How Grant Consultants Scale Their Business With Instrumentl

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March 5, 2024

Last Updated:

March 7, 2024

Instrumentl is a must-have online grant discovery and management tool that provides grant consultants with comprehensive support at each point in the grant lifecycle.

From foundation discovery to project tracking to reporting, Instrumentl centralizes all of your grant information in one convenient place.

This helpful guide will walk you through the ways in which nonprofit consultants are using Instrumentl to scale their businesses, address critical challenges, and provide unparalleled services to their clients and customer base.

The Grant Management Challenges Nonprofit Consultants Face

As grants have become more and more competitive, nonprofits have been turning to experienced consultants to help them secure more funding.

However, working as a nonprofit consultant comes with its fair share of obstacles—from tracking competing deadlines, developing high quality content, and coordinating with multiple clients who have disparate objectives and missions.

Below we’ve outlined some of the most prevalent challenges impacting nonprofit grant consultants today:

  • Managing Multiple Clients: Most nonprofit consultants do not just work with a single client. They are responsible for keeping track of the needs of several nonprofit organizations that they work with. Staying organized and managing each client's specific concerns, needs, and fundraising objectives can be difficult.
  • Managing Competing Deadlines: Any grants professional needs to be able to manage competing deadlines in their role. This is even challenging for nonprofit consultants who typically manage competing deadlines for different applicants all at once.
  • Grant Identification: Grant consultants work with multiple clients across multiple organizations, and as such they have to consistently identify new grant opportunities and new funders that meet the needs of their different clients. It can be difficult to find grants for nonprofits of varying missions, sizes, and types.
  • Collaboration: Nonprofit consultants are consistently collaborating with multiple organizations on a variety of unique projects. A consultant has to have the tools and resources to communicate effectively with a variety of different stakeholders at once.

Thankfully, for every problem nonprofit consultants face, Instrumentl has the solution!

How Instrumentl Aids Grant Management

Each phase of the grant management process is complex and requires significant attention to detail, support, and expertise to secure funding and successfully shepherd the grant throughout its term.

Instrumentl has key tools, resources and functionality designed to support nonprofit consultants at every critical point in the grant lifecycle.

Prospecting and Research

For nonprofit grant consultants, solid grant identification and prospect research methods are imperative.

Most consultants require comprehensive online tools to effectively find and identify open RFPs and other grant opportunities that fit the needs of their clients.

Instrumentl provides nonprofit consultants with access to a database of over 400,000 detailed funder profiles and active RFPs that they can search through.

Consultants can easily leverage Instrumentl’s Smart Matching system that will intelligently match their different clients with active grant opportunities based on their missions, objectives, and project criteria—saving them countless research hours and headache.

Application Phase

The more insight grant consultants have into a specific funder, the more impactful (and successful) their grant proposals will be.

The most effective grant consultants work to become experts on the grant funders they develop proposals for. Grant proposals that align with a funder’s mission and resonate with their specific goals have a much higher chance of success.

Luckily, Instrumentl makes it easy for consultants to quickly come up to speed on all things funder-related by analyzing and distilling their Form 990 data into easy-to-read charts and graphs.

For example, with just a click of a button, nonprofit consultants can see a funder’s historical giving trends and funding priorities.

Other key information disseminated in these funder profiles includes:

  • Previous grantees
  • Key personnel
  • Award size and type
  • Funder priorities and values
  • Giving trends over time
  • And more!

Grant consultants use these 990 snapshots to save time analyzing information about funders, allowing them to easily draft tailored and personalized proposals for each opportunity.

Decision Phase

The decision phase of the grant process can be daunting—no one likes having to wait to hear back about whether the funder will award a grant.

While the waiting certainly can pique anxiety, there is no need to be anxious about the administrative aspect of the decision phase. Instrumentl has all the tools and features needed for consultants to seamlessly manage this process.

Instrumentl allows consultants to effectively track key deadlines, dates, notes, and documents in one easy place.

With a dedicated grant tracking tool, consultants can manage and visualize all of their active grants in one place—from start to finish.

