“I love the fact that Instrumentl is like a one-stop shop where I can research and track grants all in one place. I feel like 90% of my work is concentrated in one platform and this has been a huge help for me.”

Beth Kander-Dauphin, Chief Strategist Officer at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life


Beth Kander-Dauphin, Chief Strategist Officer


Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life


Jackson, Mississippi, United States



focus areas

Arts & Culture, Literacy, Leadership

$ raised with grants found from Instrumentl

Raised / tracked through Instrumentl

favorite Instrumentl Features

Collaboration features, Grant Tracker, 990s, Funder Matches, Opportunity Matches


Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) provides programs and services across the south. They offer resources tailored to meet the needs of communities of all sizes. Throughout its thirteen-state region, this nonprofit works with individuals, congregations, and organizations to preserve the storied past of Southern Jewish life, while at the same time enriching the ongoing experience of Jews in the contemporary American south.

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How Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life Uses Instrumentl as a Single Source of Truth

Beth Kander-Dauphin is a Chief Strategist Officer at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life, a 501c3 nonprofit based in Jackson, Mississippi. The organization has a really large geographic footprint and staff in several places, so each of its programs has to have both flexibility and structure to support a dispersed staff.

The team at Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life is made up of about a dozen people and Beth is the only grant writer. As the primary user of Instrumentl, she appreciates how the platform makes her everyday work easier:

“What I like about the platform is that I can give access to other team members, which is something that I do on a regular basis.
I try to give everyone at least a basic walkthrough of how to run a report or look at the uploaded documents. So, even if they are not using Instrumentl for management or grant seeking, they can still access it as a database and resource center, which is very helpful.”
Instrumentl helps you store all important documents in a single place

Just like other nonprofit organizations, one of the biggest challenges Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life faces is related to funding and grants. Not only is it hard to find good-fit funders, but it’s also difficult to make it clear to the funder that the funds would go to the right program since the organization has a lot of different programs under a single umbrella.

A good portion of this challenge gets solved through Instrumentl.

How the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life Discovered Instrumentl

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life has been using Instrumentl for four years now. We were curious to learn more about how they discovered the platform:

“I think it was an early email from your Customer Success team, and it was well-timed because I was getting frustrated with our current system of management. And this was not another tool or a system, it was a DIY approach to try and stay on top of everything.”

Before the team started working with Instrumentl, they relied on Excel spreadsheets and Google. Finding new opportunities came down to saving Google searches and then managing everything in multiple spreadsheets where Beth inserted active and potential grants, along with other data. The grant research process was tedious and time-consuming:

“I would just have to do all the research myself. Not everything was public: I would be pulling 990s from the Journey Navigator and just using a bunch of different tools and resources.
It was a challenge to find out if we even qualified, what are the deadlines, and if the opportunity was invitation-only. This was eating up A LOT of my time.”

After getting a live walkthrough of Instrumentl, Beth felt like all her prayers had been answered:

“Just the notion that it could be one place where I could seek out new opportunities and the vast majority of the leg work would already be done for me—that felt amazing.”

Having 990 data in a single place and all the key information nicely laid out and visualized allowed Beth to invest her time more wisely. She could easily manage the status of the applications and have time to focus on strategy work.

Instrumentl provides you with the funding opportunities that match your program area

Beth made sure that all grant searches were in the Instrumentl system:

“It was actually surprisingly fast to set up our Master Tracker [All Projects]. Very quickly, we were up and running and I was happy to abandon my poor old spreadsheets.”

Pro tip: If you’re using spreadsheets to manage your grants but would like to switch to an all-in-one grants platform like Instrumentl, we can help you make the transition hassle-free! We have a template you can use to import grants into Instrumentl. Our team will be on standby to help you make sure everything is imported as needed.

Instrumentl as a “One-Stop Shop” for Grants

The main thing Beth appreciates when it comes to Instrumentl is centralizing all her grant work. She doesn't have to switch between multiple spreadsheets anymore:

“I love the fact that Instrumentl is like a one-stop shop where I can research and track grants all in one place.”

About a year ago, the organization upgraded to the Instrumentl Pro plan and some of Beth’s favorite features are now housed within the Pro plan:

“I like Funder Matches and Opportunity Matches, being able to see what percentage of new grants a certain foundation gives and being served more information about the likelihood of us being considered if we submit a grant.”

Beth shared an example of how she vets potential funders. If she sees that a foundation funds only 10% of new grantees each year, that tells her that the organization doesn’t have that great of a shot. But if they’re funding 30% new grantees each year, then it’ll be more likely that she will prioritize the opportunity.

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​of Southern Jewish Life is a nonprofit that has a big footprint but only one office. This is why in addition to looking at the historical giving trends Beth also looks at the geographical restrictions:

“For example, sometimes it will say: funding is available only to organizations in Texas. And while we serve Texas, it’s part of our region, we don’t have an office there. Our 501c3 is registered in Mississippi so we don’t qualify for that grant.”

Pro tip: Beth shared how you’re supposed to be a good steward of the funds you’re getting. This is why she always reads through the summaries that are offered in Instrumentl and takes the time to study through the funder’s goals, their mission statement, and other programs that they have funded in the past. 

This way, when you start writing the grant application, you can convince the funder that by funding your organization they will be delivering on their mission and goals.

For Beth, a Typical Instrumentl Session Starts with a Tracker

Beth has several different programs set up in Instrumentl. She logs in anytime she gets an alert that Instrumentl has identified a new opportunity, but also has a habit of using Instrumentl at least weekly since it’s her primary grant tracking mechanism. She makes sure to update anything on her end (e.g. if she heard back on a LOI) and to check out rolling opportunities:

“Typically, when I log into Instrumentl, I start with the Master Tracker [All Projects] and I have it sorted by date. Then usually, I’ll go and filter it to Pending or Researching to see if there’s anything I would like to bump up on my priority list. This gives me a good snapshot of what it is that I want to focus on next.”
Instrumentl's Tracker allows you to update the status on submissions as you make progress and hear funder responses

Depending on the alerts Beth received, she would go into each of the programs and make sure she’s caught up on the Opportunity Matches. Then she assesses if there’s anything that she would like to add to the Tracker.

Reporting is also easier with the help of Instrumentl:

“Outside of Instrumentl, I do a quarterly report so that anyone can see what’s been happening in a single glance. I export the report from Instrumentl and filter out the information that I want to share with others, and then potentially add some charts or additional info.”

Pretty neat system, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for Developing Relationships with Funders

We asked Beth to share tips for developing relationships with funders and she shared something interesting. As someone with experience working for a foundation within a grants review committee, she has a unique perspective when it comes to communicating with funders:

“I think that building relationships with funders is really key and realizing that it’s always another human who is evaluating your proposal and working through it on their side.
When you write a grant, it sometimes feels like you’re just sending it out there into the ether. In reality, there is a person who reads through what you’ve written and that informs the way I approach grant writing.”

Here are some additional tips coming from Beth:

  • Keep it conversational, not casual, but still keep in mind that it’s a real person reading it.
  • Be as clear, warm, and engaging as possible when talking about the work that you do.
  • Never submit a request cold unless you have to. Email the program officer or contact listed and make an introduction.
  • Sometimes, the response can be disappointing. But even this type of reply is good because it saves you the time that would take you to actually write the grant proposal.

Why You Should Consider Instrumentl as Your All-In-One Grants Platform

In the end, we wanted to learn more about the benefits Beth and her team experienced while using Instrumentl, and why she thinks that nonprofits and grant consultants should consider it as their go-to platform:

“First, there are time savings. Even with a conservative estimate, I would say Instrumentl saves us at least 10 hours per week. This refers primarily to the research side, but also the fact that I don’t have to manually enter information into a spreadsheet.”

Besides the time-saving aspect, Beth emphasized the value of having 990s and all the data at her fingertips. The way Instrumentl is built helps you accelerate grant prospecting, secure more grants, and collaborate with other team members:

“Out of two dozen grants we secured in six months, four of them were opportunities identified through Instrumentl, and these were first-time funders that had not supported us before. And that’s a really great and high percentage for us.”

Last but not least, Beth loves the responsiveness of the Customer Success team and the fact that she never feels like she’s been left to her own devices:

“Your issues get resolved and it feels nice that there’s a real person responding on the other side. Also, the follow-up! If you get passed along to another team, usually the first person that I had the conversation with checks in with me to see if my problem has been resolved.”

So, how can you make the most of the platform? Beth has plenty of tips:

  • Play around with Instrumentl. Choose one of your current grantors, search for them, and see how much valuable information you can get at your fingertips.
  • As soon as possible, onboard at least another staff member so that you can practice assigning tasks and milestones for someone else, and have a buddy on your team who can log in.
  • Teach people who are not actively involved in grant writing, such as CEOs, CFOs, or other people on your team to know how to log into Instrumentl and get the information that they need.
  • Build on a couple of specific programs to focus on grants that are relevant for you. Practice and go easy on yourself as you’re figuring it out.
  • See which search parameters get you more opportunities and which ones give you more specific opportunities. Filters are one way to get to specific opportunities faster.


Thank you Beth for sharing your amazing story with us! We wish your nonprofit organization a lot of success in the future!

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