One of the things we say to prospective grants customers is “you can research, write, and manage grants”. The response from them has been unanimously, so far, “I’m sure you’re right but I don’t have the time.” We agree.
Grant searching, writing, and submission are learned skills, and to be honest, it’s tedious work to narrow down a handful of grants from a pool of 30,000. Metaphorically, it’s like fishing in the ocean with a hook instead of a net. While any reasonably experienced business professional are able to perform those three tasks, grant work, like any other business skill, is learned from instruction, discovering tools and techniques to accelerate the process, and requires a general understanding of how the truly enormous pool of grants is laid out. That greatly adds to the time required.
Grant researching tools vary widely in their capabilities. Reducing unmanageably large pools of grants to a list of five or ten is far easier and faster with front line grant searching tools. Without a considerable number of search filters, the grant process could take weeks and possibly months- while you’re managing the cascading list of business decisions.
Applying for grants also requires knowing how to upload a federal grant, smaller foundation grants, and state issued grants. Federal grants are the least intuitive, but not that difficult once you learn how to use resources like those in grants.gov; smaller foundation grants are fairly straight forward. State grants are usually somewhere between the two for complexity.
Because grants are not created equally in terms of aligning grantee and grantor objective, we stack rank the grant opportunities for our customers; this is an important part of helping them select optimal grants. Stack ranking incorporates grant criteria which goes well beyond whether or not the proposed funding amount is optimal. We have devised a scoring algorithm that includes elements such as grant application opening and closing dates, the sum of funds available, is travel required to the grantor facility for mentoring, training, and connecting to other grantor resources. Other scoring elements include whether equity is exchanged as part of the grant, the fees associated with the grant, and the complexity and frequency of reporting. Some grants have most of the aforementioned elements, and many do not.
Finally, it’s important to know how crowdfunding works, and especially in knowing whether a crowdfund is an appropriate option for a customer. There are approximately 1,500 crowdfunds with nearly all of them donor based. Knowing what donors want in exchange for their financial support is important, and it is essential to also know how SEC Reg CF crowdfunding works. It is essential to know the “sizzle” of a customer operation which is a key element to determining if crowdfunding is a viable option, and what type of crowdfunding to be used.
So, yes. A reasonably experience business professional could find, write, stack rank, submit, and manage grant reporting. Where prospective customers don’t have in-house or grant writers under contract, we’ve yet to experience a business professional who has the time to learn how to succeed at grant work, on top of their many standing professional responsibilities. At Grants For You, we truly love tackling this for our customers.
What’s your story?
Visit our webpage at grantsforyou.org or call us at 469-744-0272. We’d love to custom craft a grants and/or a crowd funding program for you.