Federal grants should be a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. Federal grants, in my view, should be used as seed funding to pilot new program ideas. They shouldn’t be used for ongoing funding. Once your organization becomes too dependent upon federal grants, you’re forever chasing them and you’re at the mercy of shifting political winds in DC. That’s a bad place to be. What was popular to fund one year falls out of favor two or four years later after elections. Focus your development efforts on local, state and private funds and save the federal money for big ideas and experiments that can’t be funded with other dollars.