3 Best Grantfinder Online Alternatives & Competitors [2024]

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Published:

February 13, 2023

Last Updated:

January 17, 2024

Funding is critical for nonprofits, allowing them to extend their reach in the world. However, it’s not always easy to find opportunities if you don’t know what you’re looking for. That’s where grant discovery platforms like GrantFinder come in.

Inside Philanthropy’s GrantFinder is a helpful tool that can connect you with potential matches to meet your funding needs.

However, it’s not the only option on the market. You may be wondering if it’s the right fit, so let’s take a deeper look at why you might look for GrantFinder alternatives and whether there’s a better tool out there to fit your needs.

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What Is GrantFinder?

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Inside Philanthropy is an organization that helps demystify the philanthropy industry, providing insights into how foundations and donors use their resources.

GrantFinder is a part of their services, compiling major grants, foundations, and individual donors into a database of grants so nonprofits can easily find their next funding opportunity.

GrantFinder allows you to explore grants by area, donors, and geographic location. Each brings you to a page with current funding trends and more. This information, when combined with the database, helps you understand the current funding state and what your odds of succeeding may be.

While it is a good basic search engine, GrantFinder has limited features and functionality that can lead some people to look for GrantFinder alternatives. We’ll explore some of these limitations below.

Why You Might Look for GrantFinder Alternatives?

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With all the benefits of GrantFinder and the powerful backing of industry powerhouse Inside Philanthropy, you may be wondering why people choose other platforms. There are pros and cons to each grant discovery platform and here are five reasons you may want to look elsewhere than GrantFinder:

1. You Want More Funding Opportunities.

Inside Philanthropy only includes grantmakers with at least $50,000 in annual funding, which is great for larger organizations that are looking for more substantial grants.

However, smaller nonprofits may be looking for smaller grants that are less competitive. This is one of the biggest reasons why an organization might look for GrantFinder alternatives.

GrantFinder also excludes one-off gifts or sporadic giving, further narrowing down the opportunities available in their search engine. GrantFinder does this because they want their members to build deep and lasting relationships with their funders.

Another huge drawback is that GrantFinder also doesn’t list any active RFPs or current grant opportunities. This means you’ll have to do some digging to see what grants are currently active.

2. You Want More Up-to-date Information.

GrantFinder employs a team to update their database, and all of their profiles have been compiled by trained individuals. However, these profiles are only updated once a year.

Occasionally, certain funders change their requirements or funding opportunities throughout the year, and GrantFinder may miss these important bits of information. For critical donors, GrantFinder may update their profiles throughout the year; however, this is the exception, not the rule.

Some users end up finding an opportunity on GrantFinder and then go to that funder’s website to verify requirements and find the latest information. The best grant finder websites would do the leg work for you and serve as a one-stop shop.

3. You Want More Analytics.

Data makes the world go around, and that includes when you’re looking for funding. The more information that you have about an organization, its past grants, current giving trends, and more, the better!

Detailed funder profiles allow you to better target your application, giving you the competitive edge that could make or break your funding strategy.

However, GrantFinder lacks the data and visualization that other platforms have, which is a huge factor when narrowing down your choices. Their foundation profiles are limited and they don’t offer detailed funder insights compared to other top grant discovery platforms.

4. You Want More Tracking.

When you’re trying to land the next grant, tracking and management is essential, and GrantFinder is lacking in this area. There are no ways to track your submissions, nor are there calendars, reminders, or avenues to manage your application lifecycle.

For many, these features are critical in their search for the best grant discovery and management websites; however, GrantFinder appears to be missing some of these key functions.

They’re not dealbreakers by any means. Many nonprofits still manage their applications through spreadsheets and other manual processes; however, if you’re paying for a service, it may be worth finding a GrantFinder alternative.

Tracking and organization can help you centralize your workflow and streamline your processes for enhanced efficiencies, but you don’t get that in GrantFinder.

5. You Want to Collaborate With Your Team.

Collaboration is critical when it comes to applying for grants, and unfortunately, GrantFinder is limited when it comes to these collaboration features. For example, they do not offer multi-user collaboration on the platform, so you have to take any discussions with your peers or teams off GrantFinder to keep the conversation going.

GrantFinder also lacks document libraries for increased organization, task management, and more.

