Surveys & Reports

Report by Mission Focus

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

The organizational experience determined by mission focus is a key factor influencing grantseeking activities. When viewed through the lens of mission focus, variations among grantmaker funding rates and levels 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.

Report by Mission Focus

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

The organizational experience determined by mission focus is a key factor influencing grantseeking activities. When viewed through the lens of mission focus, variations among grantmaker funding rates and levels 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.

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 State of Grantseeking: Did That Happen?

| GS INSIGHTS

The 2021 State of Grantseeking Survey has launched and is awaiting your response.

We are living in interesting times, giving credence to the proverbial curse, “May you live in interesting times.” A year ago, we at the State of Grantseeking saw, in real time, the birth of COVID-19’s impact on grantseeking and nonprofit organizations. One random reference to the pandemic near the end of the survey period morphed into COVID-19 comments in three-quarters of survey responses during the following two weeks. While the pandemic has not negated other, more institutional, challenges facing grantseekers, the stark reality is that the issues faced by organizations are exacerbated by this worldwide health crisis. Yet there have been successes—agile organizations and funders, skillful organizational leadership, and aid provided to those in need.

While we may all find ourselves wondering if the past year really happened, you do have a unique opportunity to contribute your grantseeking experience to a seminal survey that will result in reports and data that will reflect the past year and provide guidance for this year.

We are asking for your participation in the annual State of Grantseeking™ Survey. It isn’t a short survey, and we don’t offer prizes for participation or gag gifts. So why should you take part in the 2021 State of Grantseeking Survey? Because you can use the results (which are free) 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 3,000+ respondents. This means that even if your mission is less common, there are probably enough respondents to provide statistically relevant data. 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. Plus, there is a new section on the pandemic, PPP funding, and more. You will be able to see the results of these impacts no later than this May.

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 2021 State of Grantseeking Survey. It will take 20 minutes or so, and is detailed—the Survey 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

Is Your Organization Reaching Its Growth Milestones?

| GS INSIGHTS

Do you remember getting excited to measure your growth, whether by a pencil mark on the door frame or during a school physical? How about all the milestones that many of us look forward to for our children – crawling, walking, riding a bike, going to school, independent living, choosing careers, and more?

You shepherd your nonprofit organization through milestones as well, and you can use the Organizational Age State of Grantseeking Report as your growth chart.

Let me preface this by saying that good things come in all sizes – I topped out at 5’2” tall, and never hit the top of a growth chart, but I like to think that I made up for it with attitude. Your organization may be right-sized and feisty with a medium budget, or you may have a vision to see it grow into a multi-million dollar mission; either way, the demographics of this report can serve as your ruler.

Let’s look at a chart that reflects organizational age by annual budget, staff size, and grantseeking activity:

Chart that reflects organizational age by annual budget, staff size, and grantseeking activity

Here are some take-aways:

  • Younger organizations participated in the survey at lower rates than did older organizations, in some part due to a lack of time and staff and less robust grant strategies.
  • Annual budgets grow in correlation to age, which many funders feel is a definition of sustainability.
  • It takes years to grow an organization to the size of 25 or more staff members; organizations do remarkable things with minimal staff.
  • Larger budgets and staff = more frequent grantseeking activity.

Near the end of this report we feature a short definition of a typical organization within each age range. I think that understanding the demographic characteristics – or growth chart - for each organizational range can be very helpful as you plan your grant strategies and overall organizational strategic plans.

Here’s the synopsis for emerging, very young organizations:

  • Nonprofit organizations comprised 82% of very young organizations.
  • The median annual budget reported was $100,000; most very young organizations (81%) had annual budgets under $1,000,000.
  • Thirty percent of very young organizations were staffed by volunteers, while 14% employed less than one full-time equivalent and 31% employed one to five people.
  • Sixty-four percent of respondents from very young organizations were directly associated with their organizations at an executive level; 13% of respondents were staff-level employees.
  • Grantseeking responsibilities were held by staff members (43%) and board members (24%).
  • Forty-three percent were located in a mix of service area types (rural, suburban, and urban).
  • The most frequent geographic service reach for very young organizations was international (16%).
  • Human Services (14%), Education (12%), and Community Improvement (10%) were the most frequently reported mission focuses.
  • Forty-nine percent of these organizations reported a service population of individuals/families at or below the poverty level, while poverty level was not applicable to 17% of very young organizations.

