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How To Use Instrumentl's Grant Database

Learn the Grant Writing Unicorn Method for focusing on the right grants with the highest likelihood of success.

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Here is the transcript created by magical unicorns:

Thank you, Catherine so much for coming and joining us for our monthly webinar training. We just started putting together a funding strategy module either last week or the week before. We are all in that state of looking for grants. The timing is excellent. When I asked what everybody wanted to talk about, it was definitely a deeper dive on instrumentl. This is perfect timing.

I want to do a quick intro for Catherine and then give you, get you kind of oriented with this group and then I'll let you take it away. Catherine co-founded Instrumentl with Gauri Manglik about six years ago. She's experienced firsthand the challenges of finding grants as well. She used to work as a fundraiser for UC Berkeley. Also, did you volunteer or work for the museum of vertebrates geology?

I worked for both of those museums, The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and the Botanical Gardens, UC Berkeley. Those are the two organizations that I was fundraising for in addition to others in the past.

You've cut your teeth on some really tough projects. You also bring the perspective, which I love because we have students that come from this angle too, of being a researcher. I presume some of the research that you did was grant funded.

Yes. Yeah. I funded most of my research through grants before I kind of moved into the nonprofit world.

Perfect. Katherine earned her master's from John F. Kennedy University and museum studies and her masters of science and environmental studies from The University of Victoria in British Columbia. And your bachelor's of agriculture and environmental science degree from McGill University in Quebec. It's cool because we have some Canadians in our course as well. I'm also excited because I just imagine that means the future of Instrumentl will hopefully include Canada grants more and more.

I know you're in the U.S. now. And I was like, Oh, it'd be so awesome to eventually have grants included for sure. But yeah, you did research on red squirrels in the Yukon and protected piping plovers. I had to look up what a piping plover was. It’s an adorable bird. So if anyone else was curious, what the heck of piping plover was? It's this adorable little, little thing. Learn something every day. On top of that Catherine's on the East coast and has a one-year-old daughter and that's pretty much everything I've learned from creeping on the internet about you, Catherine. Great. It's actually my son, but that's okay. I have a daughter on the way actually expecting another one in September. Okay, cool. Nice. All in.

Well just so everybody, can you start throwing in the chat box? Kind of how, what describes you so that we can get Catherine up to pace on kind of who we all are. One, did you come into this course wanting just to be better at grant writing because it's a part of your current role? Two, were you learning for self-development, or just start a side hustle and improve your hire ability in the future? Three, were you just interested in volunteering and exploring, or other and if other, please write it in.

We're kind of an evenly split group. I'd say, 20% to 30% are doing this for self-development for better highering ability or to start their own side hustle. Others are already kind of getting into the world of grant writing or already are in it and are just looking to be better at it and maybe never had formal training. So hopefully that helps you kind of understand the split of who makes up this course.

That's really helpful. What is your level of familiarity with Instrumentl? So maybe not all of you got to that section in the module where I talked through how to do a search query, which is not much what we're going to focus on today, but I just wanted to check. So you have Instrumentl access now and you've set up a search. That would be number one. Number two, you've never used, Instrumentl or seen inside of it before. Number three, you haven't tried it out yet, but you will be later on in the course. Lastly four, you use a different database or some combination.

Well, that kind of gives you the lay of the land. We're all over the place, but they do at least have the video on how to set up a search query effectively. I'm hoping that we can cover all the other things that Instrumentl is capable of. I'm going to stop sharing and give you host capabilities so that you can share your screen. You should have that now.

What was that? You know, how you always forget to record? Are you recording this one? Thank you. I know I do in the next video. Thank you. I'm glad everyone's got my back on this. Yup.

Well, yeah, first off, thanks so much for inviting me. We love Meredith and follow everything she does closely. So this is really exciting to be able to do kind of our first webinar for her. It's really helpful to know that you're kind of a mix of freelance, grant writers and also folks working for tribes or nonprofits. I'll try to speak to both of those worlds in terms of how to best use Instrumentl. If you're trying it out through her course, I'll also focus more on the other parts of how Instrumentl works aside from setting up your initial projects. I'll just kind of briefly go over some tips, some higher level tips related to whether you're a grant writer or working at a larger nonprofit. I'll just give some really brief tips on that, but otherwise I'll leave it to Meredith.

