The Best Grant Writing Software for Nonprofits

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Published:

June 4, 2022

Last Updated:

March 18, 2024

While we don’t need to worry about technology taking our jobs anytime soon, we do need to be aware of its ability to streamline processes and optimize efficiency.

In the world of grant seeking, where time is money and missed opportunities are costly, harnessing the power of grant-writing software can be a game-changer. From crafting persuasive proposals to managing budgets, the right tools can save you time and increase your chances of getting funded.

In this article, we are going to explore the many different aspects of grant writing and make tailored recommendations about software and tools that can help you seize every opportunity and maximize your impact.

Whether you’re a seasoned grant writer or new to the field, embracing technology can be the key to unlocking your success. Let’s dive in!

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Prospects in 7 Easy Steps

What Software Do Grant Writers Need To Win Grants?

Grant writing has several key stages. For each stage of the grant lifecycle, different software solutions can help you.

Grant Prospect Research

Grant prospect research ensures that you are identifying and focusing on opportunities that are a good fit for your organization’s programs, projects, and needs. Prospecting can be a time-consuming task, but it’s a key piece of a successful grant writing program.

Grant Writing

After you’ve successfully researched good-fit opportunities, it’s time to start writing! This stage of the process involves creating the content for a grant proposal.

Depending on the funder’s preferences and requirements, the proposal could include:

Grant writers often rely on software to streamline their writing process, leveraging tools that range from catching grammar mistakes to utilizing AI for content development.

Sidebar: AI in grant writing is a hot topic today. So, we interviewed several seasoned grant professionals to see how they’re using (or not) AI in their grant work. Find the tips they had to share here: 5 Tips For Using AI To Write Grants.

Grant Tracking

The grant tracking phase of the grant lifecycle is full of complexities.

  • Budget tracking,
  • reporting deadlines,
  • stewardship and
  • Acknowledgements

These are all important pieces of grant tracking. And it can be a lot to keep organized!

That’s why many nonprofits use software at this stage.

Best Software for Grant Prospecting

We’re going to explore some of the best software options for prospect research that can really level-up your grant seeking game. Let’s dive in!

Instrumentl

When it comes to prospecting for grant opportunities, Instrumentl stands out as a top choice among grant writers and nonprofits.


With its user-friendly interface and smart matching technology, it makes the grant prospect process a breeze. When you enter in your project details, Instrumentl will compile a list of good-fit funding opportunities that match what you need.


Smart matching is great, but what truly sets Instrumentl apart is its comprehensive database, featuring over 400,000 funders and 15,000 active RFP’s. With the addition of 150 new opportunities daily, Instrumentl ensures that users have access to the most up-to-date and relevant funding opportunities to support their nonprofit endeavors.

Moreover, Instrumentl boasts a reputation for its caring and helpful support team. Regardless of your level of tech-savviness, you’ll be able to navigate Instrumentl with ease.

Want to know the best part? You can sign up for a 14-day free trial today—no credit card required.

Candid’s Foundation Directory

Candid’s Foundation Directory is another software tool that many grant professionals use to support their grant prospect efforts.


According to Candid, 90% of US-based foundations don’t have a website. Yikes! So Candid designed Foundation Directory to pull up-to-date, in-depth information about funders from IRS Forms 990, grantmaker websites, philanthropic press and media, and other sources, so you can find funding matches easily and quickly.

Foundation Directory’s Grantmaker profiles provide a powerful summary of the funder’s work, their focus area, and their giving preferences. With information on nearly 300,000 grantmakers, this software is comprehensive—but still not quite as robust as Instrumentl.

One drawback to be aware of with this software is that the number of foundation and funder profiles you can view is directly tied to the level of your subscription. For example, with a Professional or Enterprise-level subscription, you will be able to view more funding opportunities than with a basic subscription. Check out this guide for more information on pricing and subscription levels.

GrantStation

GrantStation is a tool that is designed to help nonprofits, educational institutions, and government agencies find new potential funding sources.


With a vast database, GrantStation can match organizations with funders not just from North America, but from across the world. Their funder profiles are comprehensive, and include key pieces of information such as:

  • Primary Contact Information
  • Funding Priorities
  • Geographic Scope
  • Grant Proposal Guidelines
  • Grant Cycle Deadlines

One cool thing about GrantStation is that they date stamp all of their funder profiles so that you can clearly see when the information was last updated.

However, it’s important to be aware that GrantStation’s funder profiles are limited beyond the information we just listed. For example, they do not provide detailed information on current opportunities or RFPs. So, while the information is easy to read, it’s going to require more work on your behalf to determine if there are active opportunities worth pursuing.

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Best Software for Funder Research

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential opportunities, it’s time to start conducting funder research so that you can narrow down your list to those that are a good fit for your organization’s needs.

Instrumentl

Instrumentl also excels in providing comprehensive insights into funders that are crucial for crafting winning grant proposals.

Instrumentl offers detailed information on funders’ priorities, past giving patterns, and specific requirements, empowering writers to determine if a funder is a good fit for their program or project before investing a lot of time into drafting a grant proposal.