And here is the synopsis for older middle-aged, established organizations:

  • Nonprofit organizations comprised 88% of older middle-aged organizations.
  • The median annual budget reported was $1,458,439; more than half of older middle-aged organizations had annual budgets over $1,000,000 (59%).
  • Twenty-one percent of older middle-aged organizations were staffed by one to five people, while 29% employed six to 25 people, and 41% employed 26 or more people.
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents from older middle-aged organizations were directly associated with their organizations at an executive level; 37% of respondents were staff-level employees.
  • Staff members (83%) held grantseeking responsibilities.
  • Forty-five percent were located in a mix of service area types (rural, suburban, and urban).
  • The most frequent geographic service reach for older middle-aged organizations was multi-county (30%) or one county (15%).
  • Human Services (27%), Art, Culture, and Humanities (13%), and Education (12%) were the most frequently reported mission focuses.
  • Fifty percent of these organizations reported a service population of individuals/families at or below the poverty level, while poverty level was not applicable to 11% of older middle-aged organizations.

What a difference those 20 years make! Median annual budget grew from $100,000 to $1,458,439 and staff sizes changed from 30% of organizations comprised fully of volunteers to 41% of organizations employing 26 or more people.

Some of this growth is fueled by grantmaker interest in organizational age as an indicator of sustainability, and some is fueled by the greater scope of services often offered by older (larger) organizations.

This chart shows the frequency of funding by grantmaker type for each age range, with the median award size by grantmaker noted.

Chart showing frequency of funding by grantmaker type for each age range, with the median award size by grantmaker noted

As you can see, organizations 50 years of age and older report the large Federal awards more frequently, which continues to fuel and sustain their growth. On the other hand, private foundations are supporting new initiatives from very young organizations; there are funds available for all ages.

I hope that your organization achieves the growth that you desire for it – whether it is perfect just as it is, or has a growth spurt ahead of it.

Action steps you can take today

Report by Mission Focus

| STATE OF GRANTSEEKING

The organizational experience determined by mission focus is a key factor influencing grantseeking activities. When viewed through the lens of mission focus, variations among grantmaker funding rates and levels 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.

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.

191 Pages of Pain

| GS INSIGHTS

Grantseeking’s Greatest Challenges

In the Spring 2018 State of Grantseeking Survey, we asked, “What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to successful grantseeking?” Respondent commentary on grantseeking challenges stretched to 191 pages.

Survey respondents continued to report that grantseeking’s greatest challenges stem from the lack of time and staff for grantseeking activities (21%).

Adherence to varying funder practices and requirements (13%), difficulty in finding grant opportunities that matched with specific missions, locations, or programs (13%), and increased competition for finite monies (11%) were also frequently cited as the greatest challenge to successful grantseeking.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description generated with very high confidence

The most frequent grantseeking challenge of lack of time and staff is directly related to the most frequent techniques used by organizations to control costs.

Respondents were asked, “How did you reduce your indirect/administrative costs?” Over half (54%) reported that they had reduced indirect/administrative costs by eliminating staff, while 31% reported increased reliance on volunteer labor.

Allow me to repeat this: 54% of survey respondents controlled costs by eliminating staff, but 21% of respondents say that a lack of time and staff prevents them from successful grantseeking (which regularly results in organizational growth and success).

Respondent Commentary

The majority of respondents shared their frustration with the fact that more responsibilities were placed on fewer staff members, resulting in little time to devote to grantseeking. This lack of time and staff increases the perception that funder practices are arduous, and adds to the sense of disconnect between organizations and funders, the government, and the community as a whole.

Many respondents across all focus areas stated that there was limited funding for their specific mission, and many respondents told us that there is a greater need for non-restricted funding, regardless of mission focus. Some respondents also referenced the changing political landscape and the proposed state and federal funding reductions and resulting confusion. The word cloud below, which gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in source text, was created using their comments.

