Potential clients often ask Aaron about his success rate, and this is a legitimate question. However, the answer is nuanced. To interpret the answer, it is important to first understand the factors which impact whether or not an application for funding is successful. Several of these key factors include:
- Organizational track-record and experience of management team
- Alignment of proposed program with the request for proposal (RFP) or Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)
- Whether the program is “evidence-based”
- Relationship with funder (i.e. awarded past funding or connection of some kind with funding agency)
- Submitting a well-written and well-formulated proposal that is both responsive to the funding opportunity, and compelling
- The subjectivity of the reviewers
Positioning a proposal/organization to win a grant (or contract) requires a partnership between the client and grant writer. Despite Aaron’s experience, skill and trackrecord, certain factors are beyond his control. In fact, some clients insist on submitting applications for grant opportunities which Aaron advises them they have no chance of winning. Consider the quantification of “success rates” below, in this context. Also, please consider that competition for grant funds is very competitive and no grant writer can guarantee funding will be awarded.
Client-Success Rate: 85%
Between 2020-2022 (YTD) Aaron helped 85% (n=52) of his clients to register at least one “win.” In most (n=46) cases, a “win” is classified as a grant award, which ranged from $5,000 to $10.4 million (median: ~$153,000). In a few cases a “win” is a contract awarded through a competitive process similar to that of a grant submission (n=3), or an article published in a peer-reviewed journal (n=3). For some clients multiple grants were applied for/ articles submitted; if at least one “win” was achieved for a particular client, for this analysis, that client-win goes in the “success” column. Over the past two years Aaron has had only 5 clients who did not achieve at least one win with his help – unfortunately, you can’t ‘win them all’ but he came pretty close. Even in those few cases, however, the clients gained valuable experience/ learnings, and materials that can be used in future grant submissions/ promotional materials.
|Total $ Raised||$18,100,000||$7,600,000||$5,100,100|
Application-Success Rate: 71%
Between 2020-2022 (YTD) approximately 71% of grant proposals/ contracts/ articles written by (for articles – edited) Aaron were funded. Multiple proposals submitted in the same “batch” are considered as one – meaning, if Aaron wrote a batch which consisted of 5 grants applications for a client, and submitted all about the same time (this is a typical strategy with foundation grants – to benefit from economies-of-scale and increase odds of success), 1 win from this batch would result in a check in the “success” column. Similarly, unrelated funding opportunities (i.e. proposals to 2 different federal agencies) were accounted for separately. Combined, these two metrics (“Client-Success Rate” [85%)] and “Application-Success Rate” [71%]) make one thing clear. Aaron is very effective.
Even those clients whose proposals are not funded gain valuable insight and skills through the process. Such value includes: ability to better compete in future funding rounds; development of new content which can be used in future proposals or communication materials; improved capacity to apply for grants within the organization; better understanding of the proposal-writing process and how to craft a competitive application; better articulation of the organization’s core competencies and values.