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This tutorial will take you through setting up Pelf to monitor grants that your organisation applies for.

We’ll set up Pelf for tracking grant applications and then create a made-up application to Example Foundation for a made-up project called Decolonising Tech, to see how it all works.

After the tutorial you can delete all the data, or you can just delete the made up bits and adjust the rest to suit your needs.

First, Install Pelf.

Configure Pelf for grant management

Next visit the set-up page at Administer » CiviCase » Setup Pelf.

Pelf works with the CiviCase component of CiviCRM so before we can do anything useful we need a suitable Case Type. You can have as many of these as you like and use them for different types of pipeline processes, e.g. applying to a grant-giving trust or foundation might typically have a different process to seeking partnership funding.

This tutorial is focussed on Grant funding applications using a template provided with Pelf itself. You don't have to use these templates, and you can change things later to suit your needs, but it saves a lot of clicking to use a template, so we'll do that now.

Scroll down the page to Templates and find the section called Case Type: Grant application.

This shows you the statuses (think of case statuses as stages along your pipeline) that it suggests. Simply click the Create this case type, and all required statuses to set it up - it may take a mo, so be careful not to click twice.

Define your organisation’s projects

Pelf allows you to map funds from various funders (or would-be funders) to different projects.

We’ll create a couple of demo projects: Decolonisation Awareness and Climate Justice. (You can delete these later.)

Visit Administer » Customize Data and Screens » Drop-down options. You'll see a massive list. Find the one called Project (pelf_project) and click Edit Options.

This list starts off with one item called Unallocate. Leave that be, and click Add Project. Enter the name of the first project and click Save, then repeat for the other project.


Great, we're done with the set-up for this tutorial.

Add a prospect

Let's say that you're going to apply for £10k funding from Example Foundation.

Create a new case:

  1. Ensure Example Foundation is an organisation in your CRM in the normal way.

  2. Cases » New Case

  3. Client: Choose select Example Foundation.

  4. Subject: Decolonising Tech

  5. Case Type: Grant Application
    After selecting this, a new box should appear called Venture details.

  6. In the Venture details box, enter 50% in the Percentage scale. This is how likely you think this particular venture is at this stage. Typically organisations might use 10% - 15% for 'cold' applications, and a much higher percentage for repeat or warm applications, but it's your call.

  7. Click Save.

screenshot of the grant application

  1. Edit the Status to Research, if it’s not already, and hit Save.


So far, so good. If you’re familiar with CiviCase this will be very obvious to you. All we have done so far is create a Case Type, some Case Statuses belonging to that type, and created our first Case, including a single custom field (the Percentage scale)

Add funding details for this application.

Visit Cases » Pelf: Grant application. This screen will make more sense in a bit. For now, click Add funds.

screenshot showing where to find the Add funds link.

On the screen that appears, click Add row.

Let’s say that this project is going to span two of your financial years, with 25% falling in this financial year (2021, say) and 75% falling in the next year.

Let’s also say that 80% of it funds your Decolonising Tech project, and the other 20% funds your Climate Justice project. For this you would enter:

  • 500, 2021, Climate Justice
  • 2000, 2021, Decolonising Tech
  • 1500, 2022, Climate Justice
  • 6000, 2022, Decolonising Tech

You should be looking at something like this:


The Project Summary shows the breakdown; the light blue background area is a centred bar-chart showing the relative amount.

Click Save.

Add a meeting about this application.

Return to the Case Management screen for this application. You can get to this in any way you like: you can click Back to Grant application summary and click on the application title, or find it from the Cases » Dashboard, or Search » Cases, etc.

Use the drop-down to Add Activity, choose Meeting. This is the standard CiviCase screen for adding an activity, so fill it in as normal, but put tomorrow in the date, and choose Urgent as the priority. Press Save.

Look at the overview for grant applications

Now revisit Cases » Pelf: Grant application, which should now look something like this:

screencast GIF showing various aspects of the overview, explained below.

Have a play with the view options and note:

  1. The table on the left shows a per-project and financial year breakdown of funds. You can see that we have two projects with some funding and how that breaks down.

  2. The table on the right (or second, if you have a narrow screen) shows a breakdown by stage and financial year. We have only entered one prospect, at Research stage, so that’s not so interesting right now!

  3. You can filter the information to show using the drop-downs at the top, e.g. to look at certain projects, financial years or maybe to look just at prospects or just at secured contracts etc.

  4. The amount shown is by default the adjusted worth. This is the total (10k) × the percentage (50%), so 5k. You can toggle between this view and the gross view using the Show adjusted worth checkbox.

  5. The Decolonising Tech prospect flags as Urgent because we set the priority of the scheduled meeting as Urgent. You can easily toggle that flag, too. This convenience can help when reviewing a list of prospects.

  6. The prospect would be one among a list, had you entered more than one.

  7. Each prospect shows the latest completed activity on that case, and the next scheduled one. You can click those to edit them directly.

  8. The Financial / Activity toggle for the prospects toggles between showing latest/next activities and showing a financial breakdown.

Look at the organisation wide overview.

The screen at Cases » Pelf summary takes all prospects and contracts and displays them all in one place.

screenshot of the Pelf summary screen.

What’s that Relevant category for?

Because each type of funding pipeline has its own stages we can’t sensibly show them all here because we’d be aggregating things that aren’t the same.

For this reason case statuses are grouped into the following categories:

  • Relevant

    • Live prospects (e.g. research, application, negotiation, ...)
    • Live contracts (signed, sealed and work is scheduled)
    • Completed contracts
  • Irrelevant

    • Dropped ventures - e.g. you decided it was not worth persuing further.
    • Failed (rejected) - they turned you down - the audacity!

Which case statuses belong to which group is configured on the Pelf set-up screen that you found at the top of this tutorial.


You’ve completed the tutorial. Hopefully you now have a reasonable understanding of the concepts and screens.