Even though the calendar indicates Spring is on the way, the season for grantwriters seems to be a dark and cold winter.
The situation for human services Federal grant seekers is grim. Looking at grants.gov, the official location for all federal grant opportunities on Monday, February 27, a total of 136 opportunities existed when searching for grants in “income security and social services”. All of these are funded by the National Institutes of Health and the vast majority are aimed at researchers, not service-providing agencies. (We’ve since learned that even the NIH is slated for deep cuts in the Administration’s budget plan.)
The near term future is not bright, either. The grants.gov forecast category shows only 21 grants that are projected to become available in the next few months but all of these were posted as projected before the end of 2016. I suggest that many of these will never be funded.
Longer term, things are not looking up, either. According to National Public Radio “President Trump’s budget will propose a $54 billion dollar increase in defense spending, while slashing domestic programs by the same amount.” An anonymous White House official indicates that “most agencies will see budget cuts”.
What’s going on in 2017 is a continuation of what I’ve described in my book Funded! Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit, as “The Age of Scarcity” for nonprofits and human services. While the Age of Scarcity began during the Great Recession, and was starting to ease a bit as the economy rebuilt, under President Trump’s administration, the past few years will be seen as “the good old days” by many.
What’s a grantwriter to do?
Recommendation 1 is to stop writing Federal grants.
This is an easy recommendation since there are not any to apply for.
Recommendation 2 is to begin researching foundation grant programs with as much energy and vigor as possible. You’ve probably already been doing this, and so have all other agencies that need to bring in outside dollars (and I’d say that’s all of them).
Recommendation 3 is to prepare to write even better grants than you have been writing in the past. Whether you write Federal, state or local government or foundation grant proposals, the bar is going to be raised by the increased competition for remaining funds.
It’s time to learn what the best grantwriters already know if you want to have your proposals selected for funding. One way to up your game is to learn to “read the minds of funders”. And of course, these can change from time to time and maybe even rapidly, so you can’t just do this once.
For a limited time, I am re-releasing my popular, no-cost, video series Read the Mind of Funders Challenge. These five short videos give you detailed action steps so you can figure out where the funding is going to be in the next two to three years. If you know where the funding will be, you can prepare to write competitive grants to help your organization and its clients, even in the Age of Scarcity.
Challenge yourself! All you need to do is to click here and sign up.
- Learn 5 Ways to “Read the Minds” of Funders
- Discover Untapped Funding Opportunities
- Get the Jump on Your Competitors
- Expand Your Network of Grantwriters
You’ll get access to one video per day for five days. Plus, you’ll gain access to a secret Facebook group where you can ask questions and detail your thoughts about the material. I’ll be moderating the group, personally.
I’ve never been more serious about the need for all grantwriters, even the most successful ones, to learn more and prepare to become better at their craft. This free resource is slated to become a paid product soon, so take advantage of it while you can for no cost.
Now is the time to prepare for the future.
Here’s that link again: Read the Minds of Funders Challenge