A version of this blog was originally published at AsselGrantServices.com in January, 2020.
Receiving federal grant funding isn’t something that happens overnight - especially if you are just starting out. In order to be successful in your pursuit of federal funding and make the most of your time and resources - you need to do your homework. This includes keeping up with the constantly evolving federal government trends. Here is a helpful list of important trends to monitor and recommendations on how to keep current with each of the federal departments you feel are relevant to your organization.
1. Strategic Trends
- Read the department’s strategic plan. This is how career department staff interpret presidential priorities. On each department’s website, find the ABOUT page. A link to their strategic plan can be found there.
- Read the original and most recent legislation for the grant. This is how local legislators and society trends influence federal programs.
2. Appropriation Trends
- Determine if the department, division, and grant appropriation has gone up or down under the current administration.
- Has the president’s budget recommended an increase or decrease?
- What was the legislature’s response?
3. State Trends
- What grants have been funded in your state from the department or division?
- When, if ever, has an award been made in your community? In your region of the state? In your state? In your region of the U.S.?
- Have you ever made your federal legislators aware of your program? Invite them for a tour. Provide a one-page bullet point summary to their staffer.
4. Grant Trends
- Conduct an overall review of grants available (over the last three years, if you have the time.)
- What grants are most similar to your services or population served?
- What kind of evaluations are expected? Internal or external evaluators?
- How do aligned grants fit into the department’s strategic plan and appropriation?
5. Program Trends
- What data does the department require in the proposal’s NEEDS section?
- What programs have other awardees proposed in their abstracts?
- What is the evidence base for these services?
If you are looking to learn more about federal grants and what it takes to apply, watch Julie’s recent webinar: Pursuing Federal Grants.
This blog is aligned to the Grant Professionals Certification Institute’s (GPCI) list of required competencies for the GPC (Grant Professional Certified) credential.
- Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs.
- Skill 1.1. Identify major trends in public funding and public policy.
- Skill 1.4. Identify techniques to learn about specific funders.
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