In March, Submittable team members Cory Davis and Caitlin Stainken left snowy Missoula for Hollywood to participate in PEAK Grantmaking’s annual conference. Caitlin shared her experiences from the event.

How was the conference? 

It was inspiring! The job of a grantmaker is literally to give money away to the most deserving people and organizations in the world. Which sounds easy, until you realize how much thought and deliberation goes into these decisions, and how high the stakes are for those seeking funding. Grantmakers take these decisions very seriously, so–perhaps unsurprisingly–they are a terrific group of big-hearted people.

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Cory and Caitlin took Hollywood by storm.

What are grantmakers concerned about right now?

We heard a lot about making sure funds go to the people that need them most, and sat in on a discussion about potential cuts to NEA funding. The conversation was centered around how funds are currently allocated and who will be affected most by cuts. Privately funded foundations were looking at how they could step in to fill gaps.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by the level of concern for organizations that might be losing funding. It was heartening and inspiring to learn that grantmakers are actively trying to make sure funds go to those who need them most, and they’re looking for ways to give access to organizations beyond the ones they’ve typically funded.

How does Submittable fit in?

Here’s what we heard from the grantmakers we spoke with: No single platform handles everything perfectly. Many organizations are moving towards systems comprised of platforms that work together to enable a much better workflow than you could ever achieve with a single bulky system. Submittable + Salesforce + Quickbooks is a great example. Each piece of this equation handles one area of the process perfectly.  

They were surprised by the power that Submittable offers as an end-to-end grant management solution, especially with the new tools we’ve added specifically for grantmakers, like tables. They also appreciate how Submittable can easily integrate with the databases and other tools they already use. We’re new to the grantmaking space, so many people are just learning about us. But they’re excited by a platform that doesn’t require lengthy onboarding, and comes in at a much better price than they’re used to.

Tell us about your best meal.

I was there with my husband and 7-month-old daughter Nettie, so we mostly got takeout. One night, we were eating sushi after baby had gone to bed, but she woke up and was interested. So she had her first tuna roll. I’m not sure if babies are supposed to eat raw fish, but she loved it!

Any highlights for Nettie?

Well, that sushi roll was a highlight. But the best thing for Nettie was that she was there with me. Her dad came, too, so they got some great one-on-one time while I worked. And she took her first swim in the hotel pool with the Hollywood sign in the background! She’s still breastfeeding, so I wouldn’t have traveled without her at this age. Knowing she was close by and safe allowed me to focus on the conference. Submittable has been great about helping me fit baby into my life–this is a perfect example of that.

Interested in finding out more about Submittable for grants? We’d love to hear from you. You can also explore how organizations currently use Submittable by visiting the Grants & Foundations section of our blog.

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