FAQ

Who uses Instrumentl?

Nonprofits and professional grant writing consultants use Instrumentl to get matched with the right funders, reveal funders’ giving trends, and efficiently track and manage their grants. 

Explore specific use cases for each in the answers below. 

How do nonprofits typically use Instrumentl?

Nonprofits typically use us to bring everything related to institutional fundraising to one place. This includes grant prospecting, tracking, and management. 

We work off the concept of a project, which is a "workspace" with two components: a saved grant search and a grant tracker. With our Grant Tracker, you can save your favorite grants and track them over time, receive deadline reminders, view your history with a grant or funder, set up tasks and task reminders, ​​​and see your progress from a bird’s eye view.

With projects, nonprofits can easily stay organized on every key grant fundraising effort and get automatically matched with new, relevant grants as they come up. 

Nonprofits also make use of 990 data breakdowns to evaluate funders by spotting trends such as new grantees, geographical giving, grant sizes and giving by category, to only spend time on grants that hold the biggest potential for them. 

Check out this page to discover more Instrumentl use cases for nonprofits. 

What type of nonprofits does Instrumentl serve best?

At this time, we’re only working with US-based 501c(3)s with operating budgets over $90k or those regularly applying for grants. 

The reason behind this is most nonprofits who’ve reached this stage typically:

  • have either validated grants as a viable funding pathway and are looking to scale their grantseeking or
  • are ready to invest in seriously exploring grants and have the capacity to do so.

Do you help nonprofits outside of the US?

At this time, we are only working with US-based nonprofits registered under the 501c(3) tax-exemption status.

Are grants to individuals included? 

No, Instrumentl is an institutional fundraising platform. Hence, our grant database only includes grants designed for nonprofit organizations. 

How do grant writing consultants typically use Instrumentl?

Grant writing consultants typically set up separate projects for each client they are working for. 

We work off the concept of a project, which is a "workspace" with two components: a saved grant search and a grant tracker. With Grant Tracker,  you can save your favorite grants and track them over time, receive deadline reminders, view your history with a grant or funder, set up tasks and task reminders, ​​​and see your progress from a bird’s eye view.

Sometimes for larger clients, you may find yourself pursuing multiple funding initiatives at the same time. In that case, it’s advised to create different projects for each key funding initiative.

For example, you may be consulting for an afterschool program that has both a literacy program and a math program. In this situation, you would create one project for the literacy program and another for the math program. Keeping these two separate, allows you to customize your searches for both respective programs. 

Check out this page to discover more Instrumentl use cases for grant writing consultants. 

What kinds of grants do you have?

Instrumentl is the most comprehensive, up­-to­-date source of active grants for nonprofits in any field. 

We match our grant-seekers with over $1 billion in active grants from:

  • Corporate funders
  • Federal governments
  • State governments
  • Private foundations
  • Community foundations
  • Clubs and societies

For academic research, Instrumentl is specialized in grants for researchers in fields related to the environment (including all non-human biology), earth sciences, and agriculture.

What sets Instrumentl apart?

Here are the six things only Instrumentl can do. Most alternatives can provide only a few of these features. 

  • The most comprehensive grant database — Instrumentl is the most comprehensive source of active and open grants for any field. We pull grants from corporate, private, federal, and even state funding sources, you don't need to search anywhere else.
  • Intelligent matching to the right funders — Our smart matching algorithm automatically matches your projects to the new, relevant funding opportunities as they come up.
  • Up-to-date grant information — We pull the eligibility criteria from a funder's website and 990s and consolidate it on one, easy-to-read page (see example). Additionally, we track funder websites 24/7 and notify you when there is a material change — such as a change of deadline or giving preferences —  so you’re always in the loop. 
  • Clearly visualized 990s & foundation profiles Strategically evaluate new and existing funders by spotting revealing trends such as new grantees, geographical giving, grant sizes, and giving by category through clear breakdowns of funders’ 990 data. 
  • Grant management  — Save your favorite grants on the Grant Tracker, receive deadline reminders, view your history with a grant or funder, set up tasks and task reminders, ​​​and see your progress from a bird’s eye view.
  • Grant reporting — Export any of your saved grants pipeline data into an easy-to-read PDF or CSV in seconds. Share them with your clients or nonprofit team on a weekly or monthly basis to keep everyone in the loop on your latest progress.

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What if I already have a pipeline or tracker for grants? Is it easy to switch over?

Absolutely! Just create your account and your first project. Then, you’ll be able to import your existing grant tracker into Instrumentl.

In the case where you have a lot of opportunities, you may find our template here helpful. Our team will be on standby to help you make sure everything is imported as needed. 

How is Instrumentl different from other grant tools?

