What are ‘fields of work’?

When setting up an Instrumentl project, you’ll be prompted to select 1-10 fields of work that align with said project. These fields of work are keywords that help to intelligently match you with funders and funding opportunities with these same fields of work.

How does the matching algorithm work?

We match you to the umbrella topic your field of work falls under, in addition to the field of work itself: When you select a field of work under an umbrella topic, our algorithm automatically matches you to the umbrella topic as well. For example, if you selected “American Art” as a field of work, you would also automatically be matched to funders/opportunities labeled as “Art & Culture”. This way, you'll see funders who give narrowly to your project's focus, as well as funders who give broadly to categories that your project would also be eligible under.

Fields of work are treated as ‘OR’ statements: Instrumentl’s fields of work are treated as “OR” statements, meaning our algorithm independently matches you to separate fields of work, rather than matching you to only funding opportunities/funders with exactly all the same fields of work. For example, let’s say I had the following five fields of work selected for my project:

  • Affordable housing

  • Basic human needs

  • Community services

  • Food access & hunger

  • Poverty alleviation & services

These fields of work will be treated as “OR” statements when generating my matches, meaning that I could still match to a funder/opportunity that only matched with “food access & hunger” but nothing else.

The keywords will still act as an “And” statement too, so you’ll see any grants that lie at the intersection of your keywords.

We denote field of work keyword matches using three colors: green, yellow, and grey. Green represents an exact keyword match between your project and the funder. Yellow represents an umbrella match between your project and the funder. Grey represents a field of work keyword that did not match to your project.

We rank your matches in order of how well they match: The filter “Best Match” will rank your matches based on how specific the keywords are, and how close the funder keywords are to yours.

How do I select the most relevant fields of work?

It is important that you select the most relevant fields of work when setting up your projects so that you get the most relevant matches in return. Here’s some quick tips on adding fields of work:

1. Be specific when selecting fields of work

  • Rather than looking at your project from a broad lens, really try and pin-point a few, specific fields of work that closely align with your project.

2. Select fields of work from a variety of angles

  • What services are you offering? (ex: STEM education)

  • What audience are you targeting? (Women & girl services)

  • What key outcomes are you hoping to achieve? (Educational access & equity)

3. The number of fields of work you select correlates to the number of matches you receive.

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of matches you’re receiving, go back and edit your project to eliminate some fields of work that aren’t directly aligned with your project.

  • If you’re feeling underwhelmed with your number of matches, try adding more fields of work that are relevant to your project!

4. Hovering over the “i” icon will give you the definition of that specific field of work.


If you run into any questions about fields of work, feel free to reach out through the chat bubble or send us an email to [email protected].

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