Surveys & Reports

Total Report

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

As a part of the grantseeking community, you know how important it is to stay on top of trends. The State of Grantseeking Survey spotlights recent developments in funding so that organizations can be more strategic in their grantseeking. The resulting free reports can serve as a valuable benchmark for organizations to review their grantseeking efforts, and will provide leading-edge information months earlier than other annual surveys.

Spring 2018 Total Report - All Respondents

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

As a part of the grantseeking community, you know how important it is to stay on top of trends. The State of Grantseeking Survey spotlights recent developments in funding so that organizations can be more strategic in their grantseeking. The resulting free reports can serve as a valuable benchmark for organizations to review their grantseeking efforts, and will provide leading-edge information months earlier than other annual surveys.

Who, Me?

| GS INSIGHTS

When you see requests for survey participation, do you think “who, me”? Followed by 1) I don’t have the time, 2) my input makes no difference, 3) why should I bother? Every retailer, organization, and media platform seem to be asking for your survey participation, and some even offer prizes for participation.

Now, along comes GrantStation, asking for your participation in the annual State of Grantseeking™ Survey. It isn’t a short survey, we don’t offer prizes for participation, and the benefit to you may not be clear. So why should you take part in the 2020 State of Grantseeking Survey? Because you can use the results (which are free to you) as actionable organizational tools.

Here’s how:

Positioning: Because GrantStation begins the survey with demographic questions, we can provide you with fair comparatives by organization budget and mission focus (beyond an all-respondent aggregate).

Volume and Recency: Many surveys have limited numbers of respondents, which in turn limits the ability to drill down through the data. The State of Grantseeking Survey regularly receives 2,000+ respondents. This means that even if your mission is less common, there are probably enough respondents to provide statistically relevant data. Plus, because we turn the free reports around within four to eight weeks of the survey, the data is fresh and actionable, reflecting recent (and still valid) financial and experiential information.

Bedrock Data: The Survey asks for details about the number of grant applications submitted, the amount of time each facet of grantseeking takes you, the number of staff you have doing this work, and the number and value of awards you received. The results enable you to realistically plan for grantseeking in terms of time and staff, and to see the quantity of awards you can expect from your efforts.

Dollar Data and Fair Comparisons: Remember back when I mentioned results by annual budget and mission focus? These two demographic items have a huge effect on your grantseeking ability and the size of your grant awards. Just as you wouldn’t want to compare apples to oranges, an animal rescue should not be compared to a food bank, nor should an organization with an annual budget of $100,000 be compared to an organization with a budget of $1,000,000. The State of Grantseeking results provide you with information that you can present to your board and stakeholders for accurate measurements of success.

Funder Data: The Survey asks questions by funder type (Private Foundation, Community Foundation, Corporation, and Federal, State, and Local Government), and then provides answers to questions like these: What is the median award by funder type? Do funders of a particular type give more frequently to organizations with a particular mission focus or budget size? What missions are receiving federal dollars? 

Real-Life Data: How are your overhead costs doing? What about your collaborative grantseeking activities? Are the grantseeking challenges you encounter endemic to grantseeking, or unique to your organization? The State of Grantseeking Survey asks questions about real-life concerns, and the report gives you those answers across the sector.

We at GrantStation respectfully ask you to take part in the 2020 State of Grantseeking Survey. It will take 20 minutes or so, and is detailed – it is a commitment, not a Yelp five-star review. But the rewards of participation – recent, actionable data – are well worth your investment of time. Thank you!

Action steps you can take today

Fall 2016 Total Report

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

As a part of the grantseeking community, you know how important it is to stay on top of trends. The State of Grantseeking Survey spotlights recent developments in funding so that organizations can be more strategic in their grantseeking. The resulting free reports can serve as a valuable benchmark for organizations to review their grantseeking efforts, and will provide leading-edge information months earlier than other annual surveys.