Here is a sample of representative comments from survey respondents:

  • The stringency put on various organizations under different government rules and regulations, and the priority area(s) of organizations vs. donor agencies are the biggest challenges to overcome.
  • We are in a small community and many regional or national grantmakers focus on larger markets.
  • Handling the increased compliance requirements while having the same number of staff members is a challenge.
  • Our greatest need is for general operating costs (salaries), and most grants available are for specific programs. Little to any funding is available for staff salaries, particularly for religious organizations.
  • Several of the issues apply. Research is very time-consuming. Writing grants has become easier with online processing, but it is still time-consuming. Lack of staff to write grants is always an issue. Also, smaller charities are always competing with the large, national ones. If your annual budget is not high enough, they do not want to hear from you.  Well, if my budget was higher, I might not need the grant!
  • We are finding that there are fewer funders in our focus areas and the grant requirements are becoming much more specific.
  • We often don't have the time to work on new initiatives that come with grant projects. I would love to do more but too often we are focused on our current projects.
  • We struggle to find time to identify good matches with grantmakers.
  • Funding sources are shrinking, and competition is expanding.
  • Our challenges include a small staff, a lack of time, and researching and finding grants for our mission.
  • With increased focus on equity and voice and "nothing for us without us," funders seem to prefer less organized applicants. Established organizations are dinosaurs who can't possibly navigate the new concerns, which is a problem for those organizations who are trying to embrace these concerns but are not recognized (by funders) for their efforts.
  • It is a highly competitive environment with very focused grantmaking.
  • Despite our funding needs, we have few staff members, limited time, limited funders/funding sources, and competition for time, resources, personnel, etc.
  • The biggest issue right now for our organization is that funders have moved away from the type of funding we have traditionally been awarded, i.e. charitable funds to cover services for the vulnerable in our community. We are (currently) a strictly charitable endeavor and right now that is hard to justify to a grantor or other funder. Figuring out how to approach this both to give us access to higher level government grants and to solidify our processes to meet requirements we've never had to do before is a real challenge.

While this information is certainly not uplifting, it can be comforting to know that you and your organization are not alone as you work to overcome challenges to grantseeking success.

And, here at GrantStation, the voices and thoughts of the respondents to the State of Grantseeking Surveys are heard and respected. Every employee at GrantStation reads the pages of pain, with an eye toward developing new services (both paid and free), creating new content, and working to alleviate the pain so evident in many of the responses.

In fact, inspired by this commentary, our strategy team just held an initial meeting to discuss ways to generate more frequent, specifically-targeted content (whether by mission, budget, service area, or target population), and what format that content should take (newsletters, videos, tip sheets, website pages, blogs, etc.).

Not a GrantStation Member? No worries, there are many free public areas to the website, and you can sign up for the free weekly newsletter, the GrantStation Insider. Want to join GrantStation? Watch this short video to learn more.

Already a GrantStation Member? Make sure to login and utilize our US Charitable database to find funders for your organization. Remember, you can search through thousands of grant opportunities that are active and accepting proposals in the coming year!

We at GrantStation believe in you, your organization, and your mission.

Riding the Grantseeking Wave

| GS INSIGHTS

Like a photograph of a gentle wave, GrantStation’s annual State of Grantseeking Report usually captures the ebb and flow of the grantseeking experience. However, the pandemic has brought about a tsunami of change, sending nonprofits into a tailspin to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Released in the spring of 2020, last year’s report captured the challenges organizations faced as they navigated the early days of the pandemic, running the gamut from shortages of essential goods to office closures and swiftly changing funder priorities. A year on, The 2021 State of Grantseeking Report, which includes a special section on the pandemic, takes a wide-angle view of how organizations have adapted during this turbulent year. Let’s examine three strategies that have helped nonprofits and other organizations stay afloat.

Socially Distanced Work and Services

Perhaps the most significant changes related to the need for social distancing, which increased organizations’ reliance on virtual environments. Fifty-one percent of respondents to the 2021 State of Grantseeking Survey reported that their organizations transitioned staff to virtual or work from home status.

