On average, a single grant application takes between 80 and 200 hours to complete. The efforts and time spent, however, don’t guarantee success. Only about 37% of grant applications are approved, while the average notification time is approximately six months. If you want to trim both costs and time, you should consider grant management software. This tool comes with smart forms, custom review processes, and workflow automation. It limits human errors, improves efficiency, and speeds up the entire application process. Read further to discover the best solutions for grant management, their core features, and a comprehensive buying guide.
Read on to learn about the key features of grant management platforms. We will help you understand what makes for a fantastic solution and which functionalities are essential. In addition to our evaluation criteria, we will also let you in on how we classify software. After all, choosing appropriate solutions is crucial for making the most out of any financial investment.
Categorizing software helps us find options that target businesses and organizations like yours. That being said, sorting doesn’t affect the ranking of the products. Instead, it enables efficient grant management software comparison of who can use it and how they can get the most out of it.
Check out our categorization based on industry focus, organization size, deployment, and type.
When it comes to industry focus, there are both general and specialized tools. The latter are preferable if you need industry-specific features. Otherwise, general solutions should do the trick.
Is your organization huge, or do you have less than 100 members? Do you handle several grant applications per year or hundreds of them? These questions help classify the software based on organization size.
There are cloud-hosted open source grant management software products that require internet access. Then, there are robust, reasonably priced SaaS platforms. Finally, you have powerful on-premise tools that are pricey and reliable. Each comes with both advantages and drawbacks that make them suitable for different organizations.
When it comes to grants, the software type may be the most important classification factor. Namely, there are tools for grant seeking and grantmaking.
The grant seeking software manages the collection of grant application opportunities along with applications. This type of software aims to strengthen your application process, help you collect necessary information, and secure as much funding as possible. It also supports process automation, saving lots of hours for your team.
Then, there are the grantmaking software tools. They deal with grant creation, application collection, application review, and dissemination of results.
Remember, all these classification criteria don’t affect the ranking. Each organization has its preferences, and we’re merely trying to establish the different options they have.
Scroll down to learn the most important functionalities of platforms that handle grants.
This feature automates your entire grant searching process. It finds suitable funding opportunities from reliable sources and alerts you when new options appear.
A centralized portal empowers applicants to submit their grant applications. Together with the applicant management dashboard, it enables smooth sorting of received applications. The reviewer tools meanwhile give full visibility into the reviewing process alongside step-by-step guides on what to do next.
Any grant application software should handle and store documents. The basics of such a tool also include a document library that supports the option of generating grant-related documents. The platform should further save these documents for future use.
The software solutions that can handle research and financial compliance procedures rank higher in our table. These procedures include personnel and purchasing activities, IRB, IACUC, effort certification, conflict of interest, scientific conduct, and more.
In the era of online hacking, we also make sure our best grant management software products meet all security standards. You want all your sensitive data, such as financial and bank account information, to be encrypted using the latest SSL technology.
Any tool that provides automated one-click reports, customized reports, and insightful analyses gets a boost in our rankings too. You want a solution that gives you real-time data regarding your progress, staffing levels, and expenditures. With the help of such features, you should be able to see how your team is performing, find your weaknesses, and track all crucial aspects of grant-seeking and grantmaking.
Do you already use other financial systems and third-party applications? In that case, it is vital that your grants management software smoothly integrates with those platforms. Therefore, we always make sure that our recommended products work great with other software solutions.
These three separate features all work toward a pleasant user experience when handling your software for grant management. Being user-friendly refers to easy setup, simple functions, and intuitive navigation. Nobody wants to use complicated tools; we always appreciate powerful yet simple options.
With smartphones already an integral part of our everyday lives, accessibility plays a huge role too. Specific solutions are mobile-friendly, while others come with powerful native apps. Either way, when making our grants management system comparison, we prefer mobile-ready products.
Lastly, we never overlook flexibility and scalability. Not all organizations are the same. Each foundation has its individual needs, employs a different number of people, and handles a specific volume of grants. Your investment should be open to changes, i.e., highly customizable. Also, it should be able to grow with your organization and tackle larger workloads as the number of your projects increases.
The last piece of the puzzle is the software pricing. Here, we must mention that free grant management software isn’t necessarily your best option. On a similar note, getting the most expensive solution may not work either. That is why we focus on products that deliver high value for the investment. We appreciate reasonably priced tools, the cost of which aligns with the market standards.
Brands that offer free trials and money-back guarantees always get boosted rankings. They give you the freedom to test their product before making a purchase, and we respect that.
Aiming to be the best system for grant management of the 21st century, SmartSimple boosts engagement, collaboration, and impact. This all-in-one solution tackles CRM, grant application, programs, meetings, reporting, and budgeting. Highly configurable and extremely powerful, this tool will give you control over all your workflows and help you cut down user fees by 70%.
With the SmartSimple grant management software for foundations, you can handle corporate giving, government grants, research grants, arts grants, and much more. The product comes well-equipped with essential features such as configurable application forms, conditional questions, multi-stage forms, and online budgets. It also automates all your communications, enables you to set reminders, and lets you complete audit trails. SmartSimple also comes with documentation templates, full compliance, personalized profiles, and robust budgeting.
There are two basic types of SmartSimple subscriptions – the Flexible premium plans and the Direct plan. While all of them provide a solid piece of grant writing software, some come with more features than the rest. Flexible SmartSimple has three solutions:
SmartSimple Direct meanwhile costs $6,000/year and includes four internal and 50 external users. All plans are billed annually. While SmartSimple doesn’t offer a free trial, it does provide a product demo.
Maximize your funds, streamline your processes, and navigate agency regulations with GrantVantage. This grant management software for non-profits guarantees a comprehensive view of all your crucial grant-related data. Moreover, GrantVantage fully integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office 360. It is therefore the best option for those already using Microsoft solutions.
The Base Module of GrantVantage is nicely equipped with useful functionalities. Customizable user permissions, visual dashboards, and goal management keep you on the right path. You also get unlimited primary grants and partner agreements as well as agreement editors, alerts, and document repository. This grants reporting tool boasts other essentials such as task tracking, funding tracking, basic reporting, and budgeting.
Apart from the Base Module, you can get eight add-ons. These include a funder portal, sub-recipient management, and the drawdowns and reimbursements. The list goes on with financial integration, views and reports, time and effort reporting, and multi-funded projects.
The company doesn’t offer a free trial of its software. Interested organizations can request a demo as well as custom pricing.
The Blackbaud grant management software handles over $100 billion in funds raised, granted, and invested every single year. The brand’s grant and award management products are perfect for any organization, regardless of whether they give or seek funding. This robust solution covers grant making, outcomes, reporting, collaboration, and multi-fund administration.
Blackbaud is a highly customizable and flexible platform that enables online payments as well as payment tracking. It provides your grantees with online forms, eligibility information, and clearly defined requirements. Blackbaud is among the grant management solutions that also offer status progress alongside final reports and automatic alerts. The solution tracks proposals and collects reviews as well.
This robust tool can even organize feedback, measure and understand the results, and keep all your board members updated. With its help, you can dive deeper into your grantmaking process, find any irregularities or issues, and, ultimately, make better decisions in the future.
Unfortunately, Blackbaud doesn’t offer either a free trial or a demo of its product. The software is available for purchase only, while pricing is provided upon request.
The size and industry focus of your organization doesn’t matter. The Sage Intacct grant management process product is powerful enough to handle all your processes and streamline all your workflows. This tool provides real-time data, supports all kinds of funding and handles situations of any complexity. It helps you manage grants, invoice funders, and review applications.
Nonprofits will make the most out of the Sage Intacct solution for managing grants, billing, and reporting. The software comes with a unique multi-dimensional general ledger that enables tracking of key operational metrics and provides insightful reports. Sage Intacct performs exceptionally well, and it is regarded as one of the best grant management software out there. It centralizes your documents, offers comprehensive views, and stores them securely.
The accounting segment of Sage Intacct lets you capture actual costs for reimbursement, gather eligible charges, and track employees' effort on grants. The software further ensures mission delivery with tools such as centralized task tracking, spending reports, and deadline alerts. Sage Intacct also helps with compliance and features a clear audit trail.
If Sage Intacct sounds like the right product for you, you can request a 10-day free trial. If it turns out that the solution has all the features of a grant management system you need, you can contact the vendor for a quote.
Designed for both grantees and grantmakers, Synergy Grant Management enables users to manage their grants. Additionally, the tool helps them keep track of their progress and measure the social impact of their activities. Synergy covers several crucial areas, including planning, administration, and performance analysis. Put differently, the software assists you from start to finish and generates useful reports in the end.
When it comes to top-notch grant management systems, the Synergy software is here to deliver excellent results through the wealth of functionalities it offers. The intuitive executive dashboard provides easy navigation and lets you track essential processes. The system has a unique workflow designer that enables you to create workflows and forget about them. It minimizes errors and saves time.
Synergy products also come with financial management tools that provide cost tracking, payment schedules, and expenditures. The Intelligent Grant Allocation meanwhile notifies applicants of potential opportunities, while organizations gain absolute control over who sees what via the secure role-based access. Synergy’s grant tracking software will generate useful reports and analyses about all your operations, including project impact and value estimation.
Synergy doesn’t offer a free trial and provides pricing upon request.
The Oracle NetSuite software for nonprofits is not a simple system for handling grants. Instead, this is a complete solution that focuses on four key areas, namely customer engagement, leading practices, business intelligence, and smart phased implementation. Excellent for organizations of any size, it eliminates manual data entry, ineffective grant tracking, and reports based on unreliable data.
Much more than a simple grant management solution, NetSuite tackles multiple sectors of running an organization of any type. With its grant accounting functionalities, the platform gives visibility into your grant lifecycle. It also tracks terms and conditions, multiple projects, and expenses.
NetSuite elegantly automates various processes. It also stores all relevant data in a single unified platform. The software is a one-stop-shop for managing any donor, funder, funding, and grantor data. Its powerful search tools let you find anything you need with a few clicks. The robust reporting tools are among the best on the grant management software market and support smarter decision-making.
A free trial or demo isn’t on the menu at Oracle NetSuite. The company will, however, give you a free product tour before providing you with a tailored plan.
Awards, grants, academic submissions, talent casting, contests, and field operations are all tackled with the powerful Submit.com solution. Users can pick the programs they need and get a simple grant accounting software or an all-in-one system. Submit.com allows users to collect, manage, and evaluate applications and submissions with ease.
Collection, management, and evaluation are the three cornerstones of all Submit.com programs. The system comes with a customizable portal and intuitive dashboards. Its powerful automation tools help you create streamlined workflows and centralize your communications. Secure online evaluation, data filtering, and smart tagging lead to faster and better decisions.
This grant management software for nonprofits further comes with one hub for everything, so all your data and tools are in one place. Other significant features include video interviews, phased submissions, auto rejections, custom links, and submission form directories.
Submit.com provides a 14-day free trial of its product. The vendor doesn’t require a credit card or contract. A demo tour is also available.
Users can purchase the Start, Create, and Pro Submit.com plans, with monthly prices of €55, €135, and €195, respectively. While each plan has unlimited submissions, they support a different number of active programs or modules, namely one, three, and five. For example, the grants management system is a separate program that can be combined with the awards or contest management platform.
In addition to these pre-made packages, customers can also request a custom plan with unlimited submissions. It includes 5+ active programs, custom SLAs, and a dedicated account manager.
In an effort to meet the needs of small, midsize, and large organizations, Little Green Light has created a productive and powerful management tool. This, however, isn’t the best option for those in need of standard grant management solutions. The product is more suited for those who want to tackle all their operations, from membership management to engaging with donors. Little Green Light is packed with tons of features, many of which focus on helping nonprofits grow.
