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From Apps to Surveys, a Streamlined Process

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Brooklyn Arts Council and Submittable

Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) fosters artistic expression and experience in their borough by funding artists, collectives, and nonprofits. Submittable supports how they manage applications, registrations, and surveys across three different grants programs.


Our biggest challenge before Submittable was tracking applications, manually entering data, reviewing documents, and preparing for panel review with online forms that required printing. After this year, we’ll no longer need paper archives.

Ayoka Wiles-Abel

Brooklyn Arts Council Grants Director

Removing the Paperwork

Before they began using Submittable to manage three substantial grant programs, BAC relied on email attachments, their own spreadsheets, and printouts for an intricate review process among 13 panels. Team members scanned, copied, and manually entered data for review and record-keeping—and applicant errors required the process to be restarted completely. Since BAC keeps applicants on file for three years, they were filing and sorting through an enormous amount of paper.

Improving the Workflow

BAC needed a platform that would allow grant applicants and managers to edit data, share easily, and swiftly complete preliminary review before in-person meetings. Because BAC uses non-staff community artists and leaders to review grant applications, it was essential for data to be clearly organized and accessible from anywhere.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Arts Council

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Arts Council

Raising the Standard

According to Ayoka Wiles-Abel, BAC Grants Director, “Submittable has improved the clarity and quality of our applications, and made them easier to track and access.” With less time spent tracking, organizing, and archiving, BAC’s team can focus on serving the Brooklyn community. “The features, like tagging and assignments, are wonderful for keeping us on task,” she observes.

In fact, Submittable’s customizable forms have proved so useful, BAC team members outside of grants are also using the software. “We like the ability to use it across departments,” says Wiles-Abel. Since they began using Submittable, BAC has created nearly 60 unique forms to assist with hiring, sponsorship, surveys, registration, and more.

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