At the end of the day, if you’re paying for a grant discovery service, you want to do as much on-site as you can. It will ensure nothing gets forgotten and you can properly manage your grant application process. GrantFinder is one option, but there may be others that provide an overall better value, especially when it comes to collaboration.

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3 Best GrantFinder Alternatives in 2024

Alternative

Is GrantFinder the best grant finder website? It depends on what you’re using it for. They have a fantastic breadth of substantial grants, which can make an impact on your organization’s success.

However, if you would benefit from more tools and features that GrantFinder doesn’t offer, here are three of the best GrantFinder alternatives.

In this GrantFinder comparison, we’ll take a look at pricing, features, listings, ease of use, customer reviews, and more to help you see if another platform can better meet your needs.

1. Instrumentl

Instrumentl Homepage

Instrumentl is one of the best grant discovery tools on the market today. With a comprehensive online database and a platform filled with robust features, you’re sure to fill all your grant discovery and management needs on this platform.

From prospect research to tracking to reporting, you’re covered over all parts of the grant cycle, which is a huge plus when you compare GrantFinder to Instrumentl.

Pricing:

Instrumentl Pricing

Much like other platforms, Instrumentl offers tiered pricing, with plans starting at just $179/month. If you’re not sure, Instrumental offers a 14-day free trial to help you test the platform out and see if it’s the best grant finder website for you.

Features:

Instrumentl Features
Instrumentl Features
Instrumentl Features
Instrumentl Features

Instrumentl has a lot going on to help you secure funding and manage your grants. Its key features include:

  • A Smart matching algorithm to match you to new and existing opportunities that align with your organization, including active grants and foundations. You can get a weekly roundup of what’s out there for you.
  • Detailed foundation profiles that include information about past giving, recipients, and average grant amounts.
  • Grant tracking that helps you organize your submissions—even if you found the opportunity using another service. Organize your grants by year, project, or application stage for ease of use. There are even deadline reminders, calendar views, and more to give a holistic view.
  • Document library to serve as a repository of all your critical grant information.
  • You can also quickly export all your information with CSV and PDF reporting in Instrumentl.

Listings:

Instrumentl is proud to offer funding opportunities from all sectors, including private, community, corporate, federal, and state governments, and clubs and societies. If there’s a funding opportunity, Instrumentl does its best to capture it and bring it to you. They also include active RFPs, letting you know what funding opportunities are available now.

Ease of Use:

Instrumentl is incredibly user-friendly thanks to its well-organized interface. Its platform is intuitive to use and customizable to meet your needs. There’s no sharp learning curve, so all you have to do is sign up and jump right in. You’ll find new funding opportunities in no time.

Customer Reviews:

Instrumentl is an award-winning grant discovery and management platform, which is why it is among the best of the best—and thousands of happy customers agree.

Many report that it saves time, helping them locate opportunities on a single platform with less effort. While they recognize it’s an investment, when you do a GrantFinder comparison, you get a much better value that will yield dividends for your organization.

Instrumentl Customer Reviews

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2. Foundation Directory Online

Foundation Directory Online is a database that provides detailed grantmaker information, equipping you with the tools and resources you need to find funding.

Pricing:

Foundation Directory Online offers two subscription tiers: essential and professional. The essential subscription includes basic functions and costs about $36/month.

If you’re looking for more robust features, you’ll want to spring for the professional subscription. It will cost nearly $127/month; however, it comes with access to funder profiles, recipient information, and other tools.

To get the best value, you’ll sign a two-year commitment billed upfront, but you can also pay month to month if you’re looking for flexibility.

Features:

Foundation Directory Online offers several key features; however, keep in mind that to take advantage of most of these, you must sign up for a professional subscription.

Foundation Directory Online Features
Foundation Directory Online Features
Foundation Directory Online Features

Their core features include:

  • Searchable grants database with advanced search optimization, including area, location, and population.
  • Foundation profiles with organization overviews, as well as summaries of their giving history and recipient profiles.
  • My FDO, which is an organizational feature that helps you create projects, save funders, set tasks and alerts, and more.

There are not quite as many features as Instrumentl, so you’ll be limited, especially when you try to collaborate on the platform. Additionally, there are no document libraries and very limited RFP listings, which leads many to use multiple platforms.

