OpenWater Pricing, Features, Reviews & Comparison of Alternatives


Application & review software for grants, fellowships & more

4.78/5 (23 reviews)

OpenWater overview

OpenWater is an application and review software platform which allows foundations, associations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and corporations to manage online applications with features for payments, real-time scoring, voting, judging, email marketing, and more. Users can collect and review any type of application with a full stack of products for awards, fellowships, grants, call for papers, and scholarships.

OpenWater lets users collect entries online and is designed to streamline and simplify the entire awards program. Organizations can create a custom branded awards website, promote their program’s entrants and winners, and get complete oversight and control of the entire awards process via the dashboard with real-time reporting and analytics. Users can manage tasks for entrants, judges, chairs and administrators, check their status, as well as send and receive key reminders automatically. OpenWater’s review system provides reviewers with an online portal which allows for multiple rounds of review, and includes features for scores and comments, communication with applicants, a real-time dashboard, report builder tool, and multi-program support.

Key features for awards, grants, prizes and scholarship applicants include online forms, email confirmations, and the ability to include reference letters. Tools for fellowship management allow users to create a custom website, promote and highlight talented fellows and alumni, and control the entire process. Users can also organize the entire call for papers process within a single dashboard, manage judges and reviewers, build sessions and schedules, announce accepted ideas, and more. The revenue engine tool allows organizations to cash in on various revenue opportunities throughout the entire awards cycle.


Pricing options
Value for money
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Business size



United States, Canada

Supported languages

OpenWater screenshot: The OpenWater admin panel presents a comprehensive overview of the entire grant application, review, and selection processOpenWater AwardsOpenWater screenshot: Build an attractive awards site which is optimized for any device OpenWater screenshot: The awards management system lets users automatically create galleries of entries and winning submissionsOpenWater screenshot: Turn every stage of the awards program into a revenue source and view results via the revenue engineOpenWater screenshot: OpenWater clients use customizable forms which can include extended functionality using back-end integration toolsOpenWater screenshot: OpenWater allows applicants to apply for a grant through a custom branded website built for applicantsOpenWater screenshot: Build schedules and see speaker conflicts right awayOpenWater screenshot: Encourage fellow applications by using a branded websiteOpenWater screenshot: Administrators can view the entire fellowship nomination and award process in one dashboardOpenWater screenshot: The abstract submission site helps manage judges and reviewers across multiple rounds, as well as organize papers and announce accepted ideasOpenWater screenshot: Have session chairs build their sessions from a centralized placeOpenWater All-In-One Software

OpenWater reviews


Very good

Value for money
Ease of use
Customer support
Mark James

Excellent product, people, and support!

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2017-09-20
Review Source: Capterra

Although OpenWater is already very intuitive straight out of the box, I really like how support is just a chat button away. I receive instant, friendly, expert support whenever I have questions or concerns. No waiting on support tickets! They also have an excellent collection of pictorials, videos and docs on their academy site: Last but not least - OpenWater actually listens to their customers. If we have an idea or would like to see something changed, they submit it into a queue for review and if approved, it's implemented. They have used a couple of my suggestions in the past two years.

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George Riddell

OpenWater platform rocks the American Advertising Awards

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2016-09-25
Review Source: Capterra

Before OpenWater, I didn't think a five star awards competition entry software experience was possible. But as we enter our fourth year as their partner, my mind is forever changed. The American Advertising Awards competition conducts all entry submissions and judging on the OpenWater awards platform... this includes nearly 200 local club and district competitions which comprise the complex three-tiered national awards program structure. And OpenWater has been a true partner in every phase of our growth since we signed on, providing outstanding support services at every level. The back-end is so user-friendly, it is easily adopted by new local administrators each year. And the entrant interface is very intuitive, allowing more that 40,000 trouble-free entries from across the country during each competition cycle. And, perhaps best of all, the system just WORKS, handling literally tens of thousands of media file uploads without a hiccup. We have experienced other, less-reliable entry software products in the past, so we know first-hand how bad things can be. But OpenWater has been our rock since Day One.It works all the time.

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Amanda Bignall

Always helpful!

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-02-27
Review Source: Capterra

The customer service is on point and that is AMAZING. Helen is always available when we need her and works so well with us. She makes using the system easier and provides slight suggestions for improvement while maintaining professionalism. I would not be taking this survey if it weren't for how awesome she is - because it needs to be said. With that being said, the overall software is great - but wouldn't be as amazing if I didn't have the customer service aspect of someone being available to guide me in the right direction. Once I am there, the system is user friendly and easy to operate. The massive collection of FAQ's available is very valuable and appreciated.It is fairly user friendly, which is always very nice and allows for us to continue to use and learn the program.