Check out the screenshot below. Instrumentl’s Giving by NTEE Code feature shows grant professionals the NTEE codes that funders have supported most in the past. This allows you to easily determine if your project or program falls into a category that a funder is likely to want to support.


Instrumentl’s 990 snapshots
also provide insight into a funder’s:

  • Openness to new vs. repeat grantees
  • Giving averages and medians
  • Geographic giving
  • And so much more

Compared to competitors, Instrumentl’s depth of insights position it as the top choice for funder research in the grant writing process.

Foundation Search

FoundationSearch is an online database containing nearly 200,000 US Foundations. Not only can you find funding opportunities through this platform, but you can gain the detailed insights you need to ensure that they’re a good fit for you.


With a subscription, you can search for funding opportunities and dive into FoundationSearch’s database. You can also access a tool called BIG Online, which provides additional funding opportunities, as well as resources for grant research, writing and management.

Once you have a list of opportunities compiled, you can use the platform’s My Foundation Manager tool to manage your interactions with your funder, sort your prospect list, and create a calendar of deadlines.

FoundationSearch doesn’t share pricing information on their website, but they do share how you can reach out to get more information as well as an orientation tour.

While FoundationSearch’s offerings are basic, it’s a solid resource for funder research to help you whittle down your prospect list into good-fit matches.

Best Software for Grant Tracking

Instrumentl

In the landscape of grant tracking solutions, Instrumentl emerges as the premier software for effectively managing grant-related tasks.

With its specialized tools and customizable templates, Instrumentl streamlines the grant tracking process, allowing users to effortlessly monitor deadlines, track application progress, and organize documentation—all in one place!


For example, Instrumentl’s tasks feature helps you stay on top of your to-do list by allowing you to create action items for yourself or your team, and set up automatic deadline reminders so that nothing gets missed.


You can also store documents within Instrumentl, meaning that all of your LOIs, award letters, grant reports, and other important documents are located in one place—no more searching through files to find what you need!


This user-friendly platform empowers grant writers to stay organized and proactive in managing their grant portfolios, ultimately maximizing their chances of securing funding and achieving their organizational goals.

GrantHub

GrantHub by Foundant Technologies is a nonprofit grant management software that is geared toward saving time, creating efficiency, and maximizing success.


GrantHub offers a suite of grant management features that will certainly help you stay on top of all the administrative pieces of grant tracking.

In terms of post-award financial tracking, this platform allows you to track your awarded grant revenue and project expenses so that you can enhance accountability and transparency in terms of grant funding.

You can also:

  • Create and manage budgets
  • Generate a spend down report
  • Import grant expenses and documentation (e.g., receipts) to ensure that funds are being used appropriately
  • Set and send reminders
  • Copy deadlines to your calendar
  • Collaborate and delegate work to your team

However, one thing to be aware of as you consider this tool is that your access to certain features and functions is determined by which subscription level you choose. The higher-level subscription, the more access you receive. This may make GrantHub less useful for smaller nonprofits with resource constraints.

Fluxx

Fluxx is a cloud-based grant management software that is available to both grantmakers and grant seekers.


Fluxx is a powerful tool that can definitely help streamline your grant tracking and grant management efforts. It allows you to track all of your funders and grants in one place, and work collaboratively with your team.

Fluxx also has the ability to help manage your tasks and send you reminders on important action items, so you’re never missing a deadline.

One consideration about Fluxx is that while these features are impressive, it does lack some of the more robust management and tracking tools that other platforms offer. Although they offer a GrantSeeker tool, Fluxx is definitely geared more towards grantmakers, rather than those looking and applying for grants.

Best Software To Help You Submit Well-Written Grant Proposals

There are countless tools and software options out there to assist with grant writing, all of which integrate AI in some form or another. Here are some of our favorites:

Grammarly

Grammarly stands out for its grammar and style checks, ensuring your proposals are polished and professional.

By minimizing grammatical errors and enhancing the writing style, this tool can help improve readability to make a more compelling case for support.


ChatGPT

ChatGPT helps in generating and refining your content. As a grant writer, you can leverage this tool to brainstorm ideas, expand on key points, and refine your writing to create more compelling grant proposals.

Hemingway App

The Hemingway App emphasizes clarity and conciseness, making complex ideas more digestible for reviewers. You can utilize this app to identify and streamline convoluted sentences, eliminate unnecessary or confusing jargon, and ensure that your proposals are easily understood by reviewers.

Which Grant Writing Software Should You Choose?

When you’re evaluating grant writing software, it’s essential to consider factors beyond the obvious features. Efficiency is crucial, but so is the return on investment (ROI) in terms of time saved and increased funding secured.

What sets Instrumentl apart is its comprehensive support and tools beyond just prospecting. Instrumentl helps grant writers streamline the entire grant lifecycle, from finding good fit funders to tracking, reporting, and managing their awards. Sign up today for a 14 day free trial to see just how impactful Instrumentl can be for your team!

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Instrumentl is the all-in-one grant management tool for nonprofits and consultants who want to find and win more grants without the stress of juggling grant work through disparate tools and sticky notes.

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