The Best Alternative to CyberGrants (Bonterra)

If you’re looking for an alternative to CyberGrants (part of Bonterra), here are the top reasons to consider Submittable.

CyberGrants and Submittable both offer grant management and employee engagement solutions that organizations use to run social good programs. 

With either solution, you can manage grants, disburse funding, and run employee giving and volunteering programs, as well as report on impact. 

But there are significant differences between Submittable and CyberGrants that you need to keep in mind. if you’re comparing the two. 

Capabilities at a glance

Grant application collection and review
Funds tracking and disbursement
Employee volunteering
Corporate giving and matching
Comprehensive reporting 

The top 3 reasons people choose Submittable over CyberGrants

Organizations seeking a quick to implement, modern, and flexible platform are likely to prefer Submittable as an alternative to CyberGrants. 

Submittable is a fast to implement, out-of-the-box solution

When customers choose Submittable, they choose a plug-and-play solution. In fact, 75% of our customers launch their program in two weeks or less. Many CyberGrants customers find that launching can take many months—at the minimum. 

Submittable customers can use a variety of out-of-the-box question types and workflow tools tor make their program match their needs. They can leverage all of these tools completely on their own, as soon as they purchase. 

CyberGrants, on the other hand, typically designs a deeply tailored solution for their clients. As it says on their website, “[O]ur grant management software can be tailored to your organization’s every need.” CyberGrants also boasts that they offer “multiple configuration options” to “personalize your programs.” 

Keep in mind that this level of customization requires extensive support from the CyberGrants team comes at a cost, of both dollars and time. 

As some CyberGrants customers have noted on the software review site G2:

[With CyberGrants] the time to get the solutions from the team was rather long than expected and It would have been great if it was drastically reduced only to meet the requirements.

Review of CyberGrants in software review platform G2 from Sameera S., Technical Consulting Engineer

[CyberGrants] took a lot longer to implement than we had planned, and sometimes communicating our needs took several sessions. 

Review of CyberGrants in software review platform G2 from “Verified User in Food & Beverages”

As the reviews above indicate, simply getting started with CyberGrants can often take much longer than customers anticipate. And, the need for customization is typically ongoing, and continues to be required throughout the lifecycle of a grant program on CyberGrants.

While excessive customization is the right choice for some organizations, Submittable customers love that they can build and launch a new program right away, all on their own (or with guidance from Submittable’s Implementation team). 

[With Submittable] once I know what my questions are, I can design and launch an application within a day. Other platforms make me wait days, weeks, sometimes months just to get a first draft of the application.

Fernando Rojas, Program Manager, Japan ICU Foundation (Submittable Customer)

What can fast implementation mean for you and your team?

When the world throws curveballs: an economic downturn, global unrest, a disaster impacting a community—Submittable customers can spin up a relief program in no time. They are able to use the platform for their regular, ongoing programs, but also to leverage it quickly in times of need.

CyberGrants customers have no possibility of responding quickly to emerging situations. 

Submittable is easy-to-use and flexible

Submittable is a user-friendly, no-code solution. Seven out of ten Submittable customers say it is “easy” or “very easy” to use. With CyberGrants, there are many standard configurations that require coding, or that customers are unable to complete on their own. 

Submittable customers have autonomy: they are in charge of building and maintaining their program. While Submittable does offer project management services, many customers prefer the freedom, flexibility, and lower cost of managing their programs themselves. With CyberGrants, customers must go through their technical support team (often with an additional cost or on a lengthy timeline) for many tasks that they Submittable customers can manage on their own. 

One of the things Submittable customers love best is that they can make changes to their program at any time. And those changes will go live immediately. This allows Submittable customers to be responsive to their community as they run their program. 

[With Submittable] the ease of use in creating and editing applications make[s] it so we can be responsive to our applicants and grantees as we receive feedback. Sometimes it is as simple as “Oh, that help text could be rephrased to be more helpful” and we change the application mid-stream, but it also gives us more flexibility in making changes based on feedback and surveys as we run a new round of a given program.

Andrea Brown, Grants and Program Administrator, Jerome Foundation (Submittable customer)

With CyberGrants, on the other hand, much of the work of building, maintaining, and especially making changes to a program must be taken care of by the CyberGrants team. 

[CyberGrants] was not as user-friendly as we were hoping for. We needed support from customer service for most updates to our application form, which we were hoping to handle ourselves.

Review of CyberGrants in software review platform G2 from “Verified User in Food & Beverages”

So what does this mean for your team? 

Let’s say you launched a new program and began collecting applications. But after the second day, you realized there was an important question you were missing. Let’s assume you receive ten applications per day. With Submittable, you could edit your form in real time to add the question, on your own. Anyone with an open draft will be prompted to refresh their form and answer the new question. Your team would only need to reach out to those 20 individuals who had already submitted for their response to your missing question (which in Submittable, you could do via making their form editable, through an Additional Form, or over in-app messaging). 

Now let’s say this happened but you were using CyberGrants. You wouldn’t be able to edit your form on your own—you’d need to reach out to their team, and they would need a technical resource to input the change in the form. Meanwhile, your form is already live! So every day that it takes to make the change, that’s another ten applicants that your team will need to work with to get all of the data that you need. If it takes a week, that’s now 90 applicants. Two weeks would be 160. And so on. 

And this would be repeated every time you wanted to make a little tweak—which means sometimes, you might decide it’s not even worth it. Your lack of autonomy could in fact hold you hostage from making your application as clear and helpful for applicants as it could be. Everyone learns as they go, but CyberGrants’ lack of flexibility could take a real toll on your ability to be responsive as you learn what works best for your program.  

Submittable is focused on grants and CSR (and growing)

Our core offering for our full history has been our grant management solution, now expanded to include CSR. CyberGrants is part of Bonterra, which also offers tools that may not be relevant for many customers, including case management solutions to coordinate social services and fundraising solutions and engagement tools, diluting Bonterra’s focus on grants and employee engagement.

Submittable was founded in 2010 in Missoula, MT, where we are still headquartered. In 2022, Submittable received a Series C investment led by Accel-KKR and supported by our previous investors. Since then, we’ve extended our offer to more fully meet the needs of our corporate clients, adding employee volunteering and corporate giving and matching solutions to our CSR product suite. 

Bonterra is a conglomerate of tech solutions owned by British private equity firm Apax

The Bonterra ecosystem, like Submittable, includes grant management, employee volunteering, and corporate giving. It also spans three additional case management solutions to coordinate social services, along with three nonprofit fundraising solutions and engagement tools. 

While some organizations might find a single vendor for managing everything from coordinating social services to grassroots fundraising helpful, other organizations might prefer working with a more specialized vendor. 

Like much of the tech industry, Bonterra as a business has been contracting. They went through  two significant layoffs in 2023 as reported by Nonprofit Times and The Intercept.  

At Submittable, we are extremely proud to be growing. We were named a Deloitte 2022 Technology Fast 500 winner, recognizing recent growth and innovation, and are actively hiring

Each new person who joins the team is laser-focused on helping us improve our grants, volunteering, and giving solutions so that we can exceed the expectations of our customers and continue to lead our industry. 

Learn more about Submittable

If you’re curious to learn more about Submittable as a CyberGrants alternative, we’d love to talk to you. Get in touch with our team, or sign up for a live demo to learn more. 

Methodology: This analysis was compiled from publicly-available information on Bonterra’s website (accessed October 3, 2023), news publications, independent software review sites, and other resources, as well as Submittable sources, including customer testimonials and data from Submittable’s annual customer survey. 

Natalya Taylor

Natalya is the director of product marketing at Submittable and is focused on helping organizations get a ton of value out of the platform. She is a bookworm, adventure enthusiast and card-carrying cat lady as well as a writer and yogi.