“Wisdom comes with age,” my famous Grandfather used to say.
Now that I have written grants for some three decades, I am starting to believe him.
Below is a quick primer on grants that you can always use.
Many organizations have the in-house talent to write their own grants.
However, preparing a grant is like writing your most challenging term paper in college. People with day jobs who have constant phone calls and meetings go nuts trying to get the forty to eighty hours of quiet time it takes to concentrate and write a grant.
Often grants have short deadlines. Writing a grant on a screaming grant deadline is like writing that same most challenging college term paper – but during finals week – and with your college roommate knocking on your door every five minutes to give you the latest score in the 7th game of the NBA finals.
Better to outsource it.
Here’s an example:
We recently did a technical renewable energy grant on short notice. We submitted twenty-two required federal grant forms, some of them highly technical, on the day the grant was due. The federal agency’s grant system was backed up because so many others were trying to submit.
It took the patience of Job and nerves of steel to load up all the docs and wait for them to attach in the system. We did this for our client and won the maximum $2 million.
Grant managers live in constant fear that they have missed an opportunity.
Telling your boss, you missed a grant opportunity is not a fun day at the office.
Yet grant research is fundamental to an effective grant strategy and program.
There is no one place to find all the grants.
Here’s an example for you:
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program has eleven federal agencies participating. Some of them come out with a list of specific grant topics each year. Others don’t.
They all have their own grant announcements, separate deadlines, and multiple phases to this popular program. Some have their own grant submission systems, others use grants.gov.
Some grants are annual with slight modifications, others are one and done and can come out of nowhere, and some agencies take unsolicited grants anytime on specific subjects.
The story with state government grants is pretty much the same.
Nonprofit foundations are a world unto themselves with private, family, corporate, and nonprofit foundations that often give to other nonprofit foundations.
Plan your work. Work your plan.
You have a great business idea. You know it will work.
The challenge is convincing someone else of that and receive funding for your idea.
Whether it is a grant, equity or loan your potential funder wants to know that you did your homework, and that you know what to do with their money.
Since they can't get into your head, the way this is done is through executive summaries, business plans, pro formas, pitch decks and Private Placement Memorandums (PPMs).
We do all of these documents. With PPM's
we do drafts for your securities attorney to review, since we are not a law firm. We are business consultants and bring the practical knowledge of business that your securities attorney may or may not have.
Our team understands business because we have been there.
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