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As a consultant, determining whether a client should pursue a competitive grant is not always easy.


At times, all signs are that a client is ready to compete. The leadership’s go-ahead decision is unequivocal and has broad-based support. All of the organization’s assets necessary to prepare a proposal are committed to the task.


At other times, the signs are more uncertain. Some outspoken leaders or stakeholders may be anxious about subsequent commitments if a proposal is funded. Internal or external critics may question the wisdom of pursuing a particular grant. And the organization as a whole may be reluctant or unable to commit significant time and money to developing a proposal that may or may not yield funding.


The more list-items below that a client can mark as present the more likely it is ready to pursue a specific grant opportunity.


Strategic Readiness:

An applicant is probably ready to seek a grant if the specific grant opportunity fits:

  • Its organizational history and strengths
  • Its strategic plan
  • Its mission and vision statements
  • Its short-term and long-term organizational goals
  • Its internal understanding of a significant and resolvable problem or need
  • Its capacity to disburse, manage, and account for grant funds
  • Its capacity to track, measure, and report evaluation outcomes


Proposal Development Readiness:

An applicant is probably ready to apply for a grant if it can furnish its proposal developers:

  • Enough lead-time to complete a competitive proposal
  • Consistent internal support and accessibility from leadership
  • Access to meeting space and other necessary physical resources
  • Access to necessary internal subject area experts and decision-makers
  • Access to necessary statistical data and research literature


This post has focused on strategic and development readiness. An earlier post discussed organizational and leadership readiness.



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