I also have a detailed article that I've written about how to set up like a really good search so I can share the link with Meredith or with everyone so that you guys always have access to that. It is in our help center as well. But it is like one of the most important things in terms of using Instrumentl while you want to make sure that your search query is set up correctly so that you're actually getting the best grants, obviously. So it is something to spend time on when you're setting up your account. And then I think Meredith said like, feel free to ask questions while I'm giving the tour. And then Meredith will stop me to go over specific questions as kind of, as I go along.

Feel free to ask questions whether or not you've used Instrumentl before, if something comes up, just feel free to ask. Should we just dive right in? Let's go for it. All right. For those of you who have not seen Instrumentl yet, the screen that you see here is kind of what you see when you first log in. It's called your grant tracker. It's basically the replacement for what many of you may have been using to track grants in the past, which would have been just maybe a spreadsheet which is what we've found to be most common with how grant writers or nonprofits track their grants. Either setting up your grant calendar for the year, moving forward or even tracking your historical funding. You might have a different tab on your spreadsheet for every year or a different spreadsheet for every year.

All of that can now be managed in one place on Instrumentl through your grant tracker which can be really helpful because people change positions. You don't have to keep this up to date like you would have to keep a spreadsheet up to date. It kind of automatically helps you stay on top of deadlines and tracking funder responses and things like that without having to remember to update your spreadsheet by the end of the year and losing information if people change jobs and take over the grant writing rule. It contains the organizational memories in one place, which is nice. You'll see here my test account. I wanted to make sure that it was as detailed as possible to reflect what you see. All the things that you could do with Instrumentl.

Keep that in mind, yours probably does not look like this when you first log in, it's going to be empty because you won't have any grants saved yet. But on the left-hand side of your screen right here, you can see all the different projects that I've set up for this account. You can think of a project on Instrumentl, like you would have saved search on like a traditional database. It’s a series of criteria that you use that we use to match you with grants. I'm going to click in the senior services project for this particular webinar but you can add new projects easily and you can edit your project at any time here at the top right of your screen using the edit project button. It's something that's very flexible. One of the great things about Instrumentl, is the grant tracker. The grant tracker, and then the matches tab, the matches are the results that you receive from your project set up. Once you've set up your search or your project you can receive your matches.

Senior services. What was your question? This is for the freelancers that are out there, is there a way to share individual projects with a specific client? Great question. Before I dive into the matches, I'll quickly mention; if you're a freelance grant writer, what most of our customers do is they set up a different project for each customer or for each of your clients. Because you can that way, keep your information separate. Currently we don't have a way to share individual projects with one particular person. If you invite someone to your account, they can see all of the projects on the account. It is in our pipeline to build an account that's specific to freelance grant writers that would have that capability, but we haven't fully built that out yet. But it's definitely something that we know would be desirable. Sometimes if your client has their own account, that way you can separate. You can be added to their account and have your own as well. But at this time you can't invite your client specifically only to their projects.

I can show you how you can share specific grants with your client. If you wanted them to review something or even to share an update or reports about the work that you've been doing there's a way to do that without giving them access to your account. If you want to keep your account private to yourself as a consultant or freelancer. I can go into the reports more in detail a little bit later. And then in terms of some other project tips, if you're a nonprofit I would say that you want to set up searches that are different in their focus area. It's a way to keep kind of your funnel, your pipeline of new prospects separate. If you set up two projects, let's say that are K through 12 education and afterschool education for K through 12, you're gonna get a lot of duplicate grants because the funding subjects are very similar.

And if both projects are in the same location and have other similar characteristics, you're going to get a lot of duplicates. Generally, think that when you set up a project, think of keeping the projects separate via their focus area. This is usually my recommendation. You might have one for education grants, one for grants related to safety or animal welfare depending on what your organization does. And a lot of organizations find it perfectly sufficient to just have one project that covers their whole organization. If your mission is very focused in one particular area, it tends to work the best because then you have all of your animal welfare related grants in one search.

