Decision Matrix for Evaluating Leads

After you have performed your research on each grantmaker and before you build your plan, you will need to decide which opportunities are worth pursuing. The Decision Matrix is a tool to help you prioritize your leads so that you are focusing on those with the likeliest possibility of success and the least amount of effort. The key is to figure out the potential return on investment.

  • Objectivity: It might be tempting to just apply for the largest grant, or to the grantmaker that you know well. Using these questions will help you evaluate all the factors involved, not just those around applying, but also those around managing the award. You will then have a more objective ranking of the leads as you share your prioritized plan with your team.
  • Clarity: This exercise might result in revisiting your research to clarify the information on your saved funders. You may even want to search for different funders with these questions in mind.
  • Consensus: Review these questions on the Matrix with your management and board so that you have consensus on the criteria for pursuing grant opportunities. This is also a key step in building your infrastructure. Then when others suggest opportunities, you will have an objective, agreed-upon method for deciding which ones to pursue.

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Effort vs Results