Let’s look at 3 more areas of difference between foundation and government grants.
When the funding opportunities are described, foundations usually stick with the general aims of the foundation and ask applicants to match those aims.
Government funding opportunities are usually quite detailed in providing a clear framework for what is required of applicants, while at the same time providing room for creativity on the part of applicants in how to place their ideas within that framework.
A government grant is almost always going to be longer and more prescribed in what is required than is a foundation grant.
The decision-making process within a foundation can vary significantly. Sometimes the decision is made through negotiations between an agency and the foundation even before the proposal is submitted.
Usually, however, all proposals are first screened for a match between the proposal and the foundation’s criteria for funding. If the proposal passes this stage, additional information may be asked for to flesh out a letter of inquiry or short proposal.
Final decisions tend to be made by the foundation’s board of directors. Sometimes the Foundation’s Chief operating officers may be able to award some grants on their own.
Government grants follow a structured review process in order to assure as much impartiality as possible. Independent reviewers are selected to review and score applications. The applications with the highest scores receive further scrutiny and are possibly funded, depending on the amount of money available and other factors, such as geographic dispersion of the awards.
Foundation awards tend to be one year in length, although this can vary from time to time and foundation to foundation. Government grants are frequently three to five years in length, but with the necessity of re-applying each year in order to demonstrate adequate progress and sound financial practices.