51% moved staff to virtual or work from home status.
51% moved staff to virtual or work from home status.

Many organizations switched to virtual programming and services as well. For example, healthcare organizations offered telehealth consultations while arts organizations presented virtual exhibitions or moved their performances online. As one respondent summed up, “Like everyone else—we moved everything to Zoom.”

Organizations also met social distancing requirements by moving their services outdoors, adapting their facilities, or offering home deliveries of essentials such as food. Some organizations reported using a combination of virtual and in-person programming.

Several respondents felt that the changes they were forced to make were ultimately beneficial and would continue into the future. One of them commented, “Adapting to a virtual format has allowed our organization to reach a broader audience than before.” Another said, “Our conference went virtual and we are now in the 21st century with more web-based events in the works.”

Coronavirus-Specific Support

Over the past year, budget shortfalls became commonplace due to lost income from in-person events, the costs of technological adaptation, or the expansion of services to meet increased community needs. One strategy for addressing these shortfalls was to apply for coronavirus-specific support, usually in the form of COVID-19 related grants or forgivable loans offered by the Small Business Administration.

The vast majority of respondents (76%) applied for coronavirus-specific grant funding. Of those who applied for this type of funding, 68% reported receiving awards. Almost half of those who applied (47%) received $25,000 or more in total coronavirus-specific awards.

76% applied for COVID-19 grants.
76% applied for COVID-19 grants.

Some respondents utilized GrantStation’s free COVID-19 Related Funding tool to search for this type of award. One person reported, “As a result of our GrantStation search for COVID-19 donations, we have located other donors who we plan to reach out to for hurricane relief donations, on conclusion of our search for COVID-19 relief assistance.”

Most organizations also applied for forgivable loans offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), either through the Paycheck Protection Program (61%), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (13%), or both. Of those who applied, 58% were awarded Paycheck Protection Program funds and 12% received the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. For those who were successful, the effort to navigate the application process paid off, as the median of total SBA funding was $77,750.

Median Total SBA Funding: $77,750
Median Total SBA Funding: $77,750

Creative Budgeting and Fundraising

In addition to seeking coronavirus-specific funding, organizations also used a combination of cost cutting and creative fundraising techniques to balance their budgets.

In order to lower costs, organizations reduced programs and services, the number of staff, staff hours, organization hours, and staff salaries. Compared to last year’s report, more organizations reduced programs and services (44% vs. 20%) or organization hours (26% vs. 5%). This was also reflected in the respondent commentary. A representative from an animal welfare organization stated, “We reduced all our programs, including animal adoption, low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter, and we closed our pet hotel.”

 

Chart 1

 

Organizations that traditionally relied on an annual gala or other event to raise fundraising dollars had to get creative in their approach. Most turned to grantseeking, virtual events, and social media campaigns to replace lost income.

 

Chart 2

 

However, 58% of respondents reported that these event income replacement techniques raised less money than their traditional events.

For some, creativity paid off. One respondent shared her organization’s approach, “I personally worked with [high school students] to teach grantwriting and actually apply as a team to new funders. Students were really feeling isolated, and this helped them feel like a big part of the community. We received every grant they helped with. I think funders thought our idea of teaching while fundraising was a great one, and it allowed for more personal one-on-one conversations about our mission.”

The Bigger Picture

If the past year can be likened to a wave, the strategies mentioned above are just a few of the ways in which organizations rode out the pandemic, balancing atop their surfboards ever so gracefully. For a more complete picture of grantseekers’ experiences over the past year, be sure to download your copy of The 2021 State of Grantseeking Report. It includes additional data on the topics covered in this article, information on funder responsiveness during the pandemic, and benchmarks to help your organization develop a grantseeking strategy for the coming year.

Action steps you can take today

108 Pages of Frustration and Pain

| GS INSIGHTS

Twice each year, as part of the State of Grantseeking™ Survey and Reports, we ask respondents to tell us about their greatest challenges to grantseeking. This year, 4,047 people took part in the fall survey, and their comments stretched to 108 pages (and each of us here at GrantStation read them all).

