If you are a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization, you know that grant seeking is an incredibly important fundraising strategy. However, it can be difficult to know where to start.
If you’re unsure of how to find grants to support your organization or project, you might consider signing up for a grants database like FoundationSearch. However, FoundationSearch’s pricing might make you question whether it is worth it for the price. So how do you know if FoundationSearch is the right database option for you?
Keep reading, and we will help you decide!
FoundationSearch's Pricing at a Glance
FoundationSearch is a popular grants database used by fundraising professionals all over the nation. If you aren’t familiar with what a grant database is, that’s ok! Keep reading, and we will tell you.
A grant database is a database that contains information about grant-related funding sources. These sources often include foundations, corporate giving programs, and local, state and federal government grant programs.
Grant databases are searchable, often by location or focus area (e.g., education) to help fundraisers easily and quickly identify opportunities that may be a good fit for their specific fundraising needs.
FoundationSearch, and its competitors, all have this overarching goal of helping connect fundraisers to funders. However, each database has some key features that may make it stand out, as well as different price points. It’s important to compare databases to make sure that you are selecting one that meets your organization’s needs as well as your budget!
So, let’s talk about cost! The screenshot below shows a snapshot of a comparison of the costs between Instrumentl and FoundationSearch. Instrumentl’s monthly cost is $195 per month, while FoundationSearch starts at $333 per month. That’s quite a difference!
Keep in mind that this is just a peek into FoundationSearch’s pricing model—we will dive deeper into it later in the article!
While cost is not the only factor to consider when researching grant database options, it is definitely an important one! You need to find a solution that fits your budget.
FoundationSearch's Key Features
When searching for a grant database, it’s important to look at the features they offer. After all, the point of investing in a grant discovery tool is to make your life easier!
Now that we’ve talked about price let's dive into some of the key features that FoundationSearch offers.
FoundationSearch prides itself on the amount of comprehensive data that can be accessed through its database. This includes data on foundations, giving trends, geographic data, and past giving history.
Having access to this data helps you to make an informed decision as to whether certain funders are a good fit for your project or organization.
You’ll be able to see if the foundation’s average grant amount is in alignment with your needs, if they have donated to other nonprofits in your geographic region, or if they have an affinity for your mission. Focusing on good-fit funders will help ensure you see a return on investment from your requests for support.
My Prospect Manager
Fundraising can be a very chaotic field to work in—managing prospects, juggling application deadlines, and grant research is a challenge. While limited compared to some of its competitors, FoundationSearch does provide a few grant management tools to make this process easier. Their “My Prospect Manager” tool allows users to save notes and prospects to better streamline the proposal process.
Unfortunately, FoundationSearch does not provide automatic deadline reminders or a grant calendar to help you manage your entire grant pipeline.
FoundationSearch lets you explore connections between foundation directors and their respective boards so that you can target your outreach appropriately. This is potentially a huge timesaver!
It can be difficult to determine who the decision-makers and key employees are at a foundation; this tool will help you cut back on the amount of random google-searching you have to do before determining the best points of contact for your outreach.
Import Your Own Data
FoundationSearch even lets you import your own funder prospects into their database so that you can manage them alongside all of your other fundraising projects. This way you aren’t maintaining multiple lists across different systems and software programs.
This streamlined approach to managing prospects will certainly lead to increased efficiency in your efforts. Hooray!
Free Customer Support
If you aren’t a super-savvy tech guru, don’t worry! FoundationSearch offers a number of step-by-step tutorials on how to utilize their database, as well as friendly customer service agents available by email and phone—all of which you can access for absolutely no additional cost!
This ensures that no matter what your tech question is, you can get an answer quickly and for free.
Click to find the best grants for your nonprofit from 12,000+ active opportunities.
Compared to other grant discovery platforms, FoundationSearch is unique in that it doesn’t publish its cost information publicly. Rather, they require that you contact them to get a customized quote based on your specific needs.
However, we did some internet digging to try to uncover what their typical pricing might look like. Here’s what we found!
Check out this sample proposal with pricing listed on the last slide
This website provides a high-level overview of pricing for several grant-seeking tools
Based on this information, it’s safe to assume that a FoundationSearch subscription would cost, at minimum, several thousand dollars per year.
If you think that FoundationSearch is a good fit for your needs, it’s certainly worth contacting them to set up an informational call and learn more about their price.
But before you do that, keep reading…
Is There a Better FoundationSearch Alternative?
There are several alternatives to FoundationSearch that could be a better fit for you—like Instrumentl!
Instrumentl brings grant prospecting, tracking, and management into one super user-friendly tool. Unlike other platforms, Instrumentl helps you with your entire grant lifecycle.
While there are some similarities between what Instrumentl and FoundationSearch can do, there are a lot of unique features that make Instrumentl stand out! Let’s take a deeper dive.
Automatic deadline reminders: Instrumentl sends you weekly emails with all of your upcoming saved grant deadlines, including opportunities you previously applied for (whether you won or lost!). This eliminates the need for you to use multiple calendars to track deadlines and reminders. This is also a feature that is unique to Instrumentl and is not offered by FoundationSearch!
RFP data connected to foundation profiles: You can review active grant opportunities with 990 snapshots and detailed funder insights. This means you don’t need to sift through 990 PDFs to find the data you need to help you determine if a funder is a good fit!
Intelligent matching: This is another feature that is unique to Instrumentl! Instrumental can make personalized recommendations for foundations based on your project criteria and a funder’s past giving trends. In seconds, you’ll have a curated list of good-fit funders!
Tracking with RFP & funder info: If a funder changes their grant deadlines, Instrumentl will notify you via email! This helps you manage multiple grant projects seamlessly and in one place.
Workflow for prospect research: You can store notes for yourself and your teammates to enable seamless collaboration. You can also create and assign tasks to your team!
New funder insights: Instrumentl also helps you sift through 990 data to help you determine whether a new funder is a good fit for your project. You can review valuable insights like giving patterns over multiple years, past grantees by geographic location, openness to new grantees, and average grant amounts!
Organize by project: Instrumentl doesn’t make you start your projects from scratch each time. You can save your searches AND your projects!
Reports with links: You can create easy-to-ready reports to share with your development team or board of directors to help capture your work and fundraising efforts.
The best part? You can try Instrumentl for free! Sign up for a 14-day free trial right now so you can dive into all of the unique features that Instrumentl has to offer.
Make sure you take time to compare all of your options before making a decision on a grant database for your organization; you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck so that you see a return on this investment.
Wrapping Up: FoundationSearch Pricing: Which Plan is Best for You?
While FoundationSearch does not publish its pricing tiers publicly, it’s safe to assume that you can anticipate paying upwards of $5,000 per year for an annual subscription. That’s a lot of money!
We know how important a grant database is to a successful fundraising department. That’s why we’re happy to share that Instrumentl offers more features than FoundationSearch—and at a much lower cost! Even better: you can sign up for a free trial today so you can explore Instrumentl’s features and functionality yourself!
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