The topic for this post first emerged all the way back in 2013 (https://www.ebhoward.com/does-e-b-howard-consulting-guarantee-that-the-grant-proposal-will-be-funded/). This question still comes up frequently from many clients. We have learned a lot since 2013 and written numerous proposals, but the answer remains the same. Proposal funding is decided upon by reviewers alone. This means that your grant preparation professional can not guarantee the outcome of your award. Unless you happen to find a consultant that can see the future.
While all proposal preparation specialists apply the full scope of effort and sincerely hopes the proposal is funded, they have no way to guarantee this. Believe us, we want our clients to win. It benefits the client and adds to the consultant’s success statistics. But no consultant can guarantee how the reviewers will score the proposal. Furthermore, there are numerous reviewers and each brings their own unique insight and opinions to the review process. This can heavily influence the outcome of the proposal funding through no fault of the small business or the consultant.
What consultants can do is help guide you through the process in order to afford you the best possible chance of winning. The subject matter expertise and industry experience a consultant brings to the table are not a guarantee to win. However, overall companies that hire a consultant tend to have stronger proposals than companies who choose not to. This insight allows small businesses to increase their chances of scoring well with reviewers. Scoring highly with reviewers increases the chances of winning an award.
Other tips for scoring well during a review include contacting your program officer, reading the solicitation thoroughly, and using SMART objectives and measurable results metrics to quantify success. The truth is that nothing can truly guarantee an award will be made on any proposal. Nonetheless, there are tips and tricks that highly increase the chances for success.
We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.