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.
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.