Let's check out the matches tab. These are the results that you get when you set up a project. For this particular project, I had 158 matches. 158 active grant opportunities that met my criteria. One of the cool things about Instrumentl is that rather than just focusing on static funder profiles in terms of search results is that we build active grant opportunities. So you're seeing here, these are opportunities that you can apply to in some way. So they either accept an LOI unsolicited or a full proposal unsolicited. So there's not going to be any like 100% invite only funders in here or funders who don't have an active grant program. So these are all like actually actionable opportunities. And the list of active grants that we maintain in our databases constantly being updated.

We probably publish in the area of like 50 to a hundred new grants a week. And then any person, once you set up a search you will continue to receive new grants in your pipeline. Any time we publish a grant that fits your particular criteria. We've found on average that folks receive somewhere between one and two new grants, every one to two weeks. It just depends your search and, and the subject area. If it's a common funding theme or not. But it's something that, we really try to make as actionable as possible. Basically what we tried to do here with the matches is automate your prospecting, so that you don't have to be looking, following a million different newsletters searching on Google to find deadlines. You can actually like the opportunities that you can apply to.

We're doing that work for you. We're signed up to all those newsletters, we're in contact with all these funders. Another thing I'll mention, is that we pulled together private funders, government funders, and corporate funders. Government is usually at the state and federal level. We plan on also including local governments. But we haven't gotten there yet. I'll show you a way that you can add your own local government grants as well to your account. Once we locate an active grant opportunity, we take all the information about the grant from the funder's website, and we consolidate it on what we call our grant pages, which is what you see here.

Every one of these listings has their own grant page and we organize the information in the same way from grant to grant so that it's easy for you to quickly review, see if you're eligible, see if it's something that you're interested in without having to go to the funders website. You only really go there once, you know you're interested and want to do extra research on the funder itself, or to find out more about the application. You'll see at the top summary information, the deadline, the location information and then more detailed information. This particular funder is a corporate funder. They don't have a private foundation associated with them, which is why you don't see any 990 information.

If you click on this next grant, the New York Community Trust you'll see this tab here called 990 report. This is a private funder, they have to file a 990 with the IRS every year. For all private funders, you'll be able to access 990 information directly from the grant pages. What we do is collect the latest 990 filing and we create this kind of easy to read report with all that information. You can see, we pull out the assets, contact info, and key people. And we also have all the forms that you can download directly here. Below that if they publish a list of past grantees in there.

It depends on how their 990 looks. Either you can download the PDF or you can just view the past grantees as a list. I'll show you an example, a lot of the 990 stuff we go deep. I won't spend too much time there. You can view 990’s for every single private foundation, which is nice and do some research on them.

Some more information around how we actually gather this grant information and keep it up to date. For any funder that we have a grant for, like the International Paper or the New York Community Trust, we have a tool that tracks this particular funders website. If anything is updated on that, those pages that we're following with our content team gets a notification and we update our pages. We really are focused on making this information as up-to-date and current as possible. For instance, if they update their deadline, we immediately know and can update that and notify you. You'll see here, there's a few deadlines that have like a little squiggly line under them. For instance, this one, it says anticipated deadline, October 31st.

We know this funder offers this grant every single year. But they haven't updated their deadline for 2020 yet. They still have the 2019 deadline on their website. Until we've confirmed with the funder, what the 2020 deadline is, it will be marked as anticipated. Once we confirm that, then it just goes to the next deadline, like there's no anticipated notification there. And if this is a grant that you're tracking, as you've saved the grant because it's something that you're interested in. And they confirm the deadline and it's something different. The deadline is actually October 23rd this year. You will get an email about that update. Once we change our deadline, according to their update, you'll receive an email that says, this funder has updated the date deadline for this particular grant.

And these email updates will also apply if a funder changes their funding focus areas in a major way. We really try to automate that work for you, so that you don't have to be constantly checking in with funders about their deadlines. It's something that happens automatically on Instrumentl. Once you get to your matches, some tips, to make your work more effective or efficient. A lot of our organizations who use Instrumentl effectively will treat their matches kind of like an inbox. They pick a number of grants to review every week. Let's say you have time to review 10 grants a week. Start reviewing the grants in your matches and save any grants that seem even a little bit interesting.