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Matt Steele

Amazing customer service, tons of features, steep learning curve

Used weekly for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2017-12-14
Review Source: Capterra

Incredibly customizable form creation and so much more.The Open Water platform is one of the most robust and full-featured systems we've come across. It's extremely detailed and customizable, with the ability to adapt various templates to suit needs as simple or complex as you desire. Some of our favorite features include the external and internal linking within forms, program duplication, easy to create conditional child forms, and the autoscoring feature. However the best "feature" of Open Water is their customer service team. They are, hands down, the best CS team I have worked with out of hundreds of vendors in various industries. They are fast, polite, and know their product down to the smallest details.

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Jennifer Sizemore

Best decision to use OpenWater!

Used weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed 2016-10-03
Review Source: Capterra

More than seven years ago, my company made the decision to improve our awards process, which was still being managed by volunteers with paper form collection. Kunal and his staff at OpenWater took our ideas, worked us through improvements and provided top notch support through the entire conversion. Since then, the support has continued to be highly responsive, and capabilities have been added that have allowed us to make further improvements. The system continues to be easy to use for both our applicants, judges and staff. Because of this, we have managed to save valuable staff time and resources, maintain participation in a declining workforce, and obtain judges that will return year after year. Additionally, we are able to maintain an archive of all past applicants and winners - a function that was never possible without time-consuming staff management. I highly recommend this software, as well as the customer support and service provided by OpenWater.Ease of programming, ability to change and update at any time. Functions such as cloning, email notifications, and form management.

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OpenWater pricing

Pricing options
View Pricing Plans

Contact OpenWater for detailed pricing information.

OpenWater features

Activity Dashboard
Custom Forms
Customizable Branding
Data Import/Export
Grants Management
Reporting & Statistics
Third Party Integration

Access Control (33 other apps)
Activity Tracking (25 other apps)
Attendance Management (37 other apps)
Automatic Reminders (27 other apps)
Communication Management (29 other apps)
Contact Database (40 other apps)
Credit Card Processing (36 other apps)
Custom Fields (37 other apps)
Customizable Reporting (36 other apps)
Electronic Payments (41 other apps)
Email Integration (32 other apps)
Mobile Integration (26 other apps)

Additional information for OpenWater

Key features of OpenWater

  • Grant award tracking
  • Online applications
  • Applicant portal
  • Customizable forms
  • Applicant management
  • Reviewer management
  • Scoring
  • Interview management
  • Commenting / notes
  • Recommendations management
  • White label
  • Social promotions
  • Skills contests (photo, essay, design, etc)
  • Social media management
  • Scoring
  • Entry management
  • Entry fee processing
  • Awards management
  • Judging management
  • Voting management
  • Blind judging
  • Entrant management
  • Payment tracking
  • Outcomes measurement
  • Financial reporting
  • Online submissions
  • Awards program judging
  • Administrative tools
  • Awards website builder
  • Revenue engine
  • Custom branded portal
  • Letter of reference compatible
  • Online reviewer portal
  • Scores & comments
  • Multiple rounds of review
  • Communication tools
  • Report builder
  • Multi-program support
  • Grant management
  • Grants dashboard
  • Prize management
  • Nomination based workflows
  • Payments
  • Team based applications
  • Multi-category and dependent fields
  • Single or multi-round review process
  • Customizable review criteria per program
  • Full offline judging mode
  • Prize dashboard
  • Reporting & CRM
  • Scheduled email blasts with variables
  • Track conversations, calls and emails
  • Export to Excel, CSV, PDF, HTML and JSON
  • Single Sign On
  • Third party integration
  • Social media integration
  • Board nomination
View All Features


Organizations can configure specific, customized workflows for a variety of grants, scholarships, awards, prizes, call-for-papers, conferences, and voting.

The OpenWater admin panel displays an overview of the entire grant application, review, and selection process, and users can easily and securely share insights with stakeholders.

OpenWater can handle even the most demanding application and review processes, and enables users to create review forms and processes that fit their program’s exact needs.

Create custom online galleries of entries and winning submissions using OpenWater's awards management system which automatically updates as applicants submit their entries.

OpenWater helps ensure effective communication for internal and external audiences, with tools for scheduled email blasts with variables, email confirmations, social media integration, and more.