle, their application will be tied to that cycle. When the cycle for a program is changed, prior applicants (and new ones) can return to the program and create a new application for the next application period. On the "technical side" of the feature, a cycle works merely like a "tag" or "category".
Yes, it is that simple! Nothing changes for your applicants, evaluators, or request contacts.
Here's an example
You offer grants in the Spring and in the Fall. You create the following cycles, "2017-Spring" and "2017-Fall". Your grant program is titled, "ABC Foundation Grant". In the Spring of 2017, apply the cycle "2017-Spring" to the program. Any grant applicants will be associated with the "2017-Spring" cycle. Then, in the Fall of 2017, change the cycle in the program to "2017-Fall". Any grant applicants (prior and new) will now be associated with the "2017-Fall" cycle.
What has changed?
Making changes to your application form
Because those employing Program Cycles will be using the same program and form year after year, ANY CHANGES to that form will AFFECT ALL existing applications. Therefore, we've changed the way a program's form can be edited. If you have any applications in a program, you will be limited to what and how you can edit. You will be able to delete questions/sections/pages/requests from your form, but you will not be able to change a question's type since doing so will render existing applicant answers void. As always, if you delete any question/section/page/request from your form, you will also PERMANENTLY DELETE ANY ANSWERS to those questions.
New Cycle column and filter in tables
Look for the Cycle column and filters/searches in the following pages:
- My Programs
Program Page layout
To make your interaction with SmarterSelect more user-friendly, we have shifted the most variable information to the top of your Program page to make regular edits and updates a bit smoother. Look for the Program Status & Deadlines (now including Current Cycle) just below the Application Links now, followed by the Program Details.
What do I need to do?
If you are at our Enhance or Bells & Whistles feature levels, you can create a new Cycle under the "Programs" menu. Please note that the date range for each cycle is for your informational purposes only and is optional. It does not affect Program, Evaluation, or Info Request deadlines.
Alternatively, you can create a new Cycle when you edit or create a new program (in the Program page).
Then, select the desired cycle in your program. That's it - you're done!
When you're ready to reopen your program for your next application cycle, change the cycle in your program to the new cycle, update the deadlines and VOILA! You're ready.
How can I begin using Program Cycles in my existing programs?
It's easy! Go into your program's Applicants table. Select the applications that you already have (e.g. last year's applicants) then click the Cycle button. Select the cycle you want them in then save. You'll see the change reflected immediately.
By default, the Applicants table will show only the applicants in the program's current cycle. For example, if the program is currently assigned to "2017-Fall", then only applicants with that cycle will be displayed. Applicants from other or prior cycles (e.g. "2017-Spring") are not shown by default. But, they can be displayed by using the Cycle filter in the Applicants table.
In Program Cycles, see a list of all of the applications across all programs in Apps by Cycle found under the Program Cycles menu. You can also filter by cycle and/or by program.