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About Submittable

Submittable powers you with tools to launch, manage, measure, and grow social impact programs, locally and globally.

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Pros:

This product makes it incredibly easy to submit work to journals for submission. The tool is straightforward and intuitive.

Cons:

But these are more feature ideas, nothing that I'd consider negative about the existing product.

Submittable ratings

Average score

Ease of Use
4.6
Customer Service
4.6
Features
4.5
Value for Money
4.5

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10

Submittable has an overall rating of 4.7 out 5 stars based on 156 user reviews on Capterra.

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Filter reviews (156)

Jeff
Jeff
Associate Editor in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

It provides me with all necessary services as a submitter. It provides all I require as an editor.

5.0 7 years ago

Pros:

Submittable is convenient. As a submitter, it provides efficient mechanisms for making submissions and efficient tracking of those submissions. As an editor, it provides me with notices and updates to allow me to process submissions quickly and efficiently. Submittable is practical. As a submitter, a single page allows me to keep track of active submissions to several publications. As an editor, the features for reaction and response to submitters makes my job much easier. Submittable is uncomplicated, easily used, and easy to understand. As a submitter, these qualities make submissions tracking manageable. Submittable is used widely enough to be familiar to virtually all writers and artists who submit work for publication.

Cons:

Our current package allows only 5 of our team members to have access to submissions. I could wish for more relaxed limits in that regard.

Josh
Director of Assessment in US
Higher Education, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Submittable - grant management with a lot to offer

5.0 3 months ago

Comments: The experience has been fantastic. The onboard was super helpful. They seem like they really care that we get the most of the product. They've even added new features in the short time that we've been using Submittable. If they don't have functionality, they will help in finding a work around or will work on that feature.

Pros:

It's very easy to use. The drag and drop features when creating forms are great. It saves tons of time. There are so many features! But it's not overwhelming. There is little training involved in form creation, so delegating is a snap.

Cons:

The features around managing internal users could be more robust. We are not able to customize what program managers can view - all grant programs can be seen by everyone, partitioning would be a nice feature. Additionally, if someone leaves a grant midstream, it is going to be difficult to get a replacement user as only one user can be the primary contact. This makes updating forms and team applications more difficult.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Nonprofit Organization Management, 501–1,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Efficient platform to keep track of many submissions easily

4.0 2 months ago New

Pros:

It is easy to keep track of many submissions, and see what phase they are each in, and update that info easily. It also automates tedious form-filling processes very well.

Cons:

Sometimes the interface is clunky, and there could be more robust ways to customize form templates

Laura
Program Manager in US
Philanthropy, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Room for Improvement

3.0 2 years ago

Comments: Good for now. Has helped with communication with applicants but would want to maximize the cons to improve our nonprofit relationships and enhance internal efficiency

Pros:

Ease of creating applications/forms, ability to message with applicants directly in the portal, reviewer process is user friendly

Cons:

Lack of automation, limited placeholder tags to be able to integrate DocuSign or other 3rd party integrations that would help with automation, delayed reporting, kind of messy once you get a lot of applications/projects set up, no intentional nonprofit relationship management capabilities, limited project/award management features.

Alternatives Considered: OpenWater

Reasons for Choosing Submittable: It was outdated and not user friendly

Switched From: Blackbaud Grantmaking

Reasons for Switching to Submittable: Unsure; this was before I started working here.

Derrick
Extension Program Specialist in US
Primary/Secondary Education, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

The right tool for the jobs

5.0 3 months ago

Comments: From the product itself to the prompt customer service, everything about Submittable has been very positive. The system functions as advertised and it has enabled our youth development program to administer what has historically been in-person events and activities into a digital format. That has saved time and travel expenses for our employees and volunteers.

Pros:

I love the clean design, ease of use, and functionality. The projects and forms are easy to create, highly customizable, and user-friendly for clientele. The ease to which project assignments can be made and tracked is another great feature. We started using Submittable to help us manage a sizable photography contest, and have since been finding ways to migrate other activities/contests (like public speaking, leadership applications, and videography to name a few) into this platform.

Cons:

I would like to see some type of organizational structure within forms, projects, and the team to help keep different groups or activities separated. Currently, those lists are becoming quite long and clutter up the pages. A folder system would be ideal that might include activity groups as well as a means to archive forms and projects. Perhaps to help de-clutter, I would like for other teams admins to only see the projects, forms, and reports they created. Team member A doesn't need to see everything that team member B has created. Unless they are a level 5, they only need to see their own work.

Barby
Communications in US
Nonprofit Organization Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

A solid management system for grant applications

4.0 3 months ago

Comments: Overall we've been pleased with Submittable because of its features and capabilities, but the prices is intimidating. That being said, we've felt that it is comparable with other similar services out there.

Pros:

Submittable's application forms are very customizable and they allow for a multi-step application process and submitting grant reports. We're able to create customized reports and export the data easily, although there is a bit of a learning curve to set up the reports. Collaboration is built-in, allowing reviewers and admins to leave notes for each other and see reviews. We also liked that that collaboration can be locked down so that applicants can either see or not see that feedback. The implementation team that worked with us was great and provided very valuable training as part of our implementation project.

Cons:

We've found the email's generated by Submittable have formatting issues and are often blocked by anti-spam software, so there have been some deliverability issues and some problems with reading the system-generated emails. The development team is aware of the issue (for 2 years) but nothing seems to have been done about it. Documentation is limited, and they charge for support after your initial setup period. We end up having to pay for 10 extra user licenses for our grant reviewers beyond the 2 months those licenses are really used. This is because only 10 user licenses are available in our subscription tier, and you can only purchase extra licenses in block of 10 (not individually). So far, Submittable has worked with us on the pricing to be affordable but it would be nice to have the option of adding on temporary licenses for reviewers, or even not having to pay for that level of user since they are typically only needed for 1-2 months.

Alicia
Programs Administrator in US
Education Management, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Great and easy to use, does a lot

5.0 last year

Comments: Great. Easy to use, user friendly. Good solutions for our company. Help desk gets back to us promptly, if we have questions.

Pros:

It is easy to use and implement. User friendly for the applicant and for the administration.

Cons:

There is no way to edit an email address for a recommender if the applicant put it in wrong, unless you open the whole application for editing. We don't run into this issue often, but it can create problems. But, the benefits outweigh the cons.

Alternatives Considered: Formstack Forms and SurveyMonkey

Reasons for Choosing Submittable: It does not allow an applicant to start work on a form, save, and come back to complete. It also does not allow recommenders to upload their recommendation directly to a specific application, like Submittable.

Switched From: Wufoo

Reasons for Switching to Submittable: Has all the features we needed at a good/reasonable price.

Steffanie
Compliance Manager in US
Government Administration, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Great for automating our application for services!

5.0 10 months ago

Comments: Submittable has enabled our application to be deployed via our website. We are able to keep a digital copy of a client "file". We are easily able to send emails to clients regarding their application and can send messages to a client's case worker within the agency.

Pros:

Easy for clients to access. Can handle our complex application. Able to use the same forms over all projects.

Cons:

I had hoped we would be able to correct/add information to the client's application. Our application is quite complex and when we need to make changes, it takes forever for the form to load and to make those changes because it is so "big". Forms do not print very well.

Alternatives Considered: Google Forms

Reasons for Choosing Submittable: Submittable has more features, better database. We can keep a client "file" in 1 place - upload forms, etc. Works ok with DocuSign.

Switched From: Google Forms

Reasons for Switching to Submittable: Google Forms no longer met our needs because our application is quite complex.

Edith
Director of Environmental Initiatives in US
Government Administration, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Great for a small non-profit

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: I've had overall great experience and I've been using Submittable about 5 years. I like accessing a real customer service rep in the old days, and I like the older version of Submittable better. The change didn't help me. But I am impressed that I can usually make Submittable work for whatever online application I need.

Pros:

It really allows me to collect and manage information and input from so many of our members and stakeholders for many different purposes. My members and applicants find it very easy to use.

Cons:

We always seem to bump up against one or two little issues that make any form less than perfect. For example, applicants attaching new files with their submission, or exporting notes from an application.

Alternatives Considered: Google Forms and SurveyMonkey

Reasons for Switching to Submittable: A colleague organization was using it and the forms looked sharp. I didn't know much about how it performed

Seth
Program Officer in US
Philanthropy, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

It works!

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: It is easy for our applicants to use and our support staff to modify.

Pros:

Submittable really does the job for what we need it for most- reviewing grant applications. We have a diverse and busy review team and this tool allows them to do their work efficiently.

