Last Updated:

April 11, 2023

Foundation Directory Online vs. GrantHub: In-Depth Analysis & Review

Foundation Directory Online vs. GrantHub: In-Depth Analysis & Review

If you’ve ever researched tips on fundraising strategies, you’ve probably come across grant discovery platforms like Foundation Directory Online and GrantHub.

But between Foundation Directory Online’s vast database and GrantHub’s helpful tracking features, how do you know which of these is the best value grant discovery platform for you?

In this article, we will compare Foundation Directory Online vs. GrantHub by their features, pricing plans, and customer reviews to help you decide if one of these options is a right match for you or if there’s a better alternative out there.

Foundation Directory Online vs. GrantHub Features Compared


Below, we’ve analyzed the features of both FDO and GrantHub to make it easy for you to see whether their tools will meet your needs or whether you’ll be left wanting.

We’ll be looking at how these platforms help you find new RFPs and funders, how they help you manage your grant application, and whether or not they allow for easy collaboration within your team.

Foundation Directory Online Features

A part of Candid, Foundation Directory Online’s extensive database and comprehensive funder profiles are considered one of its major selling points.

Foundation Directory Online Features

FDO’s “reverse search” feature lets users discover funding opportunities by looking at what grants other nonprofits have applied to in the past.

Not only that, FDO also gives the option to search for funders by 990s. Filters can help you narrow down the scope of the search in order to ensure you’re finding the best match for you.

However, FDO’s listings of active RFPs and RFP profiles are incredibly limited, meaning users might have to do additional research outside of the platform to find active grant opportunities.

To learn more about how you can improve your grant research strategy check out this post on our blog.

Foundation Directory Online Features

Though FDO’s discovery features can be incredibly useful, their grant management and tracking features need improvement.

As FDO began primarily as a grant discovery platform, they’re still working on developing a more robust arsenal of tracking and management tools. They’ve recently given their users the ability to:

  • Create projects
  • Keep a contact list
  • Create tasks
  • Store notes

However, though this progress is promising, as of now, FDO’s strengths remain primarily with grant discovery. They don’t offer automatic deadline reminders, a grants calendar, or the ability to track your grant pipeline across all stages. FDO users will likely have to invest in separate management tools to keep track of their different grants.

Foundation Directory Online Features

Unfortunately, FDO offers very limited collaboration features, which can make working together as a team difficult or even impossible.

Being able to keep everyone on task and aware of what is happening is key to ensuring the grant process goes smoothly. So not having tools that enable you to collaborate on grants can make the entire application process more challenging.

On the bright side, when it comes to grant reporting, FDO lets you export your work into easy-to-read files.

GrantHub Features

Part of Foundant Technologies, GrantHub will often be featured high on lists of grant management platforms.

GrantHub Features

Though GrantHub is well regarded by its users, it would be misleading to call it a grant discovery platform since its search features are limited. As they rely on GrantStation and GuidesStar for the information provided in their funder profiles, their database is not built with the goal of finding new leads.

That being said, while GrantHub’s discovery features may leave a lot to be desired, its tracking and management ones are much more helpful.

GrantHub Features

GrantHub’s tracker can help keep you on top of your work while you monitor multiple applications at once. You can easily create tasks, manage your to-do list, and see what you have looming on the horizon and adjust your strategy accordingly.

And a practical grants calendar also helps you keep up-to-date on your tasks all in one place.

GrantHub Features

GrantHub’s system permits for up to 35 users to work together online in a single account. You can assign tasks to each other, see how your work is progressing, and send automated emails so that everyone is on the same page.

Another great feature that GrantHub provides is a library that lets you keep, organize, and retrieve all of your grant-related documents easily.

GrantHub also provides users with pre-built templates that facilitate reporting, and those can be exported into PDF, Excel, and print.

Foundation Directory Online vs. GrantHub Pricing Compared


Now that we’ve analyzed the features of both Foundation Directory Online and GrantHub, it is time to compare their pricing plans to see whether or not they are worth the money you’ll be spending.

