The Best Alternative to SurveyMonkey Apply

If you’ve looked into purchasing SurveyMonkey Apply or you’re a current customer, here are the top reasons why you should consider Submittable.

Foundations, universities, and businesses of all sizes have discovered that application management software can save enormous amounts of time and hassle. 

Submittable and SurveyMonkey Apply are both robust platforms that offer an easy-to-use online application process, collaboration tools for your review team, streamlined workflows, and fund management features. They make accepting, reviewing, and awarding grants, scholarships, fellowships, and other opportunities more cost-effective and efficient. 

But there are clear distinctions between the products. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re comparing SurveyMonkey Apply vs. Submittable. 

Submittable offers everything you need

Submittable’s features go beyond the core offerings in SurveyMonkey Apply:

 SubmittableSurveyMonkey Apply
Ease of use more highly ratedX
Unlimited programs with subscriptionX
In-app messagingX
Customer support more highly rated and includes chatX
Unlimited records per exportX
Comprehensive tools for anonymous reviewX
Rich text formatting in-app for applicantsX
Branded portals
Form builder with many question types
In-form data validation
Real-time applicant collaboration
Nonprofit status validation
File uploads
Eligibility screening
Automated reviewer assignments
Side-by-side review
Basic and advanced reviews
Multiple stages of review
Reminders and notifications
Reporting and dashboards

Top reasons to choose Submittable over SurveyMonkey Apply

While Submittable and SurveyMonkey Apply share many key features in common, there are a few key differentiators that can help you make your decision.

  1. Submittable is more intuitive 

One of the most frequent pieces of feedback we hear from customers who choose Submittable over SurveyMonkey Apply is that Submittable’s software is significantly easier to use. 

As a reviewer of SurveyMonkey Apply put it on the G2 software review site: 

“The learning curve for SurveyMonkey Apply is steep to say the least.”

Contrast that with Submittable: our average customer time-to-launch is only six days after signing up, which speaks to how simple it is to get things up and running. 

As customer Barrett Warner, the editor of the Free State Review by Galileo Press put it: 

“[Submittable] is one of the only computerized experiences where I know how it works, don’t have to call my kids for help, etc.”

This difference in ease of use between the platforms may be partly due to SurveyMonkey Apply’s complicated automated workflows. Some customers need highly-automated, complex workflows. They don’t mind investing extra time, energy, and resources into learning and implementing a new platform. For those customers, SurveyMonkey Apply might be the better option.

But many Submittable customers find the comparative simplicity of Submittable, including the ease of use of the Advanced Reporting and analytic tools, more appealing. 

In fact, as Shana Melnysyn, the Research Grants Manager at University of California Humanities Research Institute, put it: 

“That’s why I chose Submittable in the first place,” since she could tell Submittable would be “easier to work” than SurveyMonkey Apply.

Submittable’s ease of use is rated more highly on both Capterra (4.7 to 4.3) and G2 (9.2 to 8.7).

Ease of Use rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on Capterra
Ease of Use rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on Capterra
Ease of Use rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on G2
Ease of Use rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on G2

G2 offers additional Ease of Setup and Ease of Admin ratings, where Submittable wins again, 8.7 to 8.0 and 9.2 to 8.5, respectively.

Ease of Setup and Ease of Admin ratings comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on G2
Ease of Setup and Ease of Admin ratings comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on G2

2. Submittable gives you more bang for your buck

Over one third of Submittable customers have found a completely new use for the platform since purchase.

Because Submittable’s pricing is based on the number of users, there’s no limitation to how you can use the platform. From awards and contests to internal processes, every time you use your software for an additional program, your dollars stretch further. 

At Submittable, it’s all included.

On the other hand, SurveyMonkey Apply charges customers per program. That means you pay extra every time you want to use Apply in a new way.  

On Capterra, customers rate Submittable‘s “Value for Money” more highly than SurveyMonkey Apply (4.7 to 4.4).

Value for Money rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on Capterra
Value for Money rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on Capterra

3. Submittable offers in-app communication

Let’s say you receive a promising application, but realize that a key piece of data is missing, or that you’d like the applicant to clarify something. 

On SurveyMonkey Apply, you’d have to leave the platform and go to your email provider—where it’s easy to lose track of information in long threads and where that communication is only visible to people on that email chain.

With Submittable, you can simply use in-app messaging to ask a question, right within the platform, alongside the submission. That way everyone has the same information, and is on the same page. 

“The ability to communicate with applicants through Submittable has been a game changer.”

Dylan Pickus, Manager of Artistic Programs, SPACE on Ryder Farm

Plus, you can take advantage of email templates and bulk messaging for frequent types of communication, such as scheduling a site visit or for collecting quarterly reports. 

4. Submittable has more convenient reporting tools

SurveyMonkey Apply and Submittable both offer dashboards, exports, and reporting tools. But SurveyMonkey Apply limits exports to 250 records. This means that to conduct analysis on thousands of applications—not uncommon for large foundations, governments, or institutions with high capacity—customers could be tasked with creating dozens of exports and manually combining them in a third party tool. 

With Submittable, there’s no need for that extra burden, since there’s no limit on export sizes. Plus, Submittable’s Advanced Reporting tool allows you to conduct your data analysis in platform, with no need to export at all, including the creation of charts and graphs. 

5. Submittable provides fantastic service across the board

Since the beginning, Submittable has made it a priority to hire professional, thoughtful, and attentive people. Our customers enjoy a helpful and responsive experience throughout sales conversations, implementation services, ongoing account management, and customer support—where we resolve 75% of customer questions in the very first response. 

That’s why Submittable has earned high customer support scores on both Capterra (4.9, vs. 4.7 for SurveyMonkey Apply) and G2 (9.3, vs. 9.0 for SurveyMonkey Apply).

Customer Support rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on Capterra
Customer Support rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on Capterra
Quality of Support rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on G2
Quality of Support rating comparing Submittable to SurveyMonkey Apply on G2

At Submittable, every single employee, regardless of role, strives to be exactly how customer Jim Masker, Program Manager-High School Entrepreneurship at ONE MONTANA, described us:

“The staff were wonderfully supportive and always available.” 

Unlike SurveyMonkey Apply, which only offers support over email and phone, Submittable offers support over email, phone, and chat, which means Submittable users who run into questions can get help without having to leave the platform.

“The team behind Submittable has made working with them an absolute pleasure and has helped us to put our focus on addressing community needs versus trying to figure out complicated software! It’s been great.”

Steve Pratt, CEO United Way Chatham-Kent

6. Submittable has better tools to prevent bias in the review process

Submittable offers more precise tools within the platform to help prevent reviewer bias. 

In SurveyMonkey Apply, individual form field responses can’t be concealed from reviewers. This means, for example, if you’d like to capture demographic information in your application form, you won’t be able to hide that demographic information from your review team without concealing the entire form. 

Submittable, by contrast, offers you the flexibility to choose which individual questions within a form to conceal from reviewers with differing permission levels.

7. Submittable allows for rich text formatting within application forms

When you’re providing an opportunity, you want to give your applicants the chance to shine. 

Submittable provides applicants the ability to use rich text formatting, such as bold, italic, underline, bulleted and numbered lists, as well as quote blocks and hyperlinks, within the application form. 

These tools can make a big difference in an applicant’s ability to tell their story with urgency and clarity—without any extra work. And nicely-formatted applications make the review process easier for your team.

Submittable has higher ratings from customers on trusted vendor review sites

We’re proud to have higher ratings than SurveyMonkey Apply across key trusted software vendor review sites including Capterra and G2. 

In addition to the ease-of-use, customer support, and value scores cited above, we’ve also got higher numbers on Product Features and Functionality (4.7 to 4.4, Capterra) as well as Product Direction and Growth (7.8 to 7.3, G2). 

And our overall customer rating outshines SurveyMonkey Apply on both review sites (4.5 to 4.4, G2, and 4.8 to 4.5, Capterra).

overall customer ratings of SurveyMoney Apply and Submittable on G2 and Capterra

Learn more about Submittable

Ready to begin a conversation? We’d love to hear from you. Contact our team today.

Want to see for yourself?

See Submittable’s proven process in action, including application collection, collaboration with your team, review and decision-making, and reporting on results, in our five-minute demo video. 

Natalya DeRobertis-Theye

Natalya is a product marketer at Submittable 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—learn about her practice here: