Best PracticesGrants

Patience is the key

Organizations with no, or minimal, experience with federal grants often have completely unrealistic expectations re: how quickly they’ll receive funding. The feds operate on their own timetable; that will never change. It might take six months or more before you receive a decision on the first application you submit. And the solution isn’t to adopt a shotgun/spray-and-pray approach. Federal grants require a thoughtful, deliberate and focused approach. Applying for anything/everything that comes along is a recipe for burnout, frustration and failure.

You can’t go from zero to “millions” in less than a year. The process doesn’t work that way. For many organizations, it takes 18-24 months to really get their application process and strategy rolling efficiently. Unfortunately, a great deal of federal grant novices give up after six months—even when they still have applications pending. What a shame.

Federal grants are a long-term play, not a quick fix. If you don’t have patience and you expect quick results, federal grants aren’t for you.