Submittable runs on forms that you create. Depending on your account features, organization administrators are able to use to several different types of forms. This article provides a brief overview of what each form type does, and some useful links to follow for more detailed information.

Initial/Primary forms are the most frequently used form type, and the basic foundation for any submission process. Initial/Primary forms will generally be the first form your submitters encounter when they begin any application on your submission portal page. And very often, organizations will use only an Initial/Primary form for their whole process. Initial/Primary forms include a complete set of form field tools used for form creations.

Note: if you're using the original form engine, you will see a link on the Forms page for Primary Forms. If you're using Submittable's new form engine, you will see a link on the Forms page for Initial Forms. In the new form engine, forms you build (Initial, Internal, and Eligibility) are inserted into Projects. In the old form engine Forms are not inserted into Projects, as the old form engine does not use the Project configuration.

Review forms are built the same way you build Initial Forms, except they are used by your review team to evaluate submissions. In Submittable's new form engine. Custom Review forms are applied under the Review Workflow you set up for any of your Projects. In Submittable's original form engine, Review Forms are built under the Review Workflow tab within the same area as your Primary Form.

Additional Forms allow Level 4 and 5 team members to send requests for more information after submitters have already submitted an Initial/Primary form. For example, grant organizations might use Additional Forms to request progress reports from their grantees. Or, in a multi-stage application process, organizations can send Additional Forms to applicants who have passed an initial review stage.

Reference Forms are custom designed recommendation forms that can be placed within an Initial Form or Additional Form. They are designed for receiving recommendations, or any other type of third-party supporting document, on behalf of submitters. Submitters have the ability to direct these forms to the recommender of their choice by entering the recommender's email into the Reference Form when completing an Initial or Additional Form that includes a Reference Form.

Internal Forms are used for the specific purpose of your organization's internal use, as your team evaluates submissions. They are built using the same form field toolbox as Initial Forms, and are inserted into a Project, the same way you insert Initial Forms and into Projects. Internal Forms may help organizations administrate their received submissions by enabling organizations to do the following action types.

  • Supplementing submissions. Add relevant information to a submission, such as site visit notes or interview notes.
  • Providing context to reviewers. Include data that will help with reviewer assessments, such as historical funding data, an organization’s track record, or third party documentation (i.e. articles or charity assessments.)
  • Adding a summary. Distill key points from an application; clarify information into an internal summary to share with your team.

Eligibility Forms enable organizations using Submittable's new form engine to add an eligibility step in front of any Initial form. Inserting a screening stage ahead of an application form will prevent ineligible applicants from proceeding, and ensure that only qualified applicants continue to the main submission process. Eligibility Forms also contain a special form field tool option called Charity Check. The Charity Check form field provides immediate information (via Guidestar/Candid) to ensure that applicants are in good standing with the IRS, and are not on any government watch lists. Eligibility Forms can also be configured to accept only applicants with confirmed employer identification numbers.

Note: Eligibility forms are not available to organization's using Submittable's original form engine.

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