Is GrantWatch Worth It?
Because they provide for more efficient ways to search for new funding opportunities, grant discovery platforms have become an indispensable part of most nonprofits’ fundraising strategies.
If you’re looking to optimize your grant proposal process, you might have considered signing up for one of these platforms. And one of the names you might have seen suggested is GrantWatch. But is GrantWatch really worth it?
This article will examine some of GrantWatch’s key features and pricing plans to help you figure out whether this is the best value grant discovery platform for your nonprofit.
What Are Some of GrantWatch's Key Features?
Founded by Libby Hikind, GrantWatch is one of the leading grant discovery platforms in North America. Not exclusive to nonprofits, GrantWatch is most well-known for its extensive list of grants that are available to individuals, causes, or businesses.
But what else can GrantWatch offer you? Below, we’ve examined some of GrantWatch’s key features so you can better assess whether its services are compatible with your needs.
Finding New RFPs and Funders
As mentioned above, GrantWatch’s main selling point is its extensive database. Members with a free account and paid accounts can both search for grants by recipient type, location, category interest, funding source type, and deadlines. These include grants available to individuals, nonprofits, start-ups, and more.
According to GrantWatch’s website, 70% of their grants come from private and public foundations, as well as corporations and charities. The other 30% comes from local, state, and federal government.
GrantWatch includes detailed Information on these grants, however the full information is only available to paid members. Users also get access to RFP links for funders and have the additional option to search grants by keywords.
However, GrantWatch does not include foundation or funder profiles, forcing users to do their own research to determine whether the funder is a good match for their organization.
Tracking Prospect Research and Submissions
While access to a “My Grants Calendar” is available to both free and paid members, GrantWatch does not provide services such as application trackers, deadline reminders, or the ability to create notes or save prospects for later use.
This is perhaps GrantWatch’s biggest drawback, as it means that it can only assist you through part of your grant proposal journey.
For more information on other grant management options, you can check out this post on our blog.
Collaboration and Reporting
As GrantWatch focuses almost exclusively on the search part of the grant writing process, it does not offer any collaboration features. It also does not have any tools that can aid in crafting a grant report.
GrantWatch Pricing Plans Examined
GrantWatch offers two types of membership: their regular Membership, and their MemberPlus+.
Their regular membership is a free account that gives access to their search tools. Their MemberPlus+ is a paid subscription that offers some extra information and perks on top of the regular membership.
There are a variety of payment options available for MemberPlus+ subscribers. These include:
- Weekly subscription payments ($18 every 7 days)
- Monthly subscription payments ($45 every 30 days)
- Quarterly subscription payments ($90 every 90 days)
- Annual subscription payments ($199 every 365 days)
As you can see, when it comes to the MemberPlus+, the annual subscription option offers the best value. However, if you are a smaller nonprofit who will only be using GrantWatch’s services for a short period of time every year, the flexibility of only paying for that period of active use might be a benefit.
That being said, there are not that many differences between the free Membership account and the paid MemberPlus+ one. Individual circumstances might make it so those extra perks might not be worth the extra cost, especially when compared with other GrantWatch alternatives whose usefulness spans across the entire grant proposal process.
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What Others Have to Say About GrantWatch
Now that we’ve examined GrantWatch’s pricing and key features, it is time to see what others have to say about this platform.
User reviews can be an incredible way to discover not only whether a service is as good as advertised, but whether it will be useful to you personally. After all, the features that make something a four star to one nonprofit might be inconsequential to someone else.
When it comes to GrantWatch, we can see a pattern of positive comments when discussing its extensive database. Many members are happy with the ease with which they can find new grants that they might have not heard of before.
This commenter, answering a question regarding the legitimacy of GrantWatch on Quora, vouches for its excellent service, deeming its database an incredible resource.
However, some have expressed concern with the relevance of some of these search results. A reviewer in the subreddit r/entrepreneur complained that, when searching for new grants, most of the results were irrelevant to his specific circumstance. This concern was echoed by a different user in the r/nonprofit subreddit, an online community where those in the nonprofit industry can discuss some of the challenges and opportunities they face.
Overall, there seems to be an agreement that while GrantWatch’s database is massive, making it a useful resource, it is not curated enough, nor does it have the features that would make it easy to filter out all of the excess. This may cut down on efficiency of search, and make some question whether the MembershipPlus+ option is worth it when compared to the free version.
Is There a Better GrantWatch Alternative? Instrumentl Examined
Now that we have taken the time to examine GrantWatch’s key features, pricing plans, and users’ opinions, it is time to talk about alternatives.
While a useful and affordable resource, the truth is that GrantWatch operates almost exclusively as a database. This, when coupled with a lack of curation and other features, means that GrantWatch is helpful mostly during the early stages of the grant writing process.
Instrumentl, on the other hand, goes far beyond the basics. More than just a discovery tool, Instrumentl’s unique features help nonprofits optimize their entire grant proposal process, creating a more efficient workflow that not only takes less time, but also allows for smarter strategies.
Furthermore, Instrumentl’s 14 day free trial gives nonprofits the opportunity to try out their service before committing to a full subscription.
Below, we’ve broken down Instrumentl’s key features so that you can see for yourself how this alternative to GrantWatch compares.
Finding New RFPs and Funders
Instrumentl goes one step further than most discovery platforms by not just giving you the tools to find new funding sources, but by also providing you with personalized recommendations.
Its intelligent algorithm is constantly scanning through its huge grants database to find funding matches for your projects. When it comes to helping you find funders, Instrumentl is not just a passive tool to be used, it is a proactive partner that helps your nonprofit help the world.
Instrumentl’s database is extensive, highly curated, and focused solely on nonprofits. Instrumentl also provides funder profiles that include detailed insights into giving patterns over multiple years, information on past grantees, average and median awards, and much more. All of this is gathered into a single, easy-to-read page, so that you can have access to all the relevant information you need to create a smarter strategy without having to click through multiple tabs and links.
Tracking Prospect Research and Submissions
As we mentioned above, Instrumentl is not only useful during the search part of your grant process. Highly regarded by grant writing consultants, its tracking features let you organize your workspace by project or saved search, and Instrumentl will send you email notifications whenever a funder makes a change to their deadline or their stated priorities.
Their grant calendar feature helps you plan out future submissions. You can also make changes in status to manage your proposals throughout multiple stages of the grant life cycle.
Collaboration and Reporting
No man is an island, and change is brought forth by people working together. This is why Instrumentl made it easy for people to collaborate on the same project, letting you create and assign tasks to different team members so you can better keep track of what everyone is doing at all times.
With Instrumentl, you can also auto-create links to RFP and foundation summaries, making easy-to-read PDF or CSV reports that will save you time in the long run.
Wrapping Up: Is GrantWatch Worth It?
It is often said that finding the right grant to apply for is half the battle of the grant proposal process. Uncovering new funders is difficult, and databases such a GrantWatch can truly make a difference by providing nonprofits with the tools they need to make such discoveries.
But if finding the right grant is half the battle, then GrantWatch, as robust as it is, is only offering a limited amount of assistance. While its free membership could be worth the new leads, perhaps investing in a platform whose services can help you throughout your entire grant journey would be more valuable in the long run.
Instrumentl, by contrast, can help nonprofits navigate every part of the grant life cycle thanks to its extensive database, its tracking and calendar features, and its collaboration and reporting tools. You can set forth in your grant journey by starting a free 14 day trial today.