Understanding the Grant Process
Every sponsored project starts out as an idea. Before you look for funding or write a proposal, take time to fully develop your research or project idea. You should ask yourself:
- What is the purpose of the project?
- Who will be participating in the project?
- What is my relationship with the community I wish to help?
- Who are my community partners and stakeholders?
- How long will the project take?
- What kind/amount of resources or funds are needed to complete the project?
Identify the scope of your project so you can get the right amount of money from the right organizations/ foundations for the right period of time. Once you have developed your idea then you can start to seek funding for your project and develop a proposal.
Public vs. Private Sponsors
Pros of public source funding
- Have more money, like to make big awards
- Will often cover indirect costs
- Must account to public officials if funds are misused
- More possibility for renewal
- Clear application processes specific proposal format and due dates
- More staff who might provide technical assistance
- Reasons for funding are established by legislation
- Fund projects that impact significant groups
Cons of public source funding
- More requirements to follow when sending funds
- New or innovative ideas are harder to sell
- There is more bureaucratic red tape
- Co-sharing or matching is often a requirement
- Politics affects the governments funding trends
- Proposals are longer and require submission of many administrative forms
Pros of private source funding
- Sometimes give large grants
- Proposals can be short and simple
- Less bureaucratic rules for administering grants
- Usually fewer applicants
- Process can be more informal
- A better source for local needs
- Better source of experimental or demonstration funds
- May fund new needs, newly developing issues
Cons of private source funding
- Priorities change rapidly
- Unwilling to pay indirect costs
- Fewer staff to provide input and feedback
- Size of awards are smaller
- May not advise why your project as rejected
- Policies and procedures harder to locate
Where to look for funding information?