When you save a grant, it moves to your grant tracker, and that way you start building up this kind of short list of grants that you can do additional research on later. If you find a grant that you were not interested in, for whatever reason, you can Mark it as not interested, and it will be removed from the list and go into the not interested folder. And you can also write a note here to describe why you're not interested in that funder so that you can always refer to it later which can be helpful. Especially if you're working on a team, you may not know why someone discredited a particular funder. It's helpful to be able to keep notes related to that. You can sort your grants in a variety of different ways.

You can sort by deadline, obviously, because you can make sure you're not missing anything coming up really soon. Just note that when you sort by deadline all the rolling grants at the bottom, so those are the grants that don't have a specific deadline and tend to get fewer applications. Don't forget that those are towards the bottom. You can process this list and that way, once you get through your list of matches initially you will only have to check back in once a new grant is added and you'll get an email every Thursday. It's like a digest of any new grants that were added to your matches for your particular project that week. You can check in and say, what was newly added? Do I want to save it or remove it from my list? And keep this as a way to be always on the ball when it comes to new grant opportunities. Do you want me to go into any more detail, any other questions related to the matches before we go to the tracker?

Okay, great. Well, I'll move along then to the matches or to the tracker, not to spend too much time here. Once you've saved grants that you find interesting they appear in your tracker. And the great thing about the tracker is you can use it to manage your perspective grants. It can be a grant calendar and your prospect list of grants that you plan on applying to, are considering applying to, or just need to do more research on in the coming year or two. But you can also use it to manage your historical funding opportunities. If you work at a large organization that has been writing grants for many years you can store all that information in Instrumentl. And that same goes for if you're a freelance grant writer and your client wants you to help manage their grant history.

You could do it in here as well. I'll start by going over how you might use the tracker to manage your grant calendar. What's happening this year and next year. Once you save grants they automatically move into your tracker in order of deadlines. So you can see, I have like January, February, March, so it forms a calendar of sorts. And they, when you first save a grant, it goes in researching status. This is the status that it saves to your tracker, unless you change it. For any given grant you can click on it and you can see here the grant page, just like you saw in the matches tab, but then on the right, we have a grant action section. This section is what you use to manage a particular opportunity.

You can store notes related to the grant here. You can update the status. This grant, for instance, I marked as planned. I'm planning to apply to this grant in June. You could, once you apply, mark it as submitted. You can also Mark it as won or lost. Once you hear back from the funder and you can record how much you plan on requesting. And if you mark a grant as won or lost, you can also record the amount that was awarded and all that information will be collected and feeds into your reporting. You can actually easily see how much you've been awarded this year and things like that.

Every grant is going to have a deadline, which you can see here. The next deadline for this particular grant is June 15th. However, there's also this field called submission goals. This is like a personal deadline that you have for when you want to submit this grant. You can see that this particular opportunity has many different deadlines in a year. They don't have just one cycle. So you could say, I actually want to submit in December, I don't want to do the June deadline. You could change the submission goal to December and it'll move. And we list the potential dates that the funder actually has here. To make it easier for you. You could say, I actually want to apply to this grant in December, and it'll move that grant to the December section of your tracker. It allows you to move things around as you want, in terms of how you want to set up your calendar for the year.

Grants that you have in your tracker, you will receive automatic deadline reminders. Every Monday you get an email digest of any grants in your tracker that have a deadline coming up in the next month. And so you get that every week until the deadline has passed. In addition to that, you can also set up what we call tasks. This is a little task feature here. Tasks allow you to set up personal email reminders about a specific grant related to anything that you like. Let's say you wanted to get a reminder on the date that you wanted to start the proposal.

