Introducing Instrumentl’s Fall 2021 Release

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November 12, 2021

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November 12, 2021

The new Instrumentl Standard Plan includes Advanced Funder Insights, Recipient Profiles and Foundation Discovery. It also supports 20 projects (vs. the Basic plan’s 10 projects).

Advanced Funder Insights: Get rich data analysis on a foundation’s giving preferences, including their openness to new grantees and top funding categories

Foundation Discovery: Get intelligently matched to good fit private foundations beyond open opportunities, including those that are invite-only or don't have websites

Recipient Profiles: Reverse search a nonprofit similar to yours to find their funders

Watch this 4-minute video recapping the Standard Plan.

Details on each feature are also provided below the video.

1. Advanced Funder Insights

Instead of having to comb through 990 data yourself, Advanced Funder insights does all the data analysis for you. Now you can easily spot big picture trends about funders to save even more time when prospecting.

Openness to New Grantees

Evaluate how much a funder gave to New Grantees vs. Repeat Grantees over the years, so you can prioritize which funders should be at the top of your focus list.

Total Giving: See what % of Grantees are first time applicants over the years

See the breakdown of total awards that were given to New vs. Repeat Grantees over time. In the example above, the Ford Foundation gave 21.17% of awards to New Grantees over the last 3 years.

Hover over each bar to see that 36.6% of awards were given to New Grantees vs 64.3% of awards given to Repeat Grantees in 2019. If we were to find another foundation where the % given to New Grantees was even higher, we may consider prioritizing that opportunity first.

Grant Amounts: compare New grantees vs. Repeat grantees award sizes

Use the Grant Amounts to estimate how much you should ask for as a new applicant. As seen above, New Grantees were awarded a median of $15,000 by the Ford Foundation over the last 3 years.

The breakdown of funding between New vs. Repeat Grantees can also help you assess the ROI of building a relationship with this funder. The Ford Foundation’s median giving amount of $150,000 to Repeat Grantees in 2019 can be used as an indicator of the potential funding from a long term relationship with this funder.

Returning applicants can determine if they should ask current funders for more money next year based on the median grant size to Returning Grantees. In the chart above, Repeat Grantees were awarded a median of $150,000 in 2019.

Want to analyze a funder’s Openness to New Grantees? Upgrade to Standard.

Trends in Giving Average and Median Amounts: Spot the big picture trends

When looking at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, their Foundation's giving median has increased over the years - going from $130,000 in 2015 up to $493,000 in 2019.

Past Grantees: Identify exactly which organizations are New grantees vs. Repeat

Now you can browse through all of the individual past grantees in the "All-time" tab. Click on the individual year tabs (i.e 2019, 2018) to see the column "New Grantee?" appear. A check mark under the "New Grantee?" column signifies that organization was a first time applicant.

In the example below, 3 Arts and 3 Legged Dog were both first time applicants (and first time awardees!) of the Ford Foundation in 2019.

You can even use the search bar to parse through the Grant Purpose descriptions. In the example above, searching for "art" pulls up organizations whose grant purposes contain the word "art." Use the columns Amount, Purpose, Location, and New Grantee to see if this funder has funded similar organizations in your area, and how much was awarded.

The Past Grantee list can even give you ideas for organizations you can reach out to for tips or advice on how to build a relationship with the funder. You might even ask them for an introduction!

Giving by NTEE Code: See a funder's most popular Funding Categories

By using the IRS’ classification codes of nonprofits, spot trends like giving by category to understand what cause areas a funder likes funding most.

In the example below, see how Community Improvement & Capacity Building, along with Education are the Kresge Foundation's two most funded areas of giving.

Dig deeper into subclassifications, such as comparing Economic Development grant amounts to Community Service Clubs grant amounts - see what those subcategories Average and Median Grant amounts are.

The faster you can identify patterns, the faster you can prioritize the best fit funders and start focusing on building those funder relationships.

Want to see your funders’ top funding categories? Upgrade to Standard.

2. Foundation Discovery (in Beta)

With Foundation Discovery, you can now get intelligently matched to good fit funders that may be invite only or don’t even have a website! Previously on Instrumentl, you were only matched to open Opportunities across foundation, corporate and government sources.

Now Foundation Discovery is helping you surface good fit funders that may not be so visible, but who you may want to start building a relationship with.

Within your Instrumentl Matches, look for the new tab Funder Matches.

Note: This feature is in Beta and will continue to improve over time. If you run into any issues please let us know through the chat bubble!

Relationship building is key to going after any funder. With invite-only funders, however, your funding strategy will rely on relationship building. Foundation Discovery gives you the insights and clues to completing that first outreach by providing you with the funder’s Contact Information, Key People on their Board, and who their Past Grantees are.

If you would rather exclude invite-only funders from your matches, you can filter them out by de-selecting the box “Include invite-only funders.”

Scroll down the Funder page on the right hand side to see their Application Information for instructions on if and how you can apply, their deadline, and where to send applications.

When browsing through your matched Funders, you will have immediate access to this funder’s Advanced Funder Insights, so you can see their Openness to New Grantees, Giving by NTEE Code, Past Grantees, and more - all in one place.

Once you’ve decided whether to pursue this Funder, hit Save or Hide to move this funder out of your Matches.

With everything in one view, now your Instrumentl Matches will show you active opportunities and funders that may not be so visible, while utilizing Advanced Funder Insights to help you more quickly determine the good fit funders for your organization.

Ready to see a comprehensive list of all your top matched funders? Upgrade to Standard.

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3. Recipient Profiles

Easily separate Recipient Profiles from Funder Profiles and do a reverse search to find similar nonprofits to yours and see who funded them.

First, look up a nonprofit similar to yours in the QuickFind, in the top left corner of your home screen. From the QuickFind results, click on their 990 report:

To the right of the organization name, toggle down to "View Recipient Profile" and scroll down to Past Awards Received.

This represents a list of funders that funded the nonprofit - including the funder's location, how much was awarded, and the purpose of that grant. From this list of new prospects, you can click on any funder name to further research its giving history and potential active opportunities in Instrumentl.

The Standard Plan will be constantly improving over time - this is just the beginning!

To upgrade to the Standard Plan, log in to Instrumentl and navigate to

Questions or feedback on the Standard Plan? Send us a chat when you're logged in, or email us

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