No more worrying about which stage of the process your clients’ grants are in.

Award Phase

Many grant writing consultants support their clients as they enter the award phase!

Instrumentl continues to support consultants throughout the award phase with tracking and reporting tools that keep them organized regardless of how many awards they are managing.

With a dedicated awards tracker, consultants can catalog payments from different funders so they can stay on top of critical fiscal responsibilities related to each of their projects and/or clients.

Consultants can also easily create awards reports to share with their clients to keep them updated on their fundraising progress.

Finally, Instrumentl allows consultants to add additional users to their plan so that clients, sub contractors, and other external partners can access key information and effectively manage all aspects of the award phase seamlessly.

Project Hand-Off

Once the funding has been awarded, it is time to hand-off the grant to the client so they can focus on project implementation.

Instrumentl’s collaboration tools allow consultants to seamlessly communicate and share key information with clients and keep important documents organized.

The platform organizes everything in one central hub that prioritizes an efficient, uncomplicated user experience.

Within each awarded grant, clients can access key documents related to their awards—no more scrambling to remember the restrictions related to the grant or what the proposed budget included

Nonprofit consultants and their clients no longer have to sift through countless folders in shared drives. Just look up the funder profile in Instrumentl and find everything you need!

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1. Efficiently Prospect Grants For All Your Clients

Through Instrumentl’s state of the art grant discovery software, consultants can find new and better grant opportunities for their nonprofit clients.

Consultants simply have to enter in their client’s funding criteria, and Instrumentl will connect them to active RFPs that match their needs.

These curated grant and funder recommendations are based on:

  • The stated fundraising needs of their clients
  • Their clients’ mission and values
  • Funders’ geographic focus
  • Funders’ giving priorities

Consultants no longer have to scour lengthy, complicated documents to identify the right funders for their clients! Instrumentl’s foundation profiles capture the most important information from funders’ 990s that nonprofit consultants need to know.

Each 990 snapshot Includes information on a funder’s:

  • Geographic focus
  • Average and median award size for previous grantees
  • Historic funding preferences and trends
  • Area of focus based on NTEE (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities) codes
  • Funders’ openness to new grantees versus returning grantees

With these features at their disposal, consultants can spend less time analyzing and researching appropriate funders and more time developing compelling proposals and cultivating relationships with their clients and funders.

For example, Elizabeth Burrows, the Principal at Burrows Consulting, noticed that many of her agency’s clients were not achieving the level of success she knew they could.

She noted that they were:

  • Missing out on new grant opportunities, and
  • Becoming too reliant on the same sources of funding.

Instrumentl helped Burrow’s clients break that stagnation by offering new, efficient methods of grant identification and prospect research. After trying several grant search and discovery platforms, Burrows noted that her team kept coming back to Instrumentl to find more and better opportunities for their clients:

“We were constantly finding more great opportunities for our clients. It was easier to use, had easier tracking, and had a great return on investment. So we discontinued the other platforms, and now 100% of our work is with Instrumentl.”

Instrumentl improves efficiency and streamlines operations for nonprofit consultants.

2. Manage Multiple Clients And Grant Applications

Instrumentl understands that the issues faced by consultants are unique and require a specific set of tools to effectively manage multiple grants at once.

This is why Instrumentl gives nonprofit consultants the ability to sign up for a special Consultant Plan on the platform. Under this plan, consultants are able to create multiple client profiles which can be organized by fiscal year and location.

This means that consultants can organize all of their information by individual client, accessing personalized grant matches and individual calendars for each.

And each client profile can be linked to specific projects that are all organized and available in one easy-to-manage tracker. The tracker gives consultants the ability to easily toggle between different projects and multi-task like an expert.

Instrumentl also allows consultants to invite their clients to access their profiles within Instrumentl so they can easily update them on their progress.

No need to log in and out of different accounts over and over!

Managing multiple clients within the platform is a favorite feature of many Instrumentl users.

