4 Best GrantWatch Alternatives & Competitors [2024]

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Published:

December 19, 2022

Last Updated:

January 12, 2024

If you work in nonprofit fundraising, you know that finding grant opportunities is one of the most important elements of your job.

GrantWatch is a well-known and popular tool for locating possible grant opportunities, but there are actually TONS of grant finder websites out there, and some of them can help you with much, much more than just finding grants.

But not every grant discovery tool offers the same help! Let’s do a GrantWatch overview and comparison so you can find the best grant finder website for your nonprofit!

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What Is GrantWatch?

GrantWatch

GrantWatch is a grant discovery tool that collects and lists almost 30,000 grant opportunities from foundations, state and local governments, and corporations.

GrantWatch users can search for grants by type, location, or keyword, and includes the option to save specific searches. GrantWatch sends out a weekly newsletter with new grant information and also features a grant calendar tool.

GrantWatch is relatively cheap compared to many other grant finder websites, like FDO, but its features are limited. For example, GrantWatch does not provide foundation profiles for any of their grant opportunities, meaning you’ll have to put in additional research to learn more about the funder and determine whether your nonprofit is a good fit.

GrantWatch Pricing

GrantWatch may or may not be the best grant website for your nonprofit. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you might want a GrantWatch alternative!

Why You Might Look for a GrantWatch Alternative

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1. You’re looking for more in-depth information on funders.

As previously mentioned, GrantWatch only provides information on active grant opportunities and does not provide profiles of the actual funder organizations. This makes it harder to assess if a funder is a good fit for your nonprofit because you have to gather information on the funder from other sources.

You might consider a GrantWatch alternative if you want to be able to easily view funder profiles with information such as giving history and average grant size, total assets, 990s, contact information, and more. These kinds of funder insights make it much easier to determine if the funding opportunity is a good fit.

2. You want to be able to search by recipient/reverse search.

You may want to consider a GrantWatch alternative if you want the ability to look up nonprofits similar to yours and see who funds them. This is a useful tool for finding new funding sources and determining if a funder is a good fit for your organization.

3. You want to be automatically matched to good-fit funders.

On GrantWatch you can search using filters to narrow down results to those relevant to your nonprofit, but you can’t customize the suggestions you receive from GrantWatch.

You might start looking at GrantWatch alternatives if you want grant opportunity suggestions tailored to your organization’s mission or even to specific projects.

4. You want deadline reminders.

You can add grant opportunities to the calendar feature on GrantWatch, but you have to sign in and return to it to check the submission deadlines.

You might find a GrantWatch alternative appealing if you want to be automatically alerted to upcoming deadlines.

BONUS: Instrumentl doesn’t just alert you to upcoming deadlines! It also lets you know when funders change deadlines or priorities. This is a unique feature that very few grant finder websites have. See how Instrumentl compares to GrantWatch.

5. You want to collaborate with multiple users.

GrantWatch is only available to one user at a time.

So if you work with a development team and different team members are responsible for different elements of your grant pipeline, you may prefer a GrantWatch alternative that includes the option for multiple users and the ability to assign tasks to those users.

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4 Best GrantWatch Alternatives in 2024

Alternative

If GrantWatch doesn’t give you all the tools you need, what ARE the best grant finder websites? We’re going to break down four GrantWatch alternatives. We’ll look at their:

  • Pricing
  • Features
  • Types of grant listings
  • Ease of use
  • User thoughts

If you're ready to see if GrantWatch is worth it, Let’s jump in!

1. Instrumentl

Instrumentl is a comprehensive online grant discovery and management tool that includes features to help with every step of the grant cycle—from prospects research to reporting.

How does Instrumentl compare to GrantWatch? Let’s dig down into what Instrumentl can offer your nonprofit and how other nonprofits feel about their Instrumentl subscriptions.

Pricing:

Instrumentl Pricing

Instrumentl offers a tiered subscription, with monthly costs ranging from $179/month to $499/month. Instrumentl also provides a 14-day free trial so that you can test out its features with no cost to your organization.

Features

  • Smart Grant Matching- Once you fill out key information about your organization and projects, Instrumentl’s Smart Grant Matching algorithm will identify open opportunities that align with your nonprofit. You’ll even get an email with new opportunities every week!
  • Foundation Profiles- this feature allows you to access rich foundation profiles that include information like the number of grant awards given in the past, location of recipients, and average grant amounts.
  • Grant Tracker- this extensive tracking tool allows you to add opportunities from Instrumentl’s database and from other databases. You can organize your submissions by year, project, and application stage.
  • Collaboration- you can have up to three users on any subscription tier. Custom Plans have unlimited users.
  • Automatic Deadline Reminders- this feature means you don’t have to continually check your upcoming deadlines because Instrumentl automatically tracks them and emails you when they are upcoming OR if their deadlines change.
  • Document Library- the Document Library allows you to keep all your grant documents in one accessible place. This way you can easily find both internal documents, such as grant planning documents and internal reports, as well as documents necessary for an application, such as IRS determination letters or supporting materials.
  • CSV and PDF Reports- Instrumentl will generate easy-to-understand reports that include the status of all your applications and future applications, how much money you’ve raised via grants, and your timeline. Impress your board without lifting a finger or pressing a key!
  • Foundation Discovery- this feature is similar to the Smart Grant Matching feature, only it ALSO includes foundations that don’t have websites or are invite-only, giving your nonprofit the “inside scoop” on hard-to-reach funders.
  • Recipient Profiles- look up nonprofits similar to yours—in size, location, and mission. Using the Recipient Profiles tool, you can see who funded similar nonprofits, when they received awards, for how much, and what kind of programs were funded.
  • Calendar View- this feature centralizes all your grant cycles and tasks into one place. Calendar View allows you to view all submissions, deadlines, tasks, and future cycles. Calendar View makes it easy for any user on your team to keep the big picture in mind and easily find their tasks and timeline.

Listings

Instrumentl has information over 400,000 funders, including:

  • Private foundations
  • Community foundations
  • Corporations
  • Federal government
  • State governments
  • Clubs and societies

Instrumentl is a one-stop shop for finding funders—you don’t need to worry about searching one place for family foundations and another for federal grants.

Ease of Use

Instrumentl is well-organized, customizable, and intuitive, making it easy to glean important information quickly and keep track of the many components of grant applications.

User Thoughts

Actual users offer the best insight into grant discovery websites. Instrumentl users include nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, as well as independent grant writers and grant consultants.

Instrumentl Reviews
Instrumentl Reviews

Instrumentl users praise the platform’s easy-to-use interface and useful features. Users are particularly impressed by the time they save on prospects research and the way their grants pipeline is streamlined from start to finish.

Instrumentl Reviews
Instrumentl Reviews

Summary

Instrumentl is a comprehensive grant finder and grant management tool that can help you navigate the entire grants lifecycle. Instrumentl is more expensive than GrantWatch, but has significantly more features and an accessible, modern site design. Users are almost universally positive about their experience using Instrumentl and it is rapidly gaining popularity as one of the most effective, efficient grant-finding and management platforms.

2. FoundationSearch

FoundationSearch, from Metasoft Systems Inc., offers top-to-tail grant and fundraising consulting, as well as a grants database and management tool.

How does FoundationSearch compare with Instrumentl? How about a GrantWatch comparison? Let’s take a closer look at FoundationSearch and see if it’s one of the best grant finder websites.

Pricing

FoundationSearch doesn’t list their pricing information on their website, requesting that you contact them for a quote. Their subscription prices vary, taking into account factors such as the size of your organization, the number of users who will be using the subscription, and the length of the contract.

Features

FoundationSearch Features
FoundationSearch Features
FoundationSearch Features
FoundationSearch Features
  • FoundationSearch- this is the grants database itself. You can search for foundations by geographic location, assets and income, areas of interest, and types of giving. You can also search for grant news and keywords from 990s.
  • Grant Analyzer- this feature allows you to search for foundations that have given to similar nonprofits. You can create an advanced search that filters by areas of interest, grant amounts, years, and geographic location. You can also search by recipient and save your searches.
  • My Foundation Manager- this is a suite of features within FoundationSearch to help nonprofits manage grant applications. It includes features that suggest good-fit funders, saved searches, a calendar, a tool to schedule calls, and alerts when foundations change information.

Listings

FoundationSearch lists private and community foundations, corporate grantmakers, and government grants in the U.S. and Canada depending on your location.

Ease of Use

FoundationSearch does not preview its prospect research and fundraising tools. The FoundationSearch dashboard is very thorough but can be a little confusing to navigate and the design is a little clunky. FoundationSearch recommends participating in presentations and tutorials about their services to learn how to use them effectively.

User Thoughts

FoundationSearch has many positive reviews on their website, such as these:

FoundationSearch Reviews
FoundationSearch Reviews

Users elsewhere observed that the interface was not always intuitive, but that FoundationSearch’s tutorials and customer service were helpful.

Summary

FoundationSearch offers more grant prospecting and management features than GrantWatch, but it takes longer to learn to use it efficiently. Instrumentl, on the other hand, offers even more features than FoundationSearch, and on a much more intuitive platform.

GrantStation

GrantStation is a grant finder that also provides planning tools and writing tutorials. How does GrantStation match up against other GrantWatch alternatives? Let’s dive in.

Pricing

There is only one GrantStation subscription tier, which costs $699/year. You can also purchase multi-year subscriptions and save a little bit of money. GrantStation offers periodic promotions to reduce the cost of subscriptions.

