GrantStation helps provide nonprofits, educational institutions, and government agencies with the tools they need to find new potential funding sources.
But is GrantStation worth it? As every organization has unique needs, the answer to this question will depend on a myriad of factors. This article will examine GrantStation’s key features, its pricing options, and user reviews to help you decide whether or not this is the best grant discovery platform for your nonprofit.
What Are Some of GrantStation's Key Features?
To decide whether or not GrantStation is the best valued discovery platform out there, one must first carefully examine its key features. As a database that aims to help grantseekers find new funding sources, the amount of information GrantStation provides its users is just as important as its quality and accuracy.
However, grant research is but half of the grant seeking journey. Therefore, when evaluating tools such as GrantStation, it is also crucial to look at how its features will help you manage your different grants.
Below, you’ll find a breakdown of GrantStation’s features so that you can better understand what services you would be paying for when purchasing a subscription.
Finding New RFPs and Funders
GrantStation’s database is vast, including funders from not only North America, but from all over the world. Their funder profiles are very easy to read and include the following information:
To ensure that users know whether the information provided is accurate, GrantStation includes a date stamp that indicates when the funder’s profile was last updated.
However, while this information is certainly very useful, GrantStation’s funder profiles are still quite limited when compared to some of its alternatives. For example, Grantstation does not provide detailed information on current open opportunities or RFPs. This means that while the information provided is easy to read, it is still very basic and will require more work on your part to properly develop your leads.
Tracking Prospect Research and Submissions
When it comes to planning tools, GrantStation offers quite a few tracking features that can help you better manage your grants.
GrantStation allows you to store notes on funders, save prospects, and update the status on your submissions.
Furthermore, GrantStation will keep you updated on any changes to deadlines or funder priorities by emailing you notifications. This means you’ll never be caught by surprise by unexpected changes and can then adapt your plans accordingly.
However, despite its many features that can help you stay organized, the lack of a robust submission tracker and a proper grant calendar means that unless you are being very diligent with your notes, it can be a bit harder to manage multiple applications at once.
To learn more about how you can create more efficient grant application pipelines, check out this post on our blog.
Collaboration and Reporting
Unfortunately, GrantStation does not allow for multiple users to collaborate on the same account.
This is perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to GrantStation, as whether you are a small nonprofit with only a handful of volunteers or a big organization with a whole team, keeping everyone in the know is crucial to coordinating tasks and making sure your time is being used efficiently.
GrantStation does, however, allow you to export your pipeline into CSV, which can make the reporting process easier.
GrantStation Pricing Plans Examined
Now that you understand a bit more about some of GrantStation’s key features, it is time to discuss their different pricing plans. Knowing the difference between each membership option will help you assess whether GrantStation is the right tool for you, or whether you should be considering an alternative grant discovery tool.
Currently, these are GrantStation’s pricing plans:
$219 payment at every quarter
$699 for a full year
$1,258 for two years (this comes with a 10% discount)
$1,782 for three years (this comes with a 15% discount)
Users are also offered a discount for organizations buying ten memberships or more. It is important to note that access to their webinars and other online education resources must be purchased separately.
While the three year plan is the best value, it does require you to make a three year commitment upfront before you’re even aware whether or not it is a good match for your nonprofit. Having to pay for multiple accounts is also a significant drawback, especially since even if you have multiple accounts you won’t be able to collaborate on projects together.
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While knowing the pricing and features of a service can be helpful, seeing what actual customers have to say about GrantStation can make a huge difference when deciding whether this is the right platform for your nonprofit.
Typically, it is advised to not simply examine the most glowing reviews or the most negative ones, as those tend to be outliers and will not reflect the average user experience.
Far more useful is to read a large number of mixed reviews to see what patterns emerge. These will be far more likely to reflect the user experience you’d receive.
GrantStation has a 4.8/5 stars average on their Featured Customers page, with over 700 people having reviewed the company as of date of writing.
When reading the testimonials, we can see that one of GrantStation’s most appealing features is its user-friendliness. Most members seem to agree that because GrantStation is so easy to use, it makes finding new funding sources easier.
This assessment is echoed by users on the subreddit r/nonprofit, an online community where those in the nonprofit industry share their experiences facing different challenges and looking for new opportunities.
When it comes to the negative aspects, there are many who feel that despite its user-friendliness, GrantStation’s database is not as extensive as some of its competitors.
Overall, most GrantStation users seem to agree that GrantStation’s user-friendliness makes it a helpful tool when looking for new grants. However, there are concerns regarding how informative its database truly is, which in turn creates a hesitancy toward purchasing a membership at full value.
Is There a Better GrantStation Alternative? Instrumentl Examined
Now that we’ve extensively examined its key features and its pricing, it is time to see whether there’s a better alternative to GrantStation. Is there a grant discovery platform that can offer all of GrantStation’s perks and more at a better value?
Founded back in 2014, Instrumentl is a comprehensive database and grant tracking platform that makes the entire grant application process easier and more efficient. Highly praised by professional grant writers, it provides nonprofits with all the tools they need to discover new grants, research information, keep track of tasks, collaborate with their teams, and create reports.
Furthermore, rather than requiring you to pay for a subscription right away, Instrumentl offers a free 14-day trial account so that you can see for yourself whether it is the right tool for your nonprofit.
Just as we did with GrantStation, we’ve broken down Instrumentl’s key features below so that you can better compare both options and see which one offers you the best value.
Finding New RFPs and Funders
While GrantStation simply provides its members with a comprehensive database, Instrumentl goes one step further and includes information on past grantees and a reverse search, making it easier than ever for you to find obscure grants.
Furthermore, Instrumentl’s Smart Matching feature means that this platform is not simply a passive grant discoverability tool—by actively searching its extensive database for funding opportunities that align with your project and mission, Instrumentl functions almost like a partner in your grant journey. This not only makes finding new opportunities easier, it also helps save you precious time.
Tracking Prospect Research and Submissions
Far more than just a search tool, Instrumentl’s grant tracking features let you manage your grant pipeline throughout all of its stages, providing you with a submission tracker and grant calendar that make organizing and planning easier.
Instrumentl’s tracking and management features are both easy-to-use while also providing you with everything you need in one place so you can keep your multiple applications organized.
Collaboration and Reporting
One of the biggest advantages Instrumentl has over other grant discovery platforms is giving its users the ability to collaborate with their colleagues. Instrumentl makes sure that its users are able to work with their teams without difficulty.
Its collaboration features make it easy to keep everyone in your nonprofit informed of how the grant proposal is going while also assigning different tasks so that everyone can contribute and make the process more efficient.
Instrumentl also makes reporting extremely easy by allowing you to export your pipeline into CSV and PDF files, saving you more time to focus on your mission.
Wrapping Up: Is GrantStation Worth It?
The grant proposal process is complicated. There are many different funders to parse through, many different applications to keep track of, and many different steps that must be worked on with a team. This is what makes databases and management tools so indispensable.
While GrantStation is a user-friendly and well-priced option, when it comes to the best value grant discovery platform, Instrumentl provides far more features that make it worth your while.
You can sign up today for a 14 day free trial to see if Instrumentl is the platform that is best for you.
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