FAQ

Some of our most frequently asked questions.

Start your government registrations right away.

Start your government registrations right away.

starting or updating registrations at least 60 days prior to the application deadline will help ensure that your proposal is submitted on time ...
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5 reasons you are NOT ready for a grant

5 reasons you are NOT ready for a grant

If you are part of an organization that is a start-up, that is the organization is in the first three to five years of operation, it is likely that you could always use more funding. We all could ...
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The Blunt, Cold, Hard Truth: Success rate or success ratio is a bad measure

The Blunt, Cold, Hard Truth: Success rate or success ratio is a bad measure

Why "Success Rate" is a bad measure and the answer is not as straightforward as you would like with SBIR/STTR funding and Win Rate or Success Rate or Success Ratio is a misnomer and a misconception ...
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Want to get funded? Start with those government registrations

Want to get funded? Start with those government registrations

Government funding can be tricky. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, for example, are a great opportunity for small businesses to gain substantial funding to help their business grow. However, there are a lot of steps a business needs to take to apply for SBIR and other forms of government funding, and missing one could set your business back substantially, or eliminate your opportunity to apply altogether. This is why it is critical that you ...
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Is your project in an Opportunity Zone?

Is your project in an Opportunity Zone?

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. The Opportunity Zones program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing in Opportunity Zones designated by the chief executives of every U.S. state and territory. WHAT ARE OPPORTUNITY ZONES? Opportunity Zones ...
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Quick & Dirty Tips For Navigating That Darn Instruction Manual

Quick & Dirty Tips For Navigating That Darn Instruction Manual

Amidst all of the requirements for completing an application, it is very easy to become lost, confused, or to lose track of simple tasks. While you may at times become frustrated, wondering whether you missed something or why you can not seem to find that one item that you need, chances are that whatever you are looking for is buried somewhere inside the instruction manual. It is not your fault. Some agencies appear to thrive ...
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Your Data Rights with SBIR

Your Data Rights with SBIR

Generally speaking, rights to data, including software, developed under the terms of any SBIR program remain with the small business, except that the Government shall have the limited right to use such data for internal purposes and shall not release such data outside the Government without permission for a period of fours years from the date of completion of the project which generated the data.  As of now, at the conclusion of the four-year period, ...
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eligibility ≠ competitive

eligibility ≠ competitive

Gone are the days of cut, copy, and paste in the proposal development field and to be honest, I am not sure that it ever existed. Instead, it is just a metaphor for how increasingly competitive the development field is today. That is why it is more important than ever to know your funding market and your funding competition. Here are some great tips to ensure that you are eligible AND competitive for funding: Register early: You ...
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Planning for SBIR - Register

Planning for SBIR – Register

So you read this post - "6 tips before applying" and you think, "This sounds like a good idea. Let's apply to SBIR".  The first thing that I tell clients before any data collection or writing starts that they have to start the registration process. With SBIR registration, requires various different platforms and sometimes more than one platform depending on the agency. You will need your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and DUNS number to start. All registrations require that ...
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Thinking about SBIR/STTR? Consider these 6 Tips before applying

Thinking about SBIR/STTR? Consider these 6 Tips before applying

Often organizations bring me to the table when they are trying to understand why a previously submitted proposal was not funded, or they are just thinking about throwing their hat into the SBIR/STTR ring for the very first time and need help managing the process of development and timelines. As a result, I have seen some really good products and idea from organizations that could potentially be game changers within their industry that should receive ...
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Best-practices for collecting Letters of Support

Best-practices for collecting Letters of Support

Every once in a while a client will approach me about how to collect Letters of Support (LOS) and often they ask if I have a template. One of the most difficult parts of the development & fundraising process is collecting high-quality letters of support from project partners and individuals that can speak to the proposal and your ability to run the project should it be funded. Here are some best practices to help ensure ...
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Grant Writing and Contingency Fees

Grant Writing and Contingency Fees

This is a really simple and great way to explain why you should not take contingency based projects for development. Fund restrictions trump any question of ethics. If something is not an allowable expense, that's a legal contract ...
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Free Money. HA!

Free Money. HA!

We’ve all seen the late night TV commercials targeted at entrepreneurs touting “free money from Uncle Sam”. Unfortunately, for the most part, there is no such thing. I say “for the most part” because government grants for small businesses do exist, but the opportunity to secure one is limited to a narrow field of candidates. Small Business Grants: The Facts and The Fiction - Bplans Blog ...
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10 Questions to Ask When Collecting Customer Data

10 Questions to Ask When Collecting Customer Data

Most often evaluation of projects and programs do not require this level of data collection. However, this is a good springboard conversation to have and should be an upfront conversation before data changes hands. 10 Questions to Ask When Collecting Customer Data ...
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Typography-1 (1)

Think before you font

When it comes to data visualization, think before you font. Great blog article by Co.Design, too ...
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Improving Outcomes by Reducing Red Tape for Financial Assistance

Improving Outcomes by Reducing Red Tape for Financial Assistance

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance on Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards Please submit your questions to cofar@omb.eop.gov. For more information on this guidance and other COFAR initiatives, visit https://cfo.gov/cofar/.

Know your OMB Circular: Its been updated

It was about two years or so in the making, a culmination of collaborative efforts by state and local governments, tribes, research and higher education institutions, nonprofits, and the audit community. The Office of Management and Budget’s “Super Circular,” whose guidance was released on, December 26, through the Federal Register, consolidates eight OMB circulars into one to reform how we steward federal funding. The “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” guidance streamlines ...
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Can I just pay for grant writing services out of the awarded grant?

Can I just pay for grant writing services out of the awarded grant?

No, funding agencies do not allow for grant money to be used to pay for services rendered prior to an award. Therefore, legitimate grant writing firms will not place their clients at risk of fraud by charging for grant writing - contingent upon a grant being funded. Things to know... Contingency payment for services rendered before the grant award is an unallowable expense with public dollars (federal and state funded grants). Should an organization be ...
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What is the likelihood that you will be able to help my agency get funding?

What is the likelihood that you will be able to help my agency get funding?

Grant writing is a highly competitive process. While I will provide advice, coordinate grant preparation, development of the narrative along with the goals and objectives, it is impossible to guarantee the funding of an individual grant proposal. However, with my experience of grant preparation and obtaining grants, offers your agency the best chance for successful funding. Have questions about grant writing and evaluation? Call me at (716) 939-1601 ...
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Can you guarantee that the grant proposal will be funded?

Can you guarantee that the grant proposal will be funded?

Q: Does E.B. Howard Consulting guarantee that the grant proposal will be funded? A: No, I am not aware of any legitimate grant-writing firm that can make and keep such a guarantee.  There is always a risk involved in pursuing grant funding – regardless of our company’s previous award success ...
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I need a grant to pay for a new home or to remodel my home; are there grants for these types of endeavors?

I need a grant to pay for a new home or to remodel my home; are there grants for these types of endeavors?

No! Whoever told you that doesn't know what they are talking about or they are trying to scam you. There are very few grants available for buying or remodeling homes unless you plan to use the facility to provide shelter or housing solutions for the disabled, elderly, and/or impoverished children and families. There are, however, local and state programs (not direct grants) available to support low-income families in purchasing their first homes through individual development accounts, low-interest ...
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