“The only thing constant is change.” I’m not sure who said this, but it is so true in the grant world, especially in this CARES funding era.
When I started writing grants, I naively thought that they came out on a nice, steady cycle. After all, my primary experience was with writing training grants, which are funded by state budgets and fall in line with the state’s fiscal cycles. Easy to predict!
Then, I broadened the scope of my work to federal grants. Again, for the most part, the deadlines are pretty consistent year after year…as long as the program is funded. So, many times, I would expect to see a grant opportunity pop up, only to see that it was no longer available. In addition, as federal administrations (read, the President) change, political agendas also change, which can have an impact on the funding landscape. New opportunities come up to fund issues of national importance, like filling the technical skills gap. So much for certainty!
Then, CARES Act stimulus funds came on the scene. Now, there is absolutely no predictability at the state or federal level. There are literally new programs every single day at all levels of government. Even cities and counties are announcing programs to help businesses mitigate the effects of the stimulus. This is all a result of how the CARES Act money has been distributed. CARES Act funding was used to fund federal programs, such as PPP and EIDL. But, a large portion of the money was distributed to states, who got to use it as they pleased. Some states created state wide programs, but many states allocated at least a portion of their money to the counties in their state to administer at a local level.
The lesson here is that anytime you are looking for grant money, don’t assume that what you see today will be there tomorrow. Your research is a snapshot in time. For best results, and to take advantage of all opportunities that may help you fund your success, do regular research at the federal, state and local levels!