Cons:

Although it is fairly simple to use, it is not entirely intuitive. Some of our users have required a bit of coaching to make it work for them.

Alternatives Considered: Gmail, Little Green Light and Microsoft Excel

Reasons for Switching to Submittable: It seemed to be the most closely tied to our immediate needs.

Mary Jane
Executive Director in US
Philanthropy, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Submittable...How do I love you? Let me count the ways!

5.0 6 years ago

Comments: Try me another day...I am out the door to a meeting.

Pros:

Making the decision to shift our application process to online, I was concerned that it would meet the needs of the artists and writers applying and also ease transition for a middle to senior aged office team with varying degrees of electronic saavy. Needless to say we continue to remark on an almost daily basis how we LOVE Submittable. Ease of use was foremost and the Submittable staff are always right there with customer support. Any concerns or suggestions were addressed and often appeared as Submittable staff tweaked and updated the software. Likewise input from customers is often solicited. This open process continues to make the software better and better as new features are added and functionality is streamlined. Over the years Submittable continues to be software service and customer oriented. From staff and applicant feedback, I understand that Submittable greets anyone from neophyte to expert electronic guru users with the same degree of respect, patience, expertise and professional service. I especially appreciate the ease in navigating the software features. Ease in accessing and reviewing all areas of our applications, accessing correspondence with applicants and reviewers, sending out requests for character statements automatically, controlling access to all areas of the application and processes as needed have streamlined the time and task of handling actual materials. No more incomplete applications. Electronic deadlines hold fast.

Cons:

Do I miss having USPS delivering stacks of applications for weeks on end around deadlines, when apps just pop up on the list in Submittable? Do I miss the file prep for each application as materials dribbled in little by little and were sometimes incomplete even after the deadline due to weather etc. when that is all tracked by the software? Do I miss handling over and over sections of the application and loosing track when interrupted in the process when a click of a mouse brings me right back? Do I miss being stuck at my desk surrounded by stacks of applications when I now access the applications anywhere there is wifi...even 12 time zones away which is what I did for the last batch of applications? Do I miss being burdened by attempts to streamline or simplify a labor intensive process only to discover all the benefits of using Submittable? Do I realize how staff are freed up to manage more productive tasks in the office than pushing files and paper? Do I realize that the staff team are excited to see applications appearing on their screens, versus groaning when the USPS truck drove into the parking lot? Do I realize how much more economical Submittable is versus staff time and energy factored in with hand processed applications? Do I realize how much more fun it is to problem solve around tailoring the software with Submittable staff to address a need? Do I wish our staff team had transitioned to Submittable sooner? Yes, no regrets we are HUGE Submittable fan

brian
Managing Editor in US
Writing & Editing, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Reliable and Effecient

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: I enjoy my work, and Submittable gives me confidence to stay organized and productive. I will learn to do more with it as I proceed and learn how to utilize what's available that I haven't tried yet (e.g. blind readings, running contests, etc.) The experience has been a very good, and as we grow our journal's submission rate which correlates to our growing readership, Submittable, I believe, will be an excellent tool for me as managing editor and the people who assist me.

Pros:

I am able to manage my submissions quite easily with Submittable. It has many sorting options, and several tools to make reading a large amount of work manageable. Working collaboratively with other editors is possible and efficient because of the filtering functions (such as the use of labels, storing submissions, ordering them by date, alphabetically, etc.) and team management tools (such as the assigning of certain tasks to certain individuals, easy messaging, dissemination of work, etc.) I like the basic look/visuals of Submittable, as it is relatively intuitive to use. Furthermore, when I encountered troubles or had questions, I was given friendly and quick help over the telephone, as well as through their chatlines. Editing our site is also very easy.

Cons:

I don't like that some services are offered to certain levels of subscriptions and not to others. I'd rather have a good, fair price for the use of Submittable's full functions. It's not always clear to me what I have in my subscription, even though not too hard to check, I suppose. Also, to "test" how forms will look to submitters seems a little complicated, but not too bad once going through it. I feel a little "blind" when sending out ACCEPT/DECLINE. Not sure what the solution is, however, and really does not present any real trouble for me.

Phoebe
promotions and promotions associate in US
Writing & Editing, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Good Platform that's not Super Intuitive

4.0 last year

Pros:

I like that it's a fairly easy platform to collect contest entries (which we have a lot of!). I like that I can set up an automated response (even though it's not always easy to figure out how to do that). I like that the personalized responses can add applicant's name.

