How to Decide If a Grant is Worth Pursuing

Timothy Akinleye
August 5, 2022
min read

While grants can be a game changer for your business, pursuing grants takes a lot of time. Grant application involves identifying prospective grants, determining which ones are right for your organization and your project, writing the application, and managing the grant if funds are received.

Whether you’re new to grant applications, or you are looking to improve the process within your nonprofit, you must decide which grants are worth applying for. Failure to do this will amount to wasting immense time and resources on grant applications that will not scale through nor attract funding. 

Here are some points you must consider when deciding whether a grant is worth pursuing or not:

1. Does Your Organization’s Mission or Project Align with Funder Priorities?

You need to decide if the priorities of the funder align with your organization mission. Your organization should have a project in mind that needs funding before you begin to seek grants. Deciding on a project will help you avoid mission drift by trying to create work that fits a certain funding opportunity. That being said, it is also a good idea to keep an eye on various types of grants in case something new comes along that fits your needs.
Anyone can recommend a grant for you, but you need to evaluate the grant to make sure they align with your mission. 


2. How competitive is the grant?

Grant writing can be time consuming, so it is important to understand your chances of success. To do this, you need to discover what percentage of applicants will receive awards. You can reach out to the funder directly to find out this information which can also help you start a conversation with them. Ask the funder by email or phone, “We’re trying to understand how competitive your grant program is. How many applicants did you receive last year and what percent of those were successful?”

The grant writing process can be very time intensive, so you want to allocate your resources to prospects that have a relatively high rate of success. Otherwise you may have to write 10 applications to 10 different funders just to get one grant.

It may also be helpful to find out what percentage of the ask is usually funded. For example, if you apply for $300,000 are they going to only reward you $30,000? It may be difficult to find out this information, but it is worth a try.


3. Cost of grant preparation over grant funding

If a grant is worth $5,000 and will require ten hours to apply and likely another ten hours to manage, then the grant award does not cover the cost of pursuing it. We’re not suggesting that you ignore small grants. New nonprofits most often need to start with small grants to build trust with the funders. Our point is that it is vital you consider the true cost of pursuing funds to determine if it is worth your energy, time and resources.

You don’t want to apply for grants that will cost your nonprofit more than you will receive. You also have to weigh the return on investment compared to other grants, as your organization will likely apply for multiple grants every year.

You should also evaluate the level of work that will go into writing and managing the grant versus the amount of funding you may actually receive. It can be enticing to apply for many grants because they seem like “free money”, but they do require a lot of work.

If you’re having issues with your grant application processes, we have you covered. We will make your grant application easy, while you rest and enjoy the results. Click here to get started.

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