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 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: 67%
In 2017/2018 (YTD) Aaron helped 67% (n=21) of clients win at least one grant, ranging from $5,000 to $2.1 million (median: ~$153,000). For some clients multiple grants were applied for but only 1 received. Others received multiple grants awards.
Application-Success Rate: ~50%
In 2017 and 2018 (YTD) approximately 50% of grant proposals written by Aaron were funded. Multiple proposals submitted in the same “batch” are considered as one. This figure includes proposals which Aaron advised clients were a “longshot” at the onset.
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.