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?

Grant & Fellowship Opportunities

Databases & Other Resources

Important Organizations