I know I want to start this proposal at the end of November. I would save that task. And so Instrumentl will now email me on November 7th saying, start proposal. In addition to the automatic deadline reminders that Instrumentl sends you, you can also set up your own tasks and it can be from anything like, start a proposal to contact the funder because I'm expecting to hear back from them at this time, or a report is due. And then finally, here we have documents, so you can attach documents to a grant on Instrumentl. This is a great way to keep all of your grant related work in one place. Anytime you submit a proposal, you can attach the proposal and any related documents to the grant itself, so that in the future you can always click on this grant and see, this is the submission I made in 2019, do those in 2021.

You'll have all that information in one place. And any time you upload a document to a grant on Instrumentl, in addition to it being attached to that specific opportunity, it's also going to be synced into your document library, which you find here at the bottom left-hand side of your screen. It'll have all the grants, all the documents that you've ever uploaded to us on Instrumentl, and you can also upload documents directly to this library. Then you can give them a custom titles here, if you want to organize them in a specific way. And so this is a great way to have documents that you use for every proposal and you work on a team at your organization, you can have your board list and your mission statement and things like that.

It's like a Dropbox just for your grants that you can kind of keep up to date more easily. That's all the different things you can do to your grants from your tracker. You can see here, I've created this tracker for 2020, 2021 that has all the grants that I plan on applying to, or I've already submitted, but I'm just waiting to hear back from the funder. You can see kind of my full year in grants in any notes that I have. You can see if you save a grant that has a rolling deadline, but you didn't give it a specific submission goal. For instance, I'll just click on this grant. This grant has a rolling deadline, so you can apply any time.

What you'll want to do for this is give it a submission goal, for when you would like to aim, to submit this particular grant and then it'll move to the appropriate place in your calendar so that you can actually organize it properly. Otherwise it'll just stay at the bottom of your tracker like this. I want to show you what that would look like. You can always see which grants still need to be planned for. If you want to add them into your calendar. You won’t get reminders about these specific grants since they don't have any deadlines. It quickly shows you how to plan your calendar for the year.

It’s an easy way to see if there are any grants still in researching status, that can be a way for you to identify which grants you need to do more research on before deciding if you actually want to apply for it or not. It's helpful to use this status versus planned, which you can use once you've done the research and you're pretty sure you want to apply. It separates those statuses for that, for an opportunity you can search your saved grants using the search portal here and it searches all years. If you're looking for a grant that you applied for in 2017 it's in your tracker, or you can still search for it here, even if you're in like 2020 or 2021.

You'll see here that at the top of your grant tracker you have your stats or your dashboard. This reflects the years that you've selected. Here you can see all the years of grants that I have in my tracker. My organization submitted grants from 2018, 2019 and 2021. But I'm currently showing 2020 and 2021. The stats I see here are just from this year. You can see so far this year, I have one for $2000, but I have a goal of $250,000. I've still a long way to go. I've submitted this much worth of grants and I'm still waiting to hear back from the funder on that. It helps you kind of get a glimpse of how you're doing towards your goal.

And the goal is totally flexible. You can customize the goal to be whatever you want for a specific year based on your fundraising plans. I'll go into reporting in a bit, but first I'll just quickly share how you would use Instrumentl to track your historical funding opportunities in addition to your upcoming grants. The first thing I'll mention, if you work for an organization that already has spreadsheets of grants that you've applied to in previous years, or even a few were a grant writer who has a client who has these kinds of spreadsheets all you really have to do to get set up is use this ad grant button and click on upload my grants and actually upload your spreadsheet to the tracker. And our team will review that and add all of the grants for you in the appropriate years with all of your notes and everything so that you don't have to do it yourself.

It's a way that we're helping you get started. If you do have all this data sitting in spreadsheets and you want to get it onto Instrumentl. Alternatively, if you just have a few grants or you want to do it all yourself, you can add one grant at a time. You'd pick the funder and then you would pick a grant, whatever grant you add will be added as a line item in your grant tracker in the appropriate year that you save it to. And another cool thing about this ad grant feature is that this is what you can use to add literally any grant. It doesn't have to be a grant that you find on Instrumentl. Like I was mentioning, we don't currently support local government funders at least automatically in terms of like the grants that show up in your matches.

