Win More Funding: Instrumentl’s Grant Excellence Blueprint for Nonprofits

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Published:

March 5, 2024

Last Updated:

March 7, 2024

Instrumentl is a must-have grant management tool that cCccovers the entire grant lifecycle.

Whether finding grants, evaluating them, or keeping on top of it all, Instrumentl centralizes all of your grant work in one convenient place.

This guide will walk you through all the ways to scale your nonprofit organization and streamline your grants management with Instrumentl.

The Grant Management Challenges Nonprofits Face

Nonprofits face a variety of complex challenges when it comes to securing funding and managing grants.

The top issues impacting grant management in the nonprofit sector include:

  • Time Management: Grant research, identification, and management are incredibly time-consuming activities. These administrative tasks keep you from spending time developing stronger proposals or cultivating deeper relationships with funders.
  • Finding funders: Grants are very competitive, which is why finding good-fit funders is essential. It can be difficult to identify the best opportunities with so many different funders with different missions to sort through.
  • Organization: Nonprofits are constantly managing competing deadlines and last-minute or urgent tasks in an effort to win awards. Without the appropriate controls and systems in place, it is very easy to miss key deadlines or important reporting requirements.
  • Collaboration: It’s challenging to keep your entire team on the same page throughout the grant lifecycle. When data is scattered across multiple spreadsheets and managed by multiple people, it makes it difficult to share progress with your supervisors, colleagues, and funders.

These challenges hold you back from securing funding.

Luckily, Instrumentl has a solution.

How Instrumentl Aids Grant Management

Understanding the unique constraints on your team’s time and capacity, Instrumentl provides solutions to streamline the entire grant management process.

Making Prospecting and Grant Research Something You Look Forward To

You can’t reliably scale your operations without engaging new funders and sources of revenue.

Fortunately, Instrumentl makes it easy to identify new funders and evaluate their grantmaking opportunities for potential fit with your mission.

When you sign up for Instrumentl, you immediately get access to 400,000 detailed funder profiles and active RFPs.


Instrumentl’s Smart Matching system intelligently matches you with active grant opportunities based on your mission, objective, and project criteria—saving you countless research hours and headaches.

Arming You With The Insights You Need To Write Winning Grant Applications

Winning grants isn’t easy. To be competitive, you need insights on funders and their priorities.

Why? Grant proposals that align with a funder’s mission and resonate with their goals have a much higher chance of success.

To make things easy, Instrumentl analyzes and distills information from thousands of grant funders’ Form 990s into easy-to-read charts and graphs.

For example, with just a click of a button, Instrumentl users can see where a funder has awarded grants previously and for how much.


Instrumentl’s 990 reports also include information on funders’:

  • Previous grantees
  • Key personnel
  • Openness to new vs. repeat grantees
  • Award size and type

These vital insights make it easy to strengthen your proposals and submit winning applications.

Organizing Every Stage of Your Grant Work So Nothing Falls Through The Cracks

When it comes to managing grants, the work doesn’t end once a proposal is submitted.

On Instrumentl, you can track funder decisions and each stage of the grant lifecycle with ease. With a dedicated grant tracking tool, you can manage and visualize all of your active grants in one place—from start to finish.


And with Instrumentl’s grant management calendar, you also never have to worry about missing a deadline or losing track of important documents. They’re all easily accessible in one place for your whole team to see.


Instrumentl even provides automatic updates and deadline reminders to ensure nonprofits never miss a beat.

Ensuring Post Award Grant Management Doesn’t Keep You Up At Night

You won the grant. You’re excited and relieved. But also filled with uncertainty. What are our next steps? How can we manage this award? What about reporting?

Instrumentl has you covered. With the awards tracker, you can catalog payments from different funders and stay on top of critical fiscal responsibilities related to your grants.


You can also easily generate award reports to share with your team, board, or other stakeholders to keep them updated on your fundraising progress.


Every cent is properly recorded and accounted for in Instrumentl—ultimate visibility for the highest productivity.

Creating A Single Place For Your Team To Get On The Same Page

Instrumentl helps you keep the project implementation phase organized because it’s all in one place.

Within each awarded grant, you’ll have access to key documents related to the award. No more scrambling to remember the restrictions related to the grant or what your proposed budget included.


Instrumentl also provides you with spend-down reports so they can easily see and keep track of how much of the award they’ve spent and how much is remaining.

This feature makes it incredibly easy to generate reports to show the funder how you allocated their award.


Overall, Instrumentl’s platform keeps all your grant information in one central hub. Forget sifting through countless folders in shared drives. Just look up the funder profile in Instrumentl and find everything you need.

Click to find the best grants for your nonprofit from active opportunities.

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1. Finding the Right Grants

When it comes to helping nonprofit organizations discover grant opportunities that align with their mission, Instrumentl has all the tools, resources, and expert guidance you need to succeed.


Instrumentl has the most active RFPs than any other grant database.

When you get started on Instrumentl, you’ll receive a list of curated tailored grant recommendations based on:

  • Their stated fundraising strategy
  • Their mission
  • The funder’s giving priorities
  • The funder’s geographic focus

We’ll match you with hundreds of relevant grant opportunities and give you the filters to narrow them down to the only the best.


With Instrumentl, nonprofits also don’t have to waste hours upon hours of examining 990s for funder insights. The platform does the hard work for you!