Cons:

I don't find Submittable to be very intuitive. I find myself having to google answers to my question- I'm usually able to successfully find the answer but it isn't user intuitive. Particularly, I think that setting up automated responses should be easier to find. Also, I often make the mistake where I click on a project and it takes me to the description of the form rather than what I'm looking for, the entries. I find myself scared to use the back button because it re-directs me to pages I'm not trying to go to. It's more of an issue on our end but people put so much weight on the "in progress" status etc which we just don't use so I wish there was a way to turn that off.

Amy
Art Director in US
Nonprofit Organization Management, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

I administer an annual international photo competition for a non-profit conservation organization.

4.0 7 years ago

Comments: Submittable helps me receive and track hundreds of photography submissions from users around the world, and makes collecting payments effortless. The staff is helpful and quick to reply to my queries.

Pros:

Clean interface, flexible ways to sort submissions and tag them, and all actions and communications are logged by the system. Being able to customize the messages for various interactions with submitters is helpful. As our competition expands I expect to use the team functionality more. The Gallery function is an appealing way to display photos and allow the public to vote.

Cons:

My primary difficulty is that entries cannot be sorted or tagged individually; i.e., when you tag a photo, the tag applies to the entire submission, not just a single photo. Since my competition allows up to 8 photos per submission, I have to sort in other ways after downloading the entries, which is a bit time-consuming but not a deal-breaker. The login requirement for voting in the Gallery view has a dampening effect; also, there's no instruction telling viewers to click on a photo to enlarge the view. Gallery sorting tools would be a welcome function as well. Gallery View has a lot of potential and I'm curious to see how Submittable's developers change it in the future.

Linda
co-editor in US
Publishing, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

The people who work at Submittable are knowledgeable, good-natured, and GENUINELY helpful.

5.0 7 years ago

Comments: Submittable WORKS, and their customer support is unbeatable!

Pros:

Submittable can handle so many different document types that we never could ourselves. They listen when we have suggestions/requests. Everything can be tracked - no more lost manuscripts! They've made it possible for us to offer books at the same time someone makes a submission, a great option for us. And they can issue refunds with ease.

Cons:

Searches (especially across a lot of categories) sometimes are a bit slow, but we do have a LOT of categories and a LOT of submissions for the software to sort through. We're so glad to have Submittable, a respectable and caring group that has the ability to keep up with technology challenges so we can do the work we love doing.

Jeremy
Editor in US
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Submittable is irreplaceable in terms of the

5.0 6 years ago

Pros:

The best thing I like about this software is how it serves multiple functions for our organization. I can easily create categories for submissions, receive submissions, the submissions can be commented on by the review team, and then I can correspond with the submitter all from within the same software. Each step of the process is easy to use.

Cons:

Because of how many ways you can use the software, it takes a bit of time to get used to how to navigate between different parts of the program but once learned it's very user-friendly.

Lucian
Program Coordinator in US
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

This product is easy to use and indispensable to my writing endeavors

5.0 6 years ago

Pros:

It's ease of use. Straightforward layout. Very user friendly. I like the app. Allows me to organize my submissions to literary journals and keep track of when I need to submit them before deadlines.

Cons:

The navigation within the new "Following" area. I feel like there should just be a direct submit button rather than a "save" button. Right now I find myself having to go to a drop down menu up top to get to the submissions page. This is an easy fix though.

Elisa
Manager in US
Legal Services, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Thank you, Submittable.

4.0 5 years ago

Pros:

Submittable saves money and trees and time. It's easy to track submissions (and track exactly how much you're spending on submission fees.) It's fairly customizable -- you can choose whether or not you want to be emailed when the status of your submission changes, which, for a sensitive artist type who tries to stay even-keeled during her 9-5, is key. Uploading documents is very easy.

Cons:

I wish they had an option for users to save a cover letter template -- a letter that would auto-fill and then you could tweak as necessary. It would also be great if you could add a permanent​ bio to your account for prospective publishers -- they generally ask for this in the cover letter so it would save time.

Justin
Program Manager in US
Nonprofit Organization Management, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

I'm sure it's fantastic for what it is intended for...