Little Green Light is a general solution that comes with some features of a grant management system. Users can set up grants, track them, and enter goals. The platform enables them to enter comments, insert their research, and add tasks related to grant opportunities. Via task tracking, the system ensures everything is done within a deadline.
Little Green Light also generates useful and customized reports, so you can review your mistakes for future applications. The import and export of data are possible too. Document storage is another valuable feature for both grantors and grant-seekers.
Apart from the grant management tools, LGL comes with fundraising and contact management software, built-in integrations, constituent management, list creation, event tracking, and data segmentation.
All Little Green Light subscribers get the first 30 days for free, and for that, they don’t need a credit card.
The basic plan starts at $39/month and supports up to 2,500 constituents. Those with up to 5,000 constituents can use the software for $49/month, while the monthly price for those with 10000 constituents is $59. After that, the cost grows by $10/month for each additional 10000 constituents, while annual subscriptions allow you to save 10% on all plans.
Among the few full-packed grant management systems, AmpliFund is a valuable tool for both organizations that seek grants and federal agencies that give funding. With the system primarily tailored for handling federal grants, it’s the perfect solution for organizations that deal with this type of financing.
Configurable, robust, and transparent – these are the features that best describe AmpliFund. Flexibility meanwhile simplifies the integration of this grant manager software with other platforms you’re using. The platform is also open to customization. You can assign responsibilities to team members, publish and collect applications online, and create custom application forms.
Any process is easily automated with AmpliFund, while progress is quickly tracked. Grant closeout lets grantors manage awards, define project requirements, and create budget goals. When everything is over, AmpliFund will generate useful reports, leverage the data collected throughout the entire process, and provide valuable insights.
AmpliFund aims to meet the individual needs of organizations and grantors with its grant management system. Interested parties should therefore get in touch with the vendor for a custom offer that suits their size and demands.
With its global reach and 15 years of experience in the industry, Social Solutions and its Apricot product offer a reliable tool for nonprofits worldwide. Their system comes with lots of unique functionalities, including the Apricot Connect, Apricot Insights, and Eligibility for Matching Grants from The Ballmer Group. Rather than being a simple grant seeking software, this product ensures that all your processes work smoothly.
Apricot comes in several plans which have different sets of features. The basic package includes pre-built and custom forms, as well as reports. It also guarantees data security. With the case management tool, you can track, assess, and report your goals, clients, volunteers, and projects. The drag-and-drop functionality brings valuable reports and beautiful designs right at your fingertips.
The upgraded versions of this grant management software for foundations come with best practice modules, data import, and form logic. They also incorporate referrals, workflow automation, and several Apricot-exclusive features. Other useful functionalities of the platform include business intelligence reporting, API integration, and prediction models. All that leads to smooth operations and smarter decisions. Users can also download useful grant application templates as well as an ultimate nonprofit funding kit for free.
Just like most other brands, Social Solutions provides its pricing upon request. Users can try the Apricot software for free for 30 days and then pick one of the pre-built packages. These are the Apricot Essentials, Apricot Core, and Apricot 360.
Additionally, there’s the ETO Plan, designed for large nonprofits, which handles multiple partners, advanced security protocols, and high volumes of programs.
Rankings and software pricing don’t mean much if you don’t know how to find the best product for your organization. To guide you through the selection process, we have created this comprehensive buying guide.
Follow the steps below and find the best solution for handling grants within your organization.
The first step is to weed out the products that don’t align with your organization with the help of the classification points mentioned above. Leave out the grant management tools targeting businesses that don’t match your business size and industry. Also, if you need software that specializes in grant-seeking, exclude all grantmaking options.
The second step is to define your needs by listing all crucial software features and comparing them to the shortlisted platforms. Customized forms, a myriad of integrations, mobile apps, and one-click reports are some ideas of what to include. All systems that have those functionalities will survive this step.
The third and final step is to define your budget for grant management software. Also, decide if you prefer monthly or annual billing – not all options offer both. This is also the time to consider whether a free trial is a must for you.
Then, compare your pricing preferences against the remaining platforms from the previous steps and find your winner. If you’re left with several suitable options, pick the one that offers more features for the same price.