Features

GrantStation Features
GrantStation Features
GrantStation Features
  • Find Grantmakers- this is GrantStation’s searchable grant database. You can search by areas of interest, target populations, types of support, type of funder, and geographic location of funders. Search criteria are saveable.
  • Dashboard- on the Dashboard feature you can create descriptions of your nonprofit’s projects or programs, view saved searches, view saved grantmakers, and assign grantmakers to projects.
  • My Plan- this feature allows you to save grant opportunities and update the status of your application from a pre-selected list. You can also export due dates to your calendar software. This feature includes tools to help you analyze whether a funder is a good fit, information on similar nonprofits, and guides to creating reports.

Listings

GrantStation lists the following types of funders:

  • Private foundations
  • Community foundations
  • Corporations
  • Federal and state governments

Ease of Use

GrantStation is relatively easy to learn to use and navigate, and the search engine is straightforward. However, you will likely find that you have to dig deeper to figure out if a funder is the right fit for your organization.

User Thoughts

GrantStation is well-liked because of their regular discounts. Some examples of user testimonials include:

GrantStation Reviews
GrantStation Reviews

Summary

GrantStation is a relatively easy and cost-effective grant finder. It is less expensive than Instrumentl, but does not have nearly as many features.

Foundation Directory Online

Foundation Directory Online is a grant finder created by the company Candid. How does it stack up against other GrantWatch alternatives? Let’s explore.

Pricing

Foundation Directory Online has two tiers of subscriptions, Essential and Professional. An Essential subscription costs approximately $36/month and only includes the database search feature without access to funder profiles or other tools. A Professional subscription starts at $126.58/month (with a two-year commitment) and includes a wider array of features and tools.

Features

Foundation Directory Online Features
Foundation Directory Online Features
Foundation Directory Online Features
  • Foundation Directory- this is a searchable grants database. You can search by area of interest, geographic location, and targeted populations. There is an advanced search option with more filters.
  • Foundation Profiles- Foundation Directory Online provides foundation profiles compiled from 990s, foundation websites and annual reports, and other sources. Foundation profiles also include summaries of granting information such as average grant amounts and geographic focus.
  • Recipient Profiles- Foundation Directory Online provides recipient profiles that include information on nonprofits such as who funded them, where their funders are located, and grant amounts.
  • My FDO- this feature allows you to create projects, save funders, and create tasks and alerts.

Listings

Foundation Directory Online lists the following types of funders:

  • Private foundations
  • Community foundations
  • Corporations
  • Federal and state governments

Ease of Use

Foundation Directory Online has been around for some time as a grant finder tool. Searches are simple, but other features are slightly harder to access, and information such as 990s and contact information for foundations is not always updated quickly. The site design is a little old-fashioned, and users have noticed that updates to the site format have not always been successful.

User Thoughts

Foundation Directory Online continues to be an industry standard for nonprofits and grant writers, although users have mixed feelings about pricing and the site format:

Foundation Directory Online Reviews
Foundation Directory Online Reviews

Summary

Foundation Directory Online is relatively straightforward but is old-fashioned and not everyone likes the interface. The lowest subscription tier has no grant management features and limited access to the grant database. Instrumentl includes a more intuitive, friendly interface and more grant management features.

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

Best

With Instrumentl you can do a number of things you can’t achieve with GrantWatch, including:

  • Get tailored funder suggestions using Smart Matching technology.
  • Get information on foundations that don’t have websites or open application cycles.
  • Look at similar nonprofits and where they’re getting funding.
  • Track all things grants from start to finish.
  • Collaborate with your team.
  • Get automatic deadline reminders.

When it comes down to it, you can read tons of articles about grant finders but there is only one way to find out if Instrumentl is right for you: Try it!

Luckily, you can try Instrumentl FREE for 14 days! This is more than enough time to quickly learn all about Instrumentl’s comprehensive features and tools. Trust us, by the end of two weeks, you’ll be confident in Instrumentl’s ability to help you with every step of your fundraising!

Wrapping Up: 4 Best GrantWatch Alternatives & Competitors

Competition

Now that you’ve had a complete overview of GrantWatch and its major competitors, you can determine which grant finder is the best fit for your nonprofit.

Keep in mind:

  • Best value– look for comprehensive tools at a reasonable price.
  • Best features– look for an intuitive interface that won’t take long to learn.
  • User experiences– look for detailed, enthusiastic testimonials from real-life users.
  • Consider a free trial with Instrumentl to determine if it's the right grant finder tool for you!

Happy fundraising!

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl is the all-in-one grant management tool for nonprofits and consultants who want to find and win more grants without the stress of juggling grant work through disparate tools and sticky notes.

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