If you work with a local government, even a local business that doesn't have an official grant program, but they gave you a donation. You can add them here, so that you can keep track of literally any opportunity in your tracker whether or not it has been found on Instrumentl. That's pretty handy there. That's one way you can add a grant to a prior year. Another thing you can do, let's say this Tony Robbins grant is something that I, although I also applied to it this year, I have applied to it in previous years. You'll see, on any grant that you save in your tracker, the saved history tab here. You can click on that at any time and you can save it to another project or a year, and basically create another record for this grant in a previous year.

You can see that I've already created a record for this grant in 2019 and 2018. In 2019, I won the grant. And if I click on that, those stats appear here to the right. You can see that I won a thousand dollars. In 2018, I lost the grant and I requested this amount. It's a way for you to really keep track of what your history is with a particular funder. And you can actually do it directly from the grant page as well. In addition to using, or instead of using the add grant button if you already have that grant saved in your tracker, that’s an easy way to do it. And I was mentioning that I would show you how to share a grant with someone outside of your account. Let's say you come across this grant or you've done research on this grant and you think it's a good fit for your client.

You can use this little envelope button to share the grant with anybody. It does not have to be someone on your account. They're going to get an email with a link to the specific grant page. And they can click on this little expand button to see the expanded grant page. They're going to see this whole page. They can visit the website, they can see the 990, but they don't have to have their own Instrumentl account to see that. That's how you can share one particular grant. And then I also mentioned with Meredith the reporting function. Whether or not you work at an organization, if you're a grant writer and you need to report to your board, or you need to report to your client what grants you've submitted this year. How many grants you've won so far. What your funders have awarded you money in the past three years? You can use the share report button to do that.

I'll show you what you can do. It will create a report based on the data that you have in your grant tracker, and you can customize it. Let's say, I'm going to pick the senior services project, cause that's what I want to report on, but you could report on grants and multiple of your projects if you had multiple different searches there. I only want to see grants that I've submitted won or lost in 2020 and 2019. And then I'm going to create a report and you can either download a PDF of the report or you can download a CSV. CSV can be helpful if you want to manipulate the data in any way, or create graphs or add additional columns, before you share the information with your board.

But I'll just click on this, on the PDF, just so you can see a little bit in terms of how it would look. You can see here the summary of what I wanted to report on. And then you see all the grants, in 2020 that I submitted won and lost in order of deadline then also in 2019, and then it gives the summary stats at the top there. If you just want to share specific information with your board or with the client that's an easy way to do it without having them to have access to your account. And then quickly I know we're a little over time. Are we okay to have like a couple more minutes Meredith? Yeah. I'll just quickly show this quick find feature.

I'm not sure if Meredith has given you much context there yet, but like I was mentioning here in your matches, that's like going to show you any active offered grant opportunities that fit your search criteria. But let's say you're just doing research on a funder. Someone tells you about a funder or you have a funder in mind. You want to just look up their 990 or you want to see if there is an active grant opportunity for that funder this quick find portal searches all private foundations registered with the IRS. It's like a hundred thousand foundations as well as all of the active grants in our database. You could just say, I want to see The Tucker Foundation. I want to see their 990. And you press search and then it'll list any grant opportunity that we have that has that name, The Tucker Foundation in it, as well as any private foundation registered with the IRS, which you will see be able to see their 990 reports. I click on that and I can view the 990 report for that funder.

I'll just click on one of these grant pages. It'll open up either the grant page or the 990, essentially for that particular funder. And you can do your research that way. And if you open, this is what I would see if I just clicked on The Tucker Foundation from my notes here and I wanted from the search to see the full 990. This is where you can see the history of the funders history from 2018 from their 990 and where they gave so most of the grants were in Texas. If you are doing research on a funder and you haven't saved this funder in your tracker, yet you can also do it from the 990 report as well. You can just save that even if you didn't come across this in your matches, you can save it from here. That way you can still have it tracked. Even if it's a grant that's invite only, or it's a funder that you've been working with, personally that doesn't have like an active grant opportunity.

Quick question: will that only work if it's a foundation? It'll work for all foundations. And then if we have an active grant opportunity, it will also show up. If you had the federal grant listed and you went and searched in here for that, you could find it if it's an active grant opportunity, if it's expired, or it won't show up in that search.