Listings:

Foundation Directory reports that they share information on more than 240,000 grantmakers, which is fairly robust. They include information on private foundations, community foundations, corporations, and federal and state governments, though they offer limited RFP information.

Ease of Use:

Foundation Directory Online is fairly basic, with search being the biggest focus of the platform. It’s easy to use, if not a little outdated, when it comes to recent trends in web design. You may have to dig for some of the features, but overall, it’s usable.

Customer Reviews:

Foundation Directory Online is beloved by many users, some of whom have used it since it was a printed directory. That loyalty keeps them coming back, calling it an “excellent resource” and “a must-have”.

Foundation Directory Online Customer Reviews
Foundation Directory Online Customer Reviews

The major complaints are the interface. As Foundation Directory updates its platform, some users find it difficult to navigate. Commonly used features are something they have to search for, and the process becomes cumbersome. This is mostly an issue for existing users over new ones.

3. GrantStation

GrantStation has been helping nonprofits secure funding since 1999, offering powerful search tools, insightful educational resources, and more.

Pricing:

GrantStation typically costs $699/year; however, there are often sales that you can snag to sign up at a discount. You can choose single or multi-year memberships, and the longer your commitment, the more you’ll save.

Features:

Even though GrantStation has been around for a while, it doesn’t have as many features as other grant discovery platforms.

GrantStation Features
GrantStation Features
GrantStation Features

Some of its key features include:

  • Searchable grant database to help you find active RFPs. You can search by interest, population, type of support/funder, location, and more. You can save your search criteria for ease of access.
  • Customizable dashboard that allows you to view saved searches and grantmakers, create projects, and more.
  • Interactive My Plan feature that helps you save opportunities, export due dates to integrate with external calendars, and more.

However, GrantStation does not offer foundation profiles, nor does it allow you to reverse search to learn more about the organization and who they fund. There is also no smart matching available.

You will also need to collaborate and organize off the platform as they don’t offer multi-user collaboration. If you’re looking for something more than just an active grants database, you’ll likely want to use a different platform.

Listings:

GrantStation pulls together funding opportunities from across all sectors, including private and community foundations, corporations, and federal and state governments. There is no estimate available on exactly how many opportunities are available.

Ease of Use:

GrantStation has been around for more than 20 years, so it has to be doing something right! Users find it easy to navigate, especially the search functionality; however, it does not have a modern interface and can be a little outdated. Other features are less noticeable, but if you can spend some time digging, you’ll master it in no time.

Customer Reviews:

Many customers are happy with the results they got from using GrantStation, including landing critical funding. Not only were they able to locate opportunities on the website, but they also were able to partake in the many resources and webinars to help strengthen their proposals and hone their skills.

GrantStation Customer Reviews

Is Instrumentl the Best GrantFinder Alternative? There's Only One Way to Find Out

Best

Instrumentl is one of the best grant discovery and management platforms on the market today, helping you do much more than just locate grants.

Instrumentl offers features to help you navigate the entire grants pipeline—not just part of it. We help you search, track, manage, and report on your grants all within the same platform, and with the free 14-day trial, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a try.

When you look at GrantFinder compared to Instrumentl, there are several key aspects that set Instrumentl apart. These include:

  • Smart matching to RFPs and foundation profiles, saving time and energy to find your next opportunity.
  • Robust end-to-end grant tracking and management, allowing you to oversee the entire grant lifecycle within one platform.
  • Seamless collaboration across teams and projects, connecting you with others in your organization to foster efficiencies.

GrantFinder doesn’t support multiple users, send automatic reminders, or intelligently match you to new opportunities. When you’re asking yourself if GrantFinder is the best grant finder website, keep these limitations in mind and try our 14-day free trial to see what Instrumentl has to offer.

Wrapping Up: 3 Best GrantFinder Alternatives & Competitors

Alternatives

When you’re selecting the best grant finder websites, you want to understand how you plan to use them. There are plenty of options on the market that aggregate opportunities; however if you want more than that, you may want to seek a GrantFinder alternative.

Instrumentl can do everything GrantFinder does—and then some! And, when you sign up for our 14-day free trial, you can experience firsthand the difference Instrumentl can make in your funding strategy.

At the end of the day, you want a smart-matching grants database that can help you find new opportunities with minimal effort so you can focus on securing funding and making a difference for years to come.

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl team

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