Report by Budget Size

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

Organizational size determined by annual budget is a key factor influencing the grantseeking experience. When viewed through the lens of budget, variations among organizational demographic profiles and grant management and strategy profiles help us to understand the state of grantseeking at a more granular and actionable level, and serve as a tool to assist in the planning process.

The Organizational Budget Effect on Grantseeking

| GS INSIGHTS

With over 3,250 respondents to the 2020 State of Grantseeking™ Survey, our results can help you plan your grantseeking strategy and measure your organization’s success. 

Year after year, we find that an organization’s annual budget has the greatest impact on the grantseeking experience because it speaks to the size of the organization’s staff, programs, and the scope of service area. While this is stating the obvious, respondents tell us that well-meaning stakeholders regularly suggest more grant opportunities than there are staff to process, as well as poorly matched grant opportunities. It is not an easy balance.

Most respondents (90%) applied for grant funding, and among those organizations with active grantseekers, 70% reported that one to two people were directly involved with the grant process.

We have learned that applying for at least three grant awards increased the frequency of winning an award. Thirty-four percent of organizations that submitted one application won no awards. However, only 6% of organizations that submitted three to five applications won no awards. Of the organizations that submitted six to ten applications, 3% or fewer won no awards. And all organizations that submitted 11 or more applications won at least one award. With one or two people submitting all those applications, any information to help streamline grantseeking is welcome.

Here are some tips, defined by organizational annual budget, starting with the budget ranges:

 

Table

 

Let us start by looking at reasonable expectations for the size of your grant awards. Larger organizations received larger total awards:

Total Awards Median

And larger organizations consistently reported larger individual award sizes. When broken out by budget size, the median largest individual award ranged from $8,000 for small organizations to over $1.7 million for extra-large organizations.

Largest Individual Awards Median

So, if your annual budget is under $100,000, you should feel proud of winning an award of around $8,000. But if your annual budget is over one million dollars, you probably should not be spending your limited time applying for smaller grants. And please do not allow anyone to compare your grantseeking program to that of an organization within a different annual budget range—that is unfair to you and to your organization. You will want to focus your grantseeking on funders that award grants close in size to the median amount for your organization’s budget.

The type of grantmaker also affects award size and is reflective of annual budget. The median largest award ranged from $20,000 from community foundations to over $600,000 from the federal government. Here is a listing of the median largest award by funder type:

Award by Funder

Government funders tend to award grants to organizations with larger budgets. Looking at the next chart, you can easily see that few organizations with small budgets receive the usually high-dollar federal funding, while community foundations tend to award grants to organizations with smaller budgets. You would be wise to apply to funder types that frequently award grants to organizations within your budget range.

Largest Individual Award Source

I advise grantseekers from smaller organizations to think of their grantseeking like a stepladder—with the lower rungs representing building relationships with grantmakers, accepting in-kind gifts that can be leveraged as matching funds, and applying for grant awards from local funders, including private foundations, fraternal organizations and clubs, religious organizations, community foundations, and local businesses. After achieving local success, smaller (and often younger) organizations have a proven track record to show regional or national funders.

As for larger organizations, why not move to national and international funders, or test the waters of local or state government funding as a prelude to federal funding?

And remember—regardless of your organization’s budget size, there are grantmakers who are interested in supporting your programs!

GrantStation has databases of private and government grantmakers in the United States and Canada, as well as international funders. Plus, if you are new to grantseeking, GrantStation offers tutorials on the process. And for anyone looking to learn from the experts, GrantStation’s Online Education offers webinars, workshops, and learning modules from nationally recognized leaders in the field.

Spring 2016 Total Report

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

As a part of the grantseeking community, you know how important it is to stay on top of trends. The State of Grantseeking Survey spotlights recent developments in funding so that organizations can be more strategic in their grantseeking. The resulting free reports can serve as a valuable benchmark for organizations to review their grantseeking efforts, and will provide leading-edge information months earlier than other annual surveys.