Some on how we do the federal grants. For federal grants, since I know that's important to many of you guys, we have a feed directly from grants.gov that we basically import any grant that's posted to grants.gov and we build it and it'll show up automatically in your results if it fits your criteria. Unlike corporate and private grants where we keep our grant pages active and have an anticipated deadline for the next year, just because we know like these funders don't change very frequently when a federal grant deadline has passed and there's no future deadline listed, that grant is archived. If you've saved as the grantee, it'll still stay in your tracker, you won't lose it.

But if it was in your matches and you never did anything to that grant in the end, and the deadline has passed. It's going to actually go away from your matches because it's no longer an active opportunity that you can apply to. And the next year, if they repost that same opportunity or a related opportunity, it'll show up again in your matches when you'll get a notification about it. Unlike private grants, these federal grants can appear and disappear based on their deadlines. You'll only see them, if they're an active opportunity or if you've saved the grant, you'll still see them, if they have been archived. And it'll say this grant is expired if you haven't applied to it in your list. Any other questions about that?

No, that's great. Good to know. I've never used that before, so

I think that's all the main features. It's fairly simple to get the hang of if anyone wants a, one-on-one to help getting set up. I can definitely put you in touch with our onboarding advisor Maud, if you haven't already spoken with her, she'd be happy to help you get set up with your free trial if you haven't done it already. That can be helpful. Thank you. Meredith. Anything else?

That's great. I've been actually able to answer the questions as they've been coming up so far. You're welcome to unmute yourself or just add your chat box question now if you have it. That's helpful to know. I'm not doing a good job of tracking grants as we submit them. Like I've had one client for three years and have submitted a ton of grant opportunities and we always come at the end of the year being like, well, what have we done? Which ones are still pending? And it's always this like race to try to go figure it out. And it's silly. This is a good reminder to actually move that project and all that history just into here and always have it running to find new grant opportunities.

And that way you don't have to, go back to an old spreadsheet to see if you've applied to a funder in the past. You just click on the grant and you can see in your history. We are happy to get you started by, dealing with your spreadsheets because it can be time-consuming if they're pretty long to get all that information uploaded and we do that for free.

Well, one of the students just asked a question that I actually have a question about as well. What features are in the pipeline that you are most excited about that you're going to be rolling out sometime in the future?

We have a lot of big projects in the pipeline. Let me think. I would say one of the things we're working on is building a really solid relationship with the IRS, so that we can code all of their foundations that don't have active grants. Similar to how we match with active grant opportunities, you'd have the option of also seeing what funders that don't necessarily have an active opportunity, but you could maybe foster some sort of relationship with. That's something that we're working on right now actively. Let's see, we're also working on making our quick find super detailed so that you can search by a bunch of different parameters versus just the funder name.

I was mentioning bringing in local government grants and just being even more comprehensive than we currently are. And the other thing I would say is right now, if you invite multiple users to the account, everyone shares the same account. But one thing that we really want to do is give users their own separate account within the account. You would be able to share tasks to specific users. Let's say you work on a team with two different grant writers or three different grant writers. You can assign grants to different people. They would be able to have their own dashboard and see what tasks they have upcoming. User specific accounts that would allow you to work even better as a team. That's something that we're working on and would work well with grant writers as well. For freelance grant writers who want to have more separate accounts for their clients. I would say that's another thing I'm really excited about and that we get a lot of requests about.

Cool. That's awesome. I think this is funny. I just had the same question. Do you have any current or potential integrations with project management programs like Monday or Asana?

Not currently. That's also something we get a lot of requests about. It's definitely something that I think we will explore after we get through some of our big projects that we have in the pipeline. I think that integrations is probably one of the next pieces of the puzzle. We get a lot of requests for project management tools and also obviously CRM’s like Salesforce so that you can merge more easily your grant and funder data with like your donor database in general. Right now you would have to use the reporting feature to download as a CSV of your funders and then upload them into something like Salesforce. But yeah, currently we don't have any integrations. But it's something that we foresee doing in the future. Definitely. we're also \ extremely open to feedback, so you'll see it.

