Potential clients often ask me this question when discussing grant research. And, while I know they would love to hear a percentage, such as 25% or 100% (their truly desired answer), it isn’t that simple. There are a couple of factors that play into finding (or not finding) a good fit.
The Ever-Changing Grant Landscape
Grants often come and go. Deadlines pass. Political parties change. National, state and local economic priorities shift. All these things factor into grants that are available and may be a good fit when we do research. I remind clients that research is a snapshot in time. If you look for grants one day, you will likely find different funding opportunities when you do the same search a month or a year from now. This is why we encourage clients to either continue the search on their own, or engage us for research on an ongoing basis.
The Fluid Nature of Business
Not only does the funding landscape change, but our clients’ business needs shift like the wind as well. One year they may prioritize equipment investment, but face a downturn during the year and decide to focus their budget on marketing instead. Because grant research is based on the activities our clients are planning to undertake, and because those plans can change on a dime, a “good fit” may not always be a good fit.
We research funding sources based on the information our clients give us, and then prioritize the opportunities based on their “fit” with the projects they are undertaking. We assign a highest priority to the grants that have deadlines that are a great fit with impending projects and are close enough to immediately pursue but far enough away that a competitive application can be written and submitted.
The next highest priority are opportunities that either may be a great fit, but deadlines have passed, require more study to confirm if it is a good fit, or require partners to pursue (which takes time). These are a solid maybe.
The lowest priority are grants that are not a good fit based on current client projects, but may be a great fit if business needs change. And, as noted above, they often do!
Above all, we endeavor to find as many opportunities that are a great or good fit as possible. Using this information, we can help our clients develop and execute a funding strategy to ensure their success!