Dr. Bev Browning is an author, grant consultant, coach, and founder of Bev Browning, LLC, a premiere grant consultancy.

Dr. Browning was blown away by Instrumentl’s features and how much time they saved her. Notably, Instrumentl improved Dr. Browning’s ability to effectively collaborate with her team as well as other external stakeholders and subcontractors:

‍“When I have subcontractors on and they need to use Instrumentl for tasks that are assigned to them or for their own projects—It’s a benefit that I give them and I gladly pay for additional users because I have more than five people on my account.”

Other consultants have appreciated Instrumentl’s all-in-one features that go beyond grant identification to provide support throughout the entire grant lifecycle.

Nonprofit Navigators is an agency that provides grant consultancy in addition to board development, major donor prospecting, marketing, and more.

Eloise Casdorph is a Nonprofit Strategist at Nonprofit Navigators and has found great success leveraging Instrumentl’s grant management tools. At the start, Nonprofit Navigators only utilized Instrumentl as a grant discovery tool but soon after integrated it into their general workflows:

“Previously, we relied on separate Excel spreadsheets to manage our grant schedules and to keep a status report of all the grants that we have applied for, were received, or denied. Now with Instrumentl, we do all of that in one place.”

Instrumentl’s capacity as an all-in-one tool is an overall game changer for grant consultants. The platform supports their ability to effectively identify well-aligned opportunities, manage multiple clients and projects, and enhance grant management workflows all in one place.

3. Providing Exceptional Client Experiences Within Instrumentl

A nonprofit grant consultant’s success relies on their ability to develop positive relationships with their clients.

Communication with clients has never been more simple and convenient than with Instrumentl!

On Instrumentl, consultants can easily create reports to send to clients to update them on their progress.

Instrumentl also helps consultants connect with new and better grant opportunities so they can improve their win rates.

Take for instance Dawn Moeglin, the CEO of and Nonprofit Consultant at Full Fundraising LLC.

Moeglin works with several nonprofit clients with small budgets who have had challenges finding success with grants in the past. Instrumentl changed all that, giving Moeglin the power to find more and better grants for these clients.

In fact, with Instrumentl’s help she was able to win over $190,000 for her clients in just under 12 months. This return on investment had a major impact on her business:

“Instrumentl makes me look like a rockstar. I’m dealing with a lot of organizations with smaller budgets that have not had a lot of grant success, and we are seeing a tremendous return on investment.”​​

Another Instrumentl customer and nonprofit consultant, Victoria Flynn, found success using Instrumentl to stay on top of competing deadlines. According to Flynn, Instrumentl centralize her workflows, unifying her projects in a single hub:

“Instrumentl also helps me track my own personal goals and deadlines. For instance, if there’s an interim step that I need to take, I use Instrumentl to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. It helps me to keep myself accountable and have a personal record of everything that’s going on across all my clients.”

At Instrumentl, we know that nonprofit consultants require flexible, comprehensive support tailored to their unique needs. Instrumentl is committed to helping consultants streamline their workflows, bolster their business, and win more grants for their clients.

Experience The Future of Client Management for Your Consultancy

Nonprofit consultants can bring in more business and make a greater impact for their clients by leveraging new technology.

Instrumentl’s innovative system gives consultants the resources and tools to improve their workflows, increase productivity, and strengthen relationships with new and existing clients.

Instrumentl’s comprehensive grant management solutions single handedly make each phase of the grant lifecycle more streamlined and accessible. Consultants no longer need to manage grants with outdated processes and systems, or struggle to track projects and tasks among their different clients.

Consultants who take advantage Instrumentl’s grant management tools will find it easy to stay competitive in the growing nonprofit consulting industry.

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Instrumentl empowers nonprofit consultants to:

  • Efficiently prospect grants for all their clients
  • Manage multiple grant applications
  • And provide exceptional client experiences.

It’s everything you need from a grant platform in one centralized location.

Still unsure about Instrumentl? Go ahead and try for yourself! Unlock a 14-day free trial and see how this innovative software can benefit your nonprofit organization.

Instrumentl team

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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