Grant writing for discretionary grants is a highly complex and competitive endeavor. A U.S. Department of Education representative noted that in one competition for discretionary funding they could only fund ½ of 1% of all grant applications received. Thus, this means that 995 out of 1,000 grant applications would be rejected [NOTE: Seriation University’s grant for this competition received funding]. Further, when you deal with any governmental entity politics can play a part in the selection process; even with discretionary funding. Attend one of our training sessions to examine how politics can play into the selection process and learn how to prepare for it.
The concept of commission-based payment for grant writing is a highly debated concept among grant writers. Typically, commission-based payments are based on a percentage of the awarded amount. One of the problems with this type of approach is that grant writing is not typically an allowed expense for most granting agencies (e.g., the federal government). Thus, if you cannot use grant funds to pay the commission where does that funding come from? In addition, commission-based payments can lead to “grant writing mills”. Grant writing companies may attempt to improve their chances of securing a commissioned based grant by writing dozens of the same grant for various customers. In this scenario, where the grant you are submitting is nearly identical to a dozen others, what competitive advantages do you have? Finally, commission-based funding, at least from Seriation University’s perspective, can significantly reduce “Executive Sponsorship” of the project. If you pay nothing for something how committed to the project are you? Thus, with commission-based grants, you find that once the grant money is awarded many Executives are unsupportive of the grant program. Conversely, if the Executive of the agency is willing pay for the service they are much more likely to supportive of the grant program if it is awarded. Further, Seriation University offers a grant writing GUARANTEE so that if the grant is not awarded in the first year Seriation University will update the grant for up to two years for FREE.
If a grant written by Seriation University is not funded in the first year it was submitted Seriation University will revise the grant application for resubmission for the following year’s competition. Seriation University staff will review any and all feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of the grant and revise the grant accordingly. Seriation University will do this free of charge for up to two resubmissions.
There are some grant funds that are limited to districts or organizations that serve only ‘high’ levels of low-income families or clients. For example, the Literacy Through School Libraries program is designed only for school districts that have more the 20% family poverty rates. However, these instances are the exception rather than the rule when it comes to discretionary grants. Many federal discretionary grant programs are available for both “wealthy” and “poorer” districts. In most cases, the grantor is more concerned about how innovative your solution is to a particular problem than how wealthy your clients or students are. Seriation University can help you determine which grant programs your district is eligible for.