3.0 2 years ago

Comments: I'm lukewarm when it comes to my overall experience with the tool. I think the biggest issue is that we're not using it for it's true intended purpose and therefore lack a lot of customization and functionality that doesn't exist. Not necessarily a knock on the software, but perhaps a knock on the sales team for allowing organizations to use their products beyond what it's intended for.

Pros:

I am a fan of the form builder, labeling, and rating/review systems that are built in with the tool.

Cons:

I don't think it's best used for tracking applicants across multiple cycles/pools, and the analytics section is quite cumbersome compared to other SAAS platforms I've used in the past.

Charan
Charan
Digital Marketing Consultant in Curaçao
Verified LinkedIn User
Philanthropy, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Submittable Best Option of Several Grant Management Softwares Reviewed

4.0 6 years ago

Comments: As a small foundation we were looking for an affordable yet robust grant management software solution that would help us to automate our grant management processes, workflows, etc. Out-of-the-box Submittable was a great solution for us and they even went above and beyond to find workable solutions for our specific needs (multi-language support, etc.). Also, their on-boarding process and customer support has been tremendous.

Pros:

Relative to other grant management software solutions we looked at Submittable was the most modern and professional in terms of look/feel and the easiest to use both from an administrator perspective and grantee perspective. Plus, Submittable was by far the most affordable solution and offered the best value for money in our opinion.

Cons:

The only real downside was in terms of features/functionality; Submittable does not offer automated initial screening of applications. With that said, however, we were able to meet our specific business requirements with branching and Submittable was always willing to help us find workable solutions.

Sarah
senior accountant in US
Insurance, 10,000+ Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Ease of Use

4.0 last year

Comments: Overall, very pleased with the product.

Pros:

The product is easy to use, and adaptable to organizational needs.

Cons:

I wish that e-signature can be incorporated into the initial forms. I also wish that there was an option to build your own bundle of features, since sometimes you may have to end up purchasing features within a bundle that you will not use because it has no impact on your specific organizational needs.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Writing & Editing, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

A Dream for Users and Administrators Alike

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: Overall, Submittable makes my life easier practically on a daily basis. It makes submitting and tracking my work a breeze, and I'm so thankful!

Pros:

As a freelance writer, I use Submittable on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis, and I am so grateful that it's become so common in publishing circles. Its ease of use sure beats licking stamps and endless trips to the printer, and I love that I can track all my submissions in one place.

Cons:

The one caveat I have about Submittable is that, unlike some of its predecessors, it does not provide a place for applicants to enter an alternate name, as in a nom de plume. I use a pen name myself, and the absence of this feature has caused me some trouble. (I was once awarded a prize and the site listed my legal name instead of my nom de plume--which was fixable, but also avoidable.)

Holly
Assistant Editor in US
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Best customer service ever.

5.0 6 years ago

Pros:

Really user friendly on both ends. Easy to make new categories, add team members, etc. And whenever I have questions, Submittable customer service is SO helpful.

Cons:

There are a few features it would be great to have that aren't there yet, but they are always making improvements!

Beth
Executive Director in US
Philanthropy, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Great solution and a great price

5.0 6 years ago

Comments: Overall, we saved so much time by using this online platform and our applicants appreciated it as well. The tech support people were responsive and helped us brainstorm solutions to get what we needed. They were awesome!

Pros:

This was our first effort at an online application and it went off without a hitch. It is intuitive to both readers/reviewers and applicants. We were able to learn how to manage the application and review process in a few calls to the fabulous Gold Level Support folks. After using paper applications, it was amazing to have all of the information ready to go to readers by the next day. It is also very reasonably priced compared to other solutions so it fit our budget.

Cons:

It would be great if reviewers could highlight or tag parts of the application as they read. We had to do some tweaking to be able to close the application at 5:00pm instead of midnight but Submittable has since added this feature. It takes a few steps to generate reports but it is manageable.

Tabby
Commissioning Editor in UK
Publishing, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Absolutely fantastic

5.0 7 years ago

Comments: Too many to count!

Pros:

The organisational aspect is a life saver. All our subs in one place, easily seen and a very easy interface. Using submittable gives you an edge. Creatives know that Submittable is used by the very best who will pay a bit extra for a superb, efficient, friendly and professional service. Customer Service is exemplary. Always get back to you quickly and nothing is ever too much for them. Thank you!

Cons:

Not really a con but a nitpick. Trying to find the 'send to kindle' button was a bit of a challenge but really good service when used.