Foundation Directory Online Pricing

FDO offers three different subscriptions. Each of them offer different perks and vary in value. All three plans can be paid in monthly, annual, or biennial installments.

Out of the three subscription types, the most affordable is the Essential one.

Foundation Directory Online Essential

It comes with over 100,000 detailed grantmaker profiles, searching features, and FDO’s basic tracking features. This is a great option for smaller nonprofits.

The payment plans for the Essential subscription are as follows:

  • Monthly Plan for $54.99 a month
  • Annual Plan for either $37.42 a month, or a one-time $449.00 payment
  • Two Year Plan for either $35.54 a month, or a one-time biennial payment of $853.00

In terms of pure numerical value, the Two Year Plan costs the least. However, because the Monthly Plan can be canceled at any time, it is the most flexible. For this reason, the Annual Plan tends to be the most popular due to how it offers a compromise between the two options.

Foundation Directory Online Essential

Then comes their Professional subscription.

Foundation Directory Online Professional

Not only does it offer everything that the Essential one does, it also offers additional features, over double the amount of funder profiles, as well as recipient profiles.

The payments plans for the Professional subscription are as follows:

  • Monthly Plan for $219.99 a month
  • Annual Plan for either $133.25 a month, or a one-time $1,599.00 payment
  • Two Year Plan for either $126.58 a month, or a one-time biennial payment of $3,038.00
Foundation Directory Online Professional

Their last subscription is the Enterprise one, which is reserved for foundations, academic institutions, and other types of large organizations.

Foundation Directory Online Enterprise

If you are thinking about this option, FDO will provide you with a quote based on your specific needs.

GrantHub Pricing

Compared to FDO, GrantHub’s pricing is more straightforward. Members are given two payment plan options, one which has more flexibility and one which is cheaper.

GrantHub Pricing

When multiplied by 12 to get the yearly total, the Monthly Plan costs $105 more than the Annual one. A better value, then, is traded for the ability to cancel your subscription at any point.

While that certainly may make the Annual Plan seem like the better of the two options, not every nonprofit can afford to pay nearly $1,000 upfront; breaking payments into monthly installments might be the more feasible alternative.

Note that though both plans provide users with the exact same features, the Annual Plan also offers the ability to purchase additional upgrades. Whether or not these are worth the extra cost depends on your team and your grant proposal strategies.

Click to find the best grants for your nonprofit from active opportunities.

Search 150+ subcategories

Explore More Grants

What are Customers Saying About Foundation Directory Online and GrantHub?

Customer Ratings

Now that we’ve compared FDO and GrantHub’s features and pricing, we’ll look at what actual customers have to say about these two platforms.

Foundation Directory Online User Reviews

When averaging the 42 reviews available on FDO’s page on G2, FDO scores 4.2/5 stars.

Foundation Directory Online User Reviews

This long-time user not only remarks on the way FDO’s services have vastly improved over the decades, but also on its system’s user-friendliness. When paired with in-depth information, this accessibility is what helps the research process go so much faster without sacrificing the quality of results.

That being said, his point about pricing was echoed by other equally happy customers, making one wonder whether FDO should offer additional grant management features in order to make it truly worth it.

This sentiment can also be seen in FDO’s review page on Trust Radius.

Foundation Directory Online User Reviews

Once more, we see an emphasis on FDO’s user-friendly interface and the quality of information provided. Being able to search through such an extensive database in order to discover new funding opportunities is what makes this platform such a great resource for nonprofits.

GrantHub User Reviews

When averaging out the nine reviews on GrantHub’s page on G2, the platform scores 4.3/5 stars.

GrantHub User Reviews

Most users seem incredibly happy with GrantHub’s tracking features. Their tools helped them optimize their workflow so they could more efficiently get their tasks done. This is especially useful when multiple people are working together on the same project.

However, there were concerns raised regarding GrantHub’s accessibility. While many find it easy-to-use, others mentioned not understanding some of GrantHub’s definitions, having trouble with the clunky website, and other small bugs that—though they did not render the platform unusable—were annoying to deal with.

GrantHub User Reviews

Grant Hub reviewers in Software Advice follow this same pattern.

GrantHub User Reviews

While GrantHub’s customer support team is praised for its great work, and while the features help with every aspect of the grant tracking and management process, ease of use and functionality are cited as GrantHub’s main weaknesses.

Is There a Better FDO or GrantHub Alternative? Instrumentl Explained

Thumbs Up

Foundation Directory Online is a great database with informative funder profiles and an easy-to-use search feature that helps nonprofits discover new funding opportunities.

GrantHub optimizes the grant tracking and management process so that it is less overwhelming, helping you craft better strategies while keeping your entire team on task.

Both platforms are great resources that can help nonprofits secure more funding for their causes. However, they each only help with half of the grant proposal journey.

This is where Instrumentl comes in. Highly regarded by professional grant writers and consultants alike, not only does Intrumentl combine the best of FDO and GrantHub, it does so while building upon their existing features.

Below, you’ll see an analysis of what Instrumentl has to offer.

Finding New RFPs & Funders

Like FDO, Instrumentl has a comprehensive and highly curated database of foundation profiles. These profiles are informative and easy-to-read, providing insight into giving patterns, average and median of grant amounts awarded, and even a look at past grantees.

Instrumentl Finding New RFPs & Funders

Instrumentl also connects users to active RFPs using smart matching technology. Users receive personalized recommendations for active grant opportunities based on the information they provide about their organization and their project.

Instrumentl Finding New RFPs & Funders

Not only that, Instrumentl’s search features are intuitive, versatile, and can be saved so you do not need to start from scratch every time you want to look for new opportunities.

Tracking Prospect Research & Submissions

Like GrantHub, Instrumentl’s tracking features maximize efficiency. It’s intuitive workspace keeps everything in one place while also giving you the flexibility to create and manage multiple projects at varying stages.

Instrumentl Tracking Prospect Research & Submissions

A grant calendar helps you visualize your timeline so that you can better plan out your work. If a funder makes any changes to their priorities or their deadlines, Instrumentl will email you notifications so you can adapt your strategy accordingly.

Instrumentl Tracking Prospect Research & Submissions

You can also set up weekly reminders for upcoming tasks that need to be accomplished. The ability to store notes and log your prospects will further aid in keeping you organized.

Collaboration & Reporting

Because Instrumentl understands that teamwork is the key to success, its platform was built to facilitate collaboration.

Instrumentl Collaboration & Reporting

Not only can you easily assign tasks to different individuals, your team also has the ability to store documents in a shared library so that you no longer need to email each other constantly looking for files.

Instrumentl Collaboration & Reporting

You can also easily create reports by exporting your pipeline into CSV and PDF files.

Customer Testimonials

Given all of these features, it is no wonder that users who tried Instrumentl are so happy with its service. When looking at its review page on G2, the 128 reviews average to a score of 4.9/5 stars.

Instrumentl users are happy with both their ability to find new funding opportunities faster and to then manage their applications with greater efficiency.

Instrumentl Customer Testimonials

Users also state that Instrumentl has helped them boost their fundraising efforts. Having all of these tools in one place helped set Instrumentl apart from other platforms.

Instrumentl Customer Testimonials

You can read even more testimonials here.

Wrapping Up: Foundation Directory Online vs. GrantHub: In-Depth Analysis & Review


Fundraising can be difficult and overwhelming. When all you want to do is save the world, it can be easy to resent the time spent searching and applying for new grants. That’s why it’s so important to find the right platform that allows you to find and win grants faster so that you can go back to furthering your mission.

While Foundation Directory Online and GrantHub are great resources, Instrumentl combines their best features into an easy-to-use platform.

See for yourself why Instrumentl is the best value grant discovery platform by signing up for a free 14 day trial today.

Get grant writing best practices, step-by-step guides, and more delivered to your inbox weekly.

Grant writing advice, step-by-step guides, and more in our weekly newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

3k+ grant writers have already subscribed

Get Better at Grants Every Week

Be the first to hear about new free grant writing tips, workshops and ways to win more grants!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related posts

Try Instrumentl

The best tool for finding & organizing grants

67 reviews | High Performer status on