We’re glad you asked! Instrumentl differentiates itself by bringing grant prospecting, tracking, and management to one easy-to-use platform.  

Most alternatives will only cover one or two of these three aspects.

Review these helpful deep-dives comparing Instrumentl to the common tools here:

Learn about the eight things only we can do here.

How much does Instrumentl cost?

You can learn about our pricing here.

We also offer higher-tiered plans that help you further accelerate your institutional fundraising efforts. For example, our Standard Plan includes Foundation Discovery, Advanced Funder Insights (i.e. 990 data breakdowns), and Recipient Profiles

These features help you find even more good-fit funders who may not have active grant opportunities, quickly analyze funder trends from 990 data and reverse search who is funding a nonprofit to find more good-fit funders faster.

All this and more can be explored on our pricing page

Do you offer a discount for nonprofits?

All of our customers are nonprofits or grant writing consultants who serve nonprofits. As such, our pricing is our nonprofit pricing.

Where I can get help on how to use Instrumentl? 

You can find answers to all the questions related to product and its features in our Help Center. 

Who is behind Instrumentl?

We’re a team of former nonprofit development staff, scientists, and software engineers. We built Instrumentl because we had trouble finding grants for our own projects and we knew there had to be a better way. We’re headquartered in San Francisco, California, but we're a 100% remote company.

You can learn more about Instrument’s mission and the team here

Have any other questions?

We’re here to help! Send us an email and we’ll get back to you ASAP. 

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We just received our first gift as a result of using Instrumentl. That's $10,000 in funds from using the tool this year so far. Our grant applications are double over what we have done in previous years due to finding funders that are a good match for us. Our grant writer is thrilled with the tool and says she is busier than ever and likes it!

Tim Hale

Director of Development, New Life Ranch

Intrumentl is KEY
Instrumentl approached our organization in early 2020 and pitched their platform to me. It didn't take long to recognize that it was a valuable tool that was easy to navigate. We've applied for over 100 grants throughout the pandemic and Instrumentl has made it SO EASY to find, categorize, organize, and distribute that grant writing workload. I honestly can't say enough good about it. If you're looking for an intuitive platform that can help your team facilitate the grant-seeking/grant application process, look no further.

Lindsey Petersen

Director Of Operations

This is the best tool for finding & organizing grants that are a fit for our non-profit. I used to hire someone to do research but now I can do it on my own with Instrumentl AND Instrumentl automatically reminds me of deadlines. Instrumentl is a BIG DEAL!

Pamela Weese

Board Member - Donor Relations and Grants Management, NMDOG

One of the things I love about Instrumentl is that it cuts down the amount of time I spend researching foundations. Every name I’ve plugged in to its “search” feature so far has popped up with a list of past grants and easy access to 990’s. It’s also made it very easy to share this information with my boss with a built in email sharing function. I wish I had more time to use it the way it was intended – that is to say as a means of finding new grant opportunities and tracking progress. Until that day comes, it has been very helpful to have a user-friendly database of information at my fingertips.

Ann Chatterson

Development Associate

Rich Resource and Platform for Managing Institutional Funding
Instrumentl works for us beautifully on two levels. First, it identifies opportunities for funding specific projects and our organization as a whole. It has become our primary research engine. Just as importantly, it does a wonderful job of keeping us organized in our institutional funding efforts, tracking by date and project so that we can open the platform and get right to work.

Lucinda J. Garthwaite

Director

Gamechanger for nonprofit fundraising
Instrumentl - the BEST place to find opportunities & take your organization to the next level!!!
Instrumentl makes the complexity of seeking out and finding well-aligned funding opportunities so easy! The first time I used Instrumentl, I was trying to find potential funders for multiple complex projects/programs for our organization's affiliates in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, West Virginia, and our hospitals, and under an incredibly intense time crunch. At the time, I was using another well-known search engine but was so stressed out and frustrated realizing that I was looking at a multi-day, possibly multi-week, search and deliver, and would not be able to meet my deadline. I knew there had to be something better, so I found Instrumentl and their 14-day free trial and tried it. WOW!! Through Instrumentl, I was able to accomplish in 6 hours...SIX HOURS...what would have taken days or weeks with the other search engine. I absolutely LOVED Instrumentl so much on that very first try, that I called them and asked if I could be a beta-test customer for their upgrades and any new services. I no longer stress out when met tight deadline challenges because I know without a doubt that Instrumentl has my back!!!

Farrell Rouse

Grants Manager

I'm very impressed with Instrumentl. I can now have all grant information in one place. Not only do I receive a massive amount of new matches on our projects, I can also see deadlines and pipeline status at a glance. It's been great to share the load with teammates through the platform and stay organized.

Kris Cole

Director of Marketing & Development, Carolina Raptor Center