We bought it for grantmaking, but use it for everything!
February 16, 2022

We bought it for grantmaking, but use it for everything!

Tricia Sanborn | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Submittable

We initially purchase Submittable to support our work as a local arts agency, providing grants to artists and arts organizations in our county. We were using an art-specific software product that was technologically outdated for only our largest grant programs. It was costly to manage - we were being charged by the program, so some of the ancillary efforts were being done on paper forms, Google forms, etc. Moving to Submittable, we now have a single spot for all of our grant programs. And, we love it so much that we moved all of our exhibits, award programs, and scholarships to the Submittable platform.
  • It's incredibly easy to create forms.
  • Reviews are streamlined and efficient.
  • Our applicants are raving about how much easier the application process has become, especially uploading and adding work samples and materials.
  • Let us see who is applying, so I can remind those who have not yet started their applications.
  • Provide buckets or folders for similar types of projects. For example, put all cycles of one program into a single folder so I don't have to wade through exhibit cycles, scholarship cycles, etc. to find them.
  • I know this is in the works, but making organizations applicants will really help, and using EIN numbers as identifiers is key. There is turnover in these organizations, so applications should be tied to the org and not the individual.
  • Improved applicant experience.
  • More consistent application processes across all programs (grants, scholarships, exhibits, awards, etc...)
  • Reduced time to create application forms/processes.
  • Pricing by application/seat is much less expensive than pricing by grant cycle, as most companies do.
It's been a game-changer for us! We love the drop and drag setup and the simplicity of having a preview function, neither of which our previous software had. It's such a clean and easy interface for the applicant, too. We've moved virtually ALL of our programs to it, and haven't run out of use yet.
I really like being able to communicate directly with grantees through the platform. Also, we have many older, not-super computer literate applicants, and they love that they can make me a collaborator and check their work before they submit it. And when they do need to fix something after submission, it's not a heavy lift to reopen for editing, send them a note, and recheck their work.
Salesforce - way too costly and complex for our organization. A heavy-lift to customize. SurveyMonkey Apply - great software, but pricing by the cycle gets costly Good Grants - another good product but has no collaborative features GO Smart - archaic, the form builder is not user friendly, no preview function, priced by cycle, limited capacity to upload files

Do you think Submittable delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Submittable's feature set?


Did Submittable live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Submittable go as expected?


Would you buy Submittable again?


The grant application usages are really phenomenal. So flexible that I can create anything I want/need to ask applicants. Using Excel forms for financials isn't always ideal. I'd like to have an alternative where the number reporting can be done directly into the application, so I can pull them up in reporting. Standardizing demographic questions/tables would be a huge step forward, too. I've been told the exhibit functions are not quite up to speed.

Using Submittable

3 - 1. Executive Director
2. Grant Manager, also runs awards program
3. Exhibit Manager, also runs scholarship program
1 - Grant manager, in house Submittable contact for employees and applicants.
  • Operating and project grants for arts organizations and artists.
  • Exhibit application submission and management of online exhibit portal.
  • All other uses - awards, scholarships, etc.
  • Exhibits!
  • Scholarships!
  • Submission of nominees for annual arts awards!
  • Artist Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
Because we're very happy with it!

Evaluating Submittable and Competitors

Yes - GO Smart. It's an antiquated piece of software that was laborious to set up and very confusing for the end user. They also charged us $1200 a grant cycle. During COVID, we were trying to push out grants with CARES and ARPA funding, and being charged for two cycles for artists and arts orgs that got prohibitive.

It also had no way, other than a text question, to capture audience demographics. In this time when we're focused on DEI, it's critical that we can capture them in a way that is not burdensome to the organization, and can be reported to our funders.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
Flexibility. We knew we could make it work for our wide breadth of programs - operating grants, project grants, independent artist grants, historic and cultural resource grants, school grants....and it greatly exceeded our expectations!
Focus less on integrations. We thought integrating with our CRM would be the most critical piece, but it's really not. That's easy enough to do after a cycle with an upload.