You can't see it on my account because I'm an admin, but normally if you log into your Instrumentl account, there'll be a little chat bubble at the bottom right-hand corner. And so anytime you think of something that would make your life easier, message us about it. And we add it to our living, breathing, Asana product board that we use to prioritize projects based on how requested they are. It definitely helps to put your vote in if, if there is something that would be particularly helpful to you and make your life easier as a grant writer. We're very interested in hearing.

Totally agree. Yeah. We just made the switch to Asana as the team gets bigger with grants. I know Monday is essentially the same thing and it's an awesome tool. We're finding that that's going to be where we spend a lot of time to keep track of everything. It would be really cool. There's some questions I can answer half of and then I'll need your help. Carol's wondering what the monthly fees are, which I can answer that much $75 a month, if you have a year membership and it's $82 a month, if you don't, but, and you can have 10 projects maximum. I just emailed Gary about this. If you wanted more than 10 projects, what does that cost again.

We actually just made a switch. It's actually a maximum of five projects right now on an account that you can have on one account. And if you want additional projects, it's $5 a month, additional per project. That's how it goes for beyond 10 as well. Got it. But if it's beyond 10 you can contact us because we can discuss a really large account and do something a little more custom for you.

Another question from one of my students in this makes up a lot of us actually, they're coming at this from all volunteer based organizations and boards. I don't know if there's really a way to answer this or more of it's just feedback, but they're struggling. They're all in on the value of Instrumentl, but they're struggling to get to the volunteer board to see the value in paying for that when they've never before. They're kind of wondering if there's some sort of plan for a six month period for these small nonprofits or these new friends, freelance consultants that could get started so that they can prove it and be able to export the report and show. “Hey, here's the eight grants we applied for.” I think that that's something a bunch of them are struggling with. I know they're small, but they hope to be growing and staffing up.

Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, we work with a lot of small and volunteer nonprofits and right now, we don't have anything like that in terms of like a six month trial or something like that. But most of the time I would say those organizations will start off on like a monthly basis. And that way you can pause or cancel your account any time. If you only apply for grants like a couple months out of the year, if you're very small or you're just getting started and you want to do a search and then apply to some grants to prove the value and then come back to Instrumentl, all of your data will be saved. You can always just pay for like a month or two. And then come back when you're ready or when you've been able to show the board how valuable it is.

We did design that so that you could have that flexibility. If you were just getting started or you didn't have the ability to invest for a full year. And then the other thing that we're more than happy to do with boards, because we know it can be tricky is give them a tour as well. If you want us to give your board president a tour of, in Instrumentl or try to show them the value we're like more than happy to do that. In addition to the person who created the free trial account, we can do additional tours. Let us know if that's helpful.

Yeah. That makes sense. I think that's a good point. The data's not going anywhere. If you hustle for six weeks or four weeks and you crank out a bunch of your proposals and get to show the impact, then I think it will paint your case. We've had a lot of community. The other thing you might check out is what was her name? Bree Wallace. She actually ended up putting together this little fact sheet on why the community should buy a membership to Instrumentl. She was told no, the first and second time she asked and then she put together this sheet of here's why, and here's the business case and presented that. And it was like instantly approved. I think sometimes it is how it's presented in the request so that people who say no can be shown, “I’m not asking to add costs, there is a good investment reason to do so.”

Yeah.We have materials like a demo video and a one pager. You can always ask us for additional material, if you want, like some prepared things to share with your board. In addition, we’re always able to do a presentation of your free trial to them as well. We’re happy to do that. We're happy to share stuff like that.

I was definitely bummed to hear projects went from ten to five, because a lot of times it's really fun just to set up the different searches, even for your own personal interests, to explore and learn.

Yeah. You can always edit your existing projects because if you edit a project that you have active, like your saved grants, nothing will change. It'll only be your matches that change. I guess for exploratory purposes that could work as a hack.

Okay, cool. Anybody else have any questions? Well, easy. Sweet. Well, thank you so much for giving us a behind the scenes update on how the tool works. It's a good reminder for me to start using it well beyond, just as a research tool. Thank you. Everybody's blowing up on the thank you page, so thank you very much. Good.

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