Instrumentl dissects funders’ 990 for key data and compiles that information into easy-to-understand charts and graphs, helping nonprofits better evaluate prospects.


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

Nonprofits that use Instrumentl save an average of three hours per week thanks to the platform’s comprehensive funder profiles and insights.

Take for example Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, a nonprofit that offers fundamental programming for all ages in the areas of literacy, fitness, and social justice.

According to the organization’s Director of Institutional Giving, Cynthia Ceilan, Instrumentl has been a critical tool in helping them refine their prospecting processes:

“[Funders] say something like—we’ll give grants up to X amount of dollars. But that makes it really hard to determine what would be a reasonable request for our organization to make as a first-time applicant.”

Fortunately, Instrumentl provides the data nonprofits need to make an appropriate ask.

Ceilan was also grateful for Instrumentl’s reverse-search function that has helped them find grantmakers who fund similar nonprofits:

“If I know an organization in our area or town that’s very similar to ours, I want to see—ok, who’s funding them?”


With Instrumentl’s help, Marlene Meyerson JCC was able to secure $1 million in new grant revenue for the organization. With the help of Instrumentl’s holistic grant discovery software, nonprofits are finding immense success and blazing a path forward toward financial sustainability and security.

2. Streamlining Grant Management

Most grant discovery platforms are just that—a tool to find new funders and grant opportunities through the platform’s database. Instrumentl understands that when it comes to fundraising, nonprofit organizations need so much more.


That’s why in addition to a comprehensive funder database and grant identification features, Instrumentl provides users with the tools needed to track and manage grants throughout the entire lifecycle.

Within Instrumentl, nonprofits can store documents and create tasks related to each of their grants.


They can also easily keep track of submission dates and organize all of their information by year, project, or even by application stage.

Take for example the Salesian Sisters of Tampa, Inc., a Villa Madonna school that has been operating since the mid 1930s.

Director of Development, Theresa Anderson, shared with Instrumentl how the platform was a time-saving godsend—with collaborative and administrative tools her team leveraged to be 80% more efficient and earn $129k in new revenue.

Anderson had initially managed all administrative tasks and tracking through the use of Excel spreadsheets—an overall onerous process. Instrumental gave her and her team the opportunity to ditch the spreadsheet and opt for a more collaborative, streamlined process:

“Now that I look back, I just think about how much Instrumentl fundamentally changed the way we work, especially in terms of finding foundations that really fit us,” says Anderson.


Other nonprofits have had similar success with Instrumentl’s grants management tools.

Beth Kander-Dauphin, the Chief Strategist Officer at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life, was able to use Instrumentl to improve grant tracking throughout their organization.

Kander-Dauphin found that she is able to easily switch back and forth between pending applications, upcoming deadlines, and rolling deadlines tracked in the system to manage her different priorities as necessary:

“Typically, when I log into Instrumentl, I start with the Master Tracker [All Projects] and I have it sorted by date. Then usually, I’ll go and filter it to Pending or Researching to see if there’s anything I would like to bump up on my priority list. This gives me a good snapshot of what it is that I want to focus on next.”

Instrumentl gives nonprofits a bird’s eye view of their portfolio of work, streamlining the grants process from start to finish.

3. Collaborating Effectively to Win More Grants

Every successful grant is the result of strong collaboration at a nonprofit. From fundraising staff to executives to grant writers, the grant life cycle involves a wide range of different stakeholders.

The more individuals involved in a project, the more challenging teamwork can become—which is why Instrumentl prioritizes collaboration in all of its features and tools.


Within the platform, you can easily assign tasks to different team members, allowing everyone to stay on the same page regarding who is doing what and when.


Take Phoenix Children’s Foundation for example.

Phoenix Children’s Foundation and its Senior Grant Administrator, Beth Noble, leverage Instrumentl’s tools to keep their team organized and key information centralized.

Noble particularly appreciated how Instrumentl made the grant process more transparent for everyone on her team and gave her team great access. She said:

“I feel like Instrumentl offers something like a safety feature. When I’m not present, any team member can see everything in Instrumentl – from documents to notes and history. I think that’s a way better system than having five different folders.”

Instrumentl gives every team member the power to work flexibly and efficiently across all phases of the grant lifecycle.

Instrumentl also makes it easy to generate and share reports with your nonprofit’s leadership to keep them updated on your grant’s progress.


For example, Eversight’s Philanthropy Director for Foundations & Corporations, Becky Harris, was able to easily disseminate reports with colleagues and with her managers.

As Harris stated:

“I like being able to sort by status so that I can give really quick, easy reports to my manager about how many grants we’ve applied for each month, how much we’ve raised this quarter—it’s nice to know the stage of each grant.”


Instrumentl is a nonprofit’s single workplace for everything related to grants, enabling seamless collaboration and efficient fundraising.

Experience the Future of Nonprofit Grant Management

For all industries, technology is the future—and the nonprofit sector is no exception.

Through the use of online platforms and innovative software like Instrumentl, nonprofit organizations can improve their fundraising and enhance their sustainably.

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

Instrumentl does it all!

It is an all-in-one tool that gives nonprofits the ability to deepen their fundraising strategies and explore new networks of funders eager to invest in their work. With Instrumentl, your nonprofit can secure the necessary funding needed to advance your important mission for years to come.

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Conclusion

Instrumentl empowers nonprofits to:

  • Find more grants
  • Streamline their grants management
  • And collaborate more seamlessly

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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