About 10 years ago I was participating in #grantchat (an hour-long grant discussion on Twitter most Tuesdays at noon Eastern) when that week’s particular topic was centered around high-tech grant tools. Everyone was sharing helpful apps, websites, and software. Meanwhile, I was raving about things like post-it notes, three-ring binders, and my giant whiteboard. (I do love a good whiteboard.)
Despite my inclination towards all things old-school, I have learned to embrace many a helpful tool. The ones that make my job easier, save me time, and keep me organized. In Season 4, Episode 18 of the Fundraising HayDay podcast, my cohost Kimberly and I are shared our top ten list of tech tools we use to get the job done. To hear our list, listen here: Top Ten Tech Tools for Grant Pros (podbean.com).
When preparing for the episode, we asked several trusted grant professional colleagues what grant tools they use. They shared so many, we decided to dedicate this post to their top ten list.
- Zoom – This is a great platform for webinars and meetings. You can schedule a meeting for multiple people, at no cost, for up to 45 minutes. Anything longer than that requires a paid subscription. Zoom’s paid subscription includes the ability to have mini break-out sessions within a larger meeting.
- Google Drive/Dox and/or Dropbox – When collaborating with more than one person, an efficient and effective communication and file-sharing tool is a must-have. Limited file storage is available in the free plan version.
- Nitro or Adobe – A good PDF converter is a must-have for every grant pro. The majority of online grant applications require you to upload documents in a pdf format. Sometimes funders want you to submit one large attachment with a variety of documents in a very specific order. Enter your trusty PDF converter to get the job done.
- Calendly or Doodle Integrated with Google Calendar – For a busy professional, it is easy to overschedule yourself. Having an integrated calendar and scheduling assistance helps you plan your meeting times.
- Foundation Directory Online, Instrumentl, GrantStation, etc. – A quality prospect research tool is a must-have for anyone on the hunt for grant funding. We dedicated Episode 11 of Season 4 to this very topic. If you’d like to hear more about these and other prospect research options, check out that previous episode here: Prospect Research: What’s Old is New Again (podbean.com).
- Buffer – This is a one-stop shop for social media posting and tracking your user engagement. If you are advertising your organization, programs, activities, and whatnot, having a one-stop-shop to schedule all your social media posts is a time saver.
- HelloSign – Often we need to gather signatures from mayors, board chairs, and the like. Signatures are needed on grant applications, award agreements, support letters, and so much more. Having the means to quickly collect a signature without driving all over town is a lifesaver.
- Keap – This is a customer relationship management tool. Its automation will save you time for repetitive tasks.
- Clickup – This is a productivity management tool. Features include time tracking, mind mapping, Gantt charts, dashboards, and more. The tool integrates with Google calendar, Google drive, Slack, Outlook, Office 365, and a host of other platforms.
- Expensify – This app is a game-changer for anyone who travels. It keeps track of receipts and helps you create spreadsheets based on your expenses.
This is a great list, and many are tools I use myself. Start with one or two that seem the most useful, and get comfortable with them, before you add any more. As my pal, Kimberly is fond of saying, be sure to run the tech, but don’t let the tech run you.
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