Respondents continued to report that grantseeking’s greatest challenges stem from the lack of time and staff for grantseeking activities (18%), although this was the lowest frequency within the past eight reports.

Increased competition for finite monies (15%) has placed greater emphasis on strict adherence to varying funder practices and requirements (12%). Many respondents mentioned the difficulty in finding grant opportunities that matched their specific mission, location, or program, regardless of their focus, service area, or interests (11%). Reduced funding (10%) was reported at the highest rate since the Spring 2014 Report.

Each of the remaining six challenge types was reported by 8% or fewer of respondents. The following chart shows how responses have changed over time to the question, “What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to successful grantseeking?”

Table of Greatest Challenges

Respondent Commentary

We asked survey participants to tell us more about their organizations’ challenges to grantseeking. The “word cloud” below, which gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in source text, was formed with those answers.

Wordle

Many respondents across all focus areas stated that there was limited funding for their specific mission. From a big-picture perspective, respondents told us that there is a greater need for non-restricted funding, regardless of mission focus. Many respondents also referenced the changing political landscape and the proposed state and federal funding reductions and resulting confusion. In addition, frustration with greater expectations placed on fewer staff members, funder practices perceived as arduous, and a sense of disconnect between organizations and funders, the government, and the community as a whole were frequently called out. Respondent commentary on grantseeking challenges stretched to 108 pages.

A sample of representative comments from survey respondents follows:

  • Lack of alignment between what grantmakers are interested in funding and the true needs of our organization.
  • Federal program not being started in timely manner with the DC fighting over budget.
  • Varying online requirements and processes.
  • Lack of REAL grants for REAL money that do not require matching funds and that really help organizations instead of being how some foundation can get the most publicity.
  • We are in a county woefully under resourced with only a handful of foundations with limited assets. Foundations in neighboring counties cite "geographic boundary" as reason for not funding our organization.
  • Current political conditions.
  • The competition seems greater; the relationship building makes a difference for sure and funder requirements seem more ridiculous than ever for smaller amounts of money (NEA for example).
  • Local foundations are still working under the wrong assumption that the 5% rolling average is a maximum rather than a minimum; too many are still hung up on overhead. Too many foundations have hired outside web-based platforms to create an online process and it's written/created by people who have never written a grant before. Unsettling.
  • Economy, political unease, lack of staff time, finding aligned funders, lack of previous relationship building.
  • Anti-intellectualism, anti-education mindset of federal and state legislatures and the ensuing budget cuts for research of any kind.
  • Increased non-grant writing responsibilities on development staff.
  • State and local grants require the same work for small awards as for large awards, making the process very difficult for small organizations.
  • Overall, funding sources are decreasing and the political climate of cutting funds for social services and the potential for change in donor incentives is impacting giving all around. Some of our donors depend on tax incentives for giving and the confidence in this benefit is decreasing, which requires more fund-seeking through grants or contracts with state agencies; however, these are also decreasing with added restrictions (professional licensing or accreditation requirements) on service providers, increased or changing service standards that require more non-face-to-face time with clients (paperwork, reporting, care coordination, engagement, etc.).
  • Our biggest challenge is that our organization does not fit neatly into the boxes most foundations set up around their giving criteria.
  • Time consuming, each grant requires individual attention, and there is no guarantee the organization will receive a grant. So, it is costly of staff time, then interim reports, final reports, and all take an enormous amount of time.
  • We are in a political and social moment where grassroots nonprofits need support to respond to the fact that many of our democratic institutions - not to mention our own communities - are under direct attack. Unfortunately, many funders are taking a "wait and see" approach, or creating insurmountable barriers to accessing rapid response and emergency funding.
  • In these times of great human and environmental crisis, new funding in the arts is likely to be limited or non-existent; hopefully, the stalwart supporters will maintain and not diminish their support. Increases are not forthcoming despite rising budgets.
  • Many foundations have restructured and some that we have received funding for specific program areas for several years have shifted funding priorities and we no longer fit within their funding categories. Changes in deadlines from the funders also caused challenges that change when we could expect funds and they may fall within a future fiscal year. Competition is a challenge and more funders are going towards no unsolicited proposals, which makes it more difficult.
  • Too many organizations fighting for too little money.
  • This seems to be a popular question. This is the third time in only a few weeks I have been asked. Challenges: Funders don't know what they want to support. Funders are hung up on arbitrary ideas about the percentages allocated to general operations. Funders provide impossible media to use for grant applications (Excel sheets with incorrectly designed formulas, narratives required on Excel spreadsheets, outmoded PDF format, applications that require personal SS#s, word documents beset by bugs, etc.). Funders don't comply with their own guidelines, e.g., they insist on advance approval of all publicity material but then don't respond in a timely manner. Funders want to give money to an organization for pet projects that may not align with the organization's mission rather where it is needed.
  • In addition to not really having volunteers with grantwriting skills/experience, we don't have the infrastructure to support the data gathering and reporting required of larger grants.
  • Government funding decreasing for organizations who have a high percentage of their budget in government grants and the concern is that the competition for private foundation and DAF contributions will be significantly increased.
  • We are an all-volunteer organization and the board does the grantwriting, lack of time and staff.
  • Many organizations apply for funding from grantmakers, the challenge is both competition and developing a relationship with funders to determine fit and likelihood of support.
  • Flash fire social justice fundraising is dominating the spectrum (hooray) but it is making it hard for issues that are more chronic and ongoing to hold onto the urgency around our issues. Hopefully what we will see from the trend is that all social justice issues win and that more people are donating and hopefully not only to big national organizations.
  • As an established agency, we are frequently passed over in favor of a new program or territory. Also, creating new relationships with funders has been a challenge. Many local funders seem overwhelmed by the requests they currently have and are unwilling to take on another agency or, in the case of long-time funding partners, unable to increase award amounts.
  • It seems to be more who you know than the quality of the programs provided to the underserved.
  • The greatest success has come through a relationship with funders; the challenge is the time needed to foster those relationships and the competition for funders' time and attention.
  • Writing grants is hard work and a specific skill. Very time consuming, very easy to make a mistake.
  • Some projects/programs have the potential for a lot of funders, others do not.Often the funders ask questions that are not relevant to the project or are hard to answer based on the number of people served.
  • State application for funding takes 6 months for a decision that leaves the organization in a budgetary state of uncertainty.
  • While we continue to seek new opportunities, we have found that the pool of potential grantmakers has grown smaller over time. The potential for losses in federal pass-through funds and state funding for human services continues to be a concern, due to political and economic conditions in the U.S.
  • Funders sometimes ask for a ridiculous amount of information relative to the amount of funding they are giving out. Providing all this information takes time, which then counts as admin/indirect/overhead. Then they penalize you for spending too much of your income on "overhead.”

We at GrantStation hear your frustration – it can feel like the route to good works is filled with potholes and roadblocks.

One of the ways we are focusing on our service leadership is to ensure that you are aware of the FREE tools that we provide to the grantseeking community.

PathFinder is designed to help you develop your career path as a grants professional. You can browse our library, search our resources, or use our Find Your Path tool to get a customized curriculum for your learning plan.

Through TrendTrack, we want to make sure our community is up-to-speed on what’s happening in the world of philanthropy. Included is the GS Insights blog, which features the thoughts and observations of our research staff, our CEO, as well as Tracks to Success, which includes magazine-style articles written by nationally recognized guest writers. TrendTrack gives us the opportunity to share our insights as we research grantmakers and talk with grantseekers.

The GrantStation Insider is our weekly newsletter filled with the latest information on grantmakers, upcoming grant deadlines, and news that will assist the serious grantseeker. When you read the GrantStation Insider each week, every link will take you to updated and relevant information on funding opportunities.

And of course, there is my personal favorite, the State of Grantseeking Reports, free to you and ready to download. Stay tuned for the most recent benchmarks; we expect to publish the Fall 2017 State of Grantseeking Reports starting in early November.

Finally, please consider investing in a GrantStation Membership. We list only those grantmakers who accept unsolicited requests – which saves you time since we have already done that research for you. In addition, you can search for funders by mission, support type, geography, target population, and more. With GrantStation Membership you get the tools and info you need to secure your funding this year and beyond.