Grant applications with multiple collaborators and supporters tend to fare better than solitary applications. Funders like agencies that leverage, rather than duplicate, existing resources. Funders also like groups that are aware enough to understand the local support ecosystem and can operate efficiently with others in their space. Furthermore, funders respond favorably knowing their dollars are stretched further by assistance from other partners.Strong partners will not only appeal to the funder, but they can also participate in developing the proposal. Often they can provide additional data to support need and potential impact. They’ll frequently review proposal drafts and provide useful suggestions and criticisms to strengthen the content.
As promised in Part I of this series, this blog points out some clues that might indicate a purportedly open Request For Proposals (RFP) is not so open after all. Sometimes a funding agency has a particular recipient in mind for an award, and writes the RFP to favor that participant in the selection process. Agencies may do this to comply with (and at the same time skirt the intent of) administrative requirements. Agencies may also issue such RFPs to identify any applicants that might provide even better results than the providers they’re currently aware of. Whatever the reasons, RFPs with a foregone recipient in mind are often called “wired proposals,” and if you spot one of them you may be better off not to apply. Here are some indicators to watch out for: