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FAQ grants access

  • Will you work on a percentage of the grant award?
  • No we will not. Funding agencies will immediately reject a proposal if they suspect that a project budget includes any type of percentage award or payment. All budget line items must be accounted for—you can’t ‘bury’ this type of payment. An experienced program officer or reviewer will quickly recognize this tactic and will reject projects with ‘questionable’ budgets. A primary reason that granting agencies reject this practice is that there is too much of an incentive to ‘pad’ the budget in hopes of obtaining a bigger payoff.

  • How do we get started? 
  • First, it is important to determine what it is you are trying to do. For example, are you trying to fund an existing project or something new? Do you have a funder in mind that you want to approach, or do you need to develop a list of target funders? Do you already have a grant proposal for a project that needs to have technology funding incorporated into it, or are you drafting a new proposal? Figure out exactly what it is you are dealing with first. Then you can get others involved in making suggestions about what to do next.

  • Can you provide references?
  • Yes we can. Just send us an email and we will be happy to provide you with a list of professional references. Click HERE to send us an email.

  • Can you guarantee success?
  • Although we have a very solid track record of success, nobody can guarantee with 100% certainty that a submitted grant will be funded. Even when a proposal is perfectly crafted and all of the required elements are there (e.g, the project is worhwhile, the budget is reasonable, evidence of partnerships, sustainability, management capacity, etc.), it does not guarantee funding. Some things are beyond control of even the finest grant writer. For example, funding agencies usually try to ensure that the grants they award are dispersed geographically so that no one area gets a disproportionate share of awards.

  • What are some of the main reasons that grant proposals get rejected?
  • The two primary reasons that most grant proposals are rejected are that the applicant did not follow the directions or that the applicant or its project did not qualify for the funding program. If you do not qualify, do not apply! And be sure to follow the directions! Start early, plan ahead, and allow plenty of time for writing, revising, and editing. Carefully read the RFA/RFP to ensure that you include all of the required information and forms.  If your proposal is not funded, be sure to request copies of the reviewers' comments and use them to improve the proposal before the next submission.

  • Do all matching funds have to be cash?
  • No. Each program will have its own requirements but generally, matching funds can be cash, in-kind or a combination of both. Some programs have a restriction on the amount of the match that can be in-kind donations of goods and services. Local businesses can be a good source of in-kind donations of goods, services or both. Get them involved early in the grant writing process and let them know that their contribution will be used to leverage additional funds. Other types of in-kind contributions include meeting space, other use of space, use of equipment and software, printing, mailing, phone calls, and so on. It is important to keep good records of in-kind matches. Document everything! Even when a grant requires a 'cash match' though, it does not necessary mean that you have to provide 'cold hard cash.' You can allocate a portion of salaries and benefits that you are already paying towards project activites, which counts as a cash match. For example, "The Accounting Manager will devote approximately 20% of his time towards carrying out project activities (e.g., compliance, reporting, budgets, etc.). Calculation: $100,000 base salary x 20% = $20,000. Benefits are calculated at 25% of base salary ($20,000 x 25% = $5,000. Total match = $25,000."

  • What is 501(c)3 status and why is it important to funders? 
  • 501(c)(3) is a non-profit status recognized by the IRS. Donors to 501(c)(3) organizations are entitled to a full tax deduction for their contributions. Some funders limit their giving to organizations with this non-profit status. 501(c)(3) organizations are known as nonprofits, community-based organizations (CBOs) or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These organizations also make great project partners.

More questions and answers to come...check back soon!

 
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