“What I really like about Instrumentl as an all-year round platform is that we can track on a year-on-year basis, we got history in there, we got documents in there. It just makes everything easier.”

Beth Noble, Senior Grant Administrator at Phoenix Children’s Foundation

customer

Beth Noble, Senior Grant Administrator at Phoenix Children’s Foundation

ORGANIZATION

Phoenix Children's Foundation

location

Phoenix, Arizona, US

website

https://phoenixchildrensfoundation.org/

focus areas

Healthcare, Children

$ raised with grants found from Instrumentl

Raised / tracked through Instrumentl

favorite Instrumentl Features

Comprehensive database, 990s insights, Projects, collaboration features

About

Phoenix Children's Foundation

Phoenix Children's Foundation is one of the leading pediatric health systems in the Southwest and is nationally recognized for exceptional care, innovative research, and advanced medical education.

How Phoenix Children’s Foundation Saves 3 Hours Per Week on Grant Prospecting

Beth Noble, the Senior Grant Administrator at the Phoenix Children's Foundation, started her career in the nonprofit sector back in 1983 and has almost four decades of experience working as a staff member, program manager, or director at various organizations.

About 25 years ago, Beth began focusing more on grant work. Now, as the Senior Grant Administrator at Phoenix Children’s Foundation, she’s responsible for managing multiple different grant opportunities at a time:

“At my current role, it’s definitely more about the private sector. I’m responsible for post-award management, doing reports, doing a lot of tracking, and all by following different protocols since we are a big organization.”

Since Beth is the main person doing most of the grant work she is the primary user of Instrumentl. However, the foundation is also working with a consulting firm and a full-time prospect researcher who is assigned to anything that’s in the Research status in Instrumentl.

How Phoenix Children’s Foundation Started Using Instrumentl

Beth discovered Instrumentl at a GPA conference. Her colleague who was working with her at the time attended the vendor meeting and got really excited about Instrumentl. They were most impressed by the quality of matches they were getting and the research that’s done automatically within the platform:

“After we both had a vendor meeting with Gauri [Instrumentl’s CEO], we then presented it to our director at the time and made a case for getting an account with Instrumentl.”

The prospect research features were very intriguing to their team because that’s one of the most time-consuming activities. When you’re part of a smaller team, you don’t really have time to waste, Beth shared with us. The team also especially liked the collaborative features of the platform and the ability to track everything:

“I like database features a lot. I like that I can show progress for my proposal from researching all the way to submitted, or awarded, or declined, or whatever the status is. I have a record of everything. I can upload documents, it’s just very convenient.”
Application Cycles in Instrumentl

Naturally, we were curious to learn more about how Beth typically uses Instrumentl and what makes the platform worth using all year round.

All-in-One Grants Platform That Makes Everything Easier

Beth’s favorite thing she likes about Instrumentl is having all of her Projects in one place and then being able to have a clear Status attached to each of them:

“I like that we’re able to clearly see what’s in the pipeline and what’s planned for each year. And then we’re able to move them through the stages as the process goes through.”

Beth is not doing the grant prospect and research part of the work anymore now that they have a full-time prospect researcher. However, their researcher likes to see the 990s, the graphs, and the summaries of the funders—their priorities, and their funding ranges:

“I myself enjoy the data – I like to see how many grants have they awarded, how much money have they given over the years, and how amenable they are to new grantees.”

Instrumentl also provides transparency and serves as a single point of reference for everything related to their grant work:

“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.”

Beth also shared the typical workflow they have when it comes to grant work:

“Once the grant is moved to the Planned status, I typically consult with our Senior Director about future assignments. We work with a consulting firm and have limited hours with them, so we really try to assign them proposals that are of six figures in value and up. Everything else goes to me.”

Saving 3 Hours Per Week on Grant Prospecting

When it comes to grant prospecting, Phoenix Children’s Foundation managed to save approximately 3 hours per week on this otherwise time-consuming task. We asked Beth what made the biggest difference.

In addition to receiving notifications about Matches and enjoying a much more streamlined process, she shared that it’s also about having key information centralized in one place:

“I think what’s hard sometimes when working on grants is finding who to contact. Then once you identify the contact person, you call them or write them an email, and then they might not respond to your call or provide you with an answer.
So you have to figure out what’s the appropriate amount of time to wait to follow up again. And this can be challenging and time-consuming.”

Having immediate access to easily digestible information such as 990s or Foundation Profiles in Instrumentl helps a lot. 

Beth has been using Instrumentl since 2021 and a lot has changed since the early days, mainly thanks to newly added features:

“I’m just grateful for the new features and the ability to work more efficiently. Whenever we have a suggestion for a product update, your team gets genuinely excited about it and they want to make the change so that our experience improves.”

Tips for Other Nonprofits and Future Instrumentl Users

When it comes to work challenges, Beth said there’s definitely a common theme she discovered while working and interacting with her colleagues. That’s also something she would like to share with other nonprofit professionals:

“We need to remember that, when we do a grant proposal, we’re going to have deliverables, there’s gonna be strings attached, we’re going to have reports to do, we’re going to have outcomes to measure.”

Beth says she believe Instrumentl brings incredible value to any nonprofit but that larger organizations definitely need it:

“If I got something in one year and it’s going into the next, I can just duplicate it and move it and change the year. I don’t have to re-enter anything. So I really think it does streamline a lot of processes. Most importantly, Instrumentl is keeping you historical. Having everything in one place is so valuable and important for success.”

As her final tip, Beth says it’s truly important to explore Instrumentl and be curious about the different ways it can support your work:

“Use the tool, populate it every year. Move prospects through the stages, update those statuses, keep everything in a single repository. When you’ve got it in Instrumentl, it’s easier to access.”

Pro tip: To learn how to make the most of Instrumentl, check out our Best Practices page.

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Thank you Beth for sharing your amazing story with us! We wish your foundation a lot of success in the future.

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