Proposal Preparation FAQ

Welcome to our FAQ page! Here, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about our services, processes, and resources available to startups and small businesses seeking non-dilutive funding opportunities. This page is designed to help you understand how we can assist you in securing funding without giving up equity in your business.

This FAQ page aims to provide clear and concise answers to your questions, making your journey to securing funding as smooth as possible. If you need further assistance or have additional questions, please contact us directly or schedule a consult call with us here


Don’t wait. Timing is everything. We don’t want to race or scramble to the deadline. We don't want you to race or scramble, either.

We do not take on a proposal project less than 30 calendar days from the deadline. No Exception.

We strongly recommend engaging with us at least 45 days from the deadline.

We like to be done with all proposal work 7 calendar days in advance of the deadline. This 7 calendar day window allows for uploading into the platform and for the client to submit the proposal at least 48 hours in advance of the deadline.

We DO NOT work on an incentive, contingency, or success fee. We charge a flat fee for services.

  • Ethics: We uphold the ethics of the Grant Professional Association (GPA), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the American Evaluation Association (AEA). 
  • U.S. Laws for Government Grants: Regarding the legality of taking an incentive, contingency, or success fee for compensation from a government grant could be viewed as a form of misappropriation of funds, and could involve an adverse audit finding. We strongly recommend spending your grant dollars in alignment with what is allowable under the agency guidelines and in alignment with what was proposed in the budget. To not do so is a misappropriation of funds and is considered FRAUDOrganizations and individuals who commit fraud can face criminal law consequences, civil liabilities, and administrative actions. Criminal law violations include and are not limited to: 
    • False Statements, which can be punishable by up to 5 years in prison, forfeiture and a $250,000 fine; 
    • Theft of Federal Property, carrying a punishment of up to 10 years in prison, forfeiture and a $250,000 fine;
    • Wire Fraud, which carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison, forfeiture and a $250,000 fine; and 
    • False Claims, which is punishable by up to a $250,000 fine for individuals and a $500,000 fine for companies.
    • Learn more here 
  • We strongly encourage you to follow the U.S. federal government's Uniform Guidance regulations §200.209.
  • We strongly encourage you to follow the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

We CAN NOT imply, promise, or guarantee that your proposal(s) or projects will be funded or that your evaluation report will indicate that your program’s goals & objectives will be achieved. We CAN guarantee a tailored approach grounded in the latest in best practices, appropriate methodology, and professional experience. We approach our work with clients as a partnership. The road to securing funding is not a quick process. (Please Note: No reputable & ethical consultant can guarantee your proposal will win.)

For several reasons, EBHC does not calculate the rate of funded grants.

  1. Our clients may be applying to the same agency under the same solicitation, and each has a distinctly different focus and purpose. Essentially, no two applications are the same.
  2. Additionally, we do not screen clients for their funding “potential.” Rather, we generally accept any assignment, provided that we have the capacity to meet the deadline and the applicant is eligible. Finally, our clients often do not tell us when they are funded.
  3. Funding decisions depend on many variables, such as the number of applications submitted, the mood of the reviewers, geographic and political considerations, and many other factors not easily identifiable.

Our team has secured over $145M+ in non-dilutive funding sources, where awards range from $50,000 to $5,000,000 per project.

You can see our client success and stories in more detail here. Client Testimonials and Client Success Database. Please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

The ROIs: 

  • SBIR/STTR ROI: If funded, the ROI is (on average) $30 for every $1 spent on SBIR/STTR Phase I proposal preparation costs.
  • Other Federal Grants ROI: If funded, the ROI is (on average) $60 for every $1 spent on proposal preparation costs.

It depends on the proposal. Typically 3 weeks. But keep in mind - We do not take on a proposal project less than 30 calendar days from the deadline. No Exception.

We strongly recommend engaging with us at least 45 days from the deadline.

We like to be done with all proposal work 7 calendar days in advance of the deadline. This 7 calendar day window allows for uploading into the platform and for the client to submit the proposal at least 48 hours in advance of the deadline.

E.B. Howard Consulting will agree to adhere to standard confidentiality practices and that we agree not to disclose private information about the organization or its donors or funders. “Private information” does not include information available in the public domain. E.B. Howard Consulting is willing to sign an NDA.

Begin SAM Registration NOW. It takes ~6 to 8 weeks to validate and could be the difference between submitting on time or at all. No other registrations are possible until you receive confirmation of an Active status before submitting an application on any federal platform.

Regarding Client Readiness: We work with highly experienced, organized clients with a complete understanding of their projects. It is our expectation that you know your own research plan, timeline, and other foundational information about the project in advance of working with us. We are happy to provide guidance on proposal preparation and federal funding. We CAN NOT provide “educated guesses” or “boilerplate language” on key elements of your proposal - that is NOT how competitive proposals are created.

Regarding Project Meetings: Meetings are designed to be a SCRUM style check-in to go over timelines and data requests and identify any barriers to progress. They are NOT a coworking session or brainstorming session. The expectation is that our respective teams make full use of the collaborative technology we have through Google Suite and tools such as Loom Video to perform 90% of the work asynchronously. Meetings should be strictly focused on project management, progress updates and Q&A.

Alternative Platforms: To ensure the smoothest and most efficient workflow for your project, we recommend sticking with the established platforms we use daily. Alternative methods can sometimes create unforeseen challenges that may impact our timeline or resources. We kindly request your cooperation in adhering to our standard operating procedures, including using Google Drive for file storage and Google Meet for video calls. Introducing new software or systems may disrupt our workflow, so we appreciate your understanding and support in following our recommended tools and processes.

Regarding Conduct: We ask that you maintain professionalism and respect at all times, including adhering to our business hours, employee Paid Time Off (PTO), and understanding that we serve multiple clients and may not be able to respond immediately. Both parties agree to refrain from inappropriate interactions such as harassment, threatening behavior, bullying, denigrating language, or violence. Any such conduct will be deemed a material breach of this agreement and grounds for immediate termination.

Regarding Project Management: We are responsible for project management. However, clients are responsible for providing all data requests or “homework assignments” to us by the stated deadline to ensure the project timeline does not become altered. If you need help or are facing a barrier, ask us, and we will do everything we can to assist you in providing your deliverable.

Regarding Your Feedback: As the client, it is essential that you regularly review drafts and provide feedback throughout the proposal preparation process. All edits and modifications should be requested well before the internal deadline of 7 calendar days prior to the final submission deadline. This ensures that the proposal can be finalized without further changes and our team has sufficient time for Pink Team and Red Team reviews, and for any finishing services and uploading, if necessary.


Regarding Our Review Process: We provide an iterative review process that includes grammar, spelling, and formatting recommendations, as well as two content-focused reviews similar to Pink Team and Red Team reviews.

  • Pink Team Review: This review focuses on content and intent, ensuring consistency between sections and maintaining narrative themes. It's an opportunity for course corrections before major revisions. At this stage, the proposal should be 65-70% complete.
  • Red Team Review: This review evaluates the proposal as a whole to ensure the message, strategy, and solution work together effectively. The narrative should be nearly complete (95%) with final or near-final graphics and tables. All sections should be formatted as they will be submitted, with RFP references included as needed.

Our fees for preparing most government grant proposals range from $1,000 — $15,000, depending on the complexity of the application and the amount of time we have to complete the assignment. Fees are never based on the amount being requested because we do not work for contingent fees.

EBHC does not have any special relationships with funders and never attempts to influence funding decisions through lobbying efforts. Funders typically do not know about our involvement, and we are transparent in the proposal development process. Our goal is to prepare high-quality and highly competitive proposals that enable our clients to be considered for funding


We help our clients find, apply, and measure outcomes on non-dilutive grant funding. We work with high-growth for-profit startups and small businesses, as well as organizations and consortiums focused on supporting the startup and innovation ecosystem.

Our clients are typically early-stage companies with innovative, STEM-based solutions to social, cultural, or environmental challenges. They are focused on commercializing their technologies or propelling the innovation ecosystem forward. Our clients have domain expertise, strong teams, and evidence of early traction. They also have a clear path to revenue within 12-18 months and a compelling value proposition.

Regarding an Immediate Service Fee: Our service agreement includes an "Immediate Service Fee" for last-minute changes after the internal deadline, unplanned meetings or emergency meetings, and urgent needs outside scheduled hours to ensure project timelines and avoid disruptions. We prioritize transparency and will discuss fees before any client is billed an “Immediate Service Fee”. Loyal clients with minor requests may qualify for waivers or reductions. We will always discuss the applicability of the Immediate Service Fee before proceeding with any additional work and outline the estimated cost involved.

The quick and short of it is that we view AI as an assistive technology and not a replacement for the human eye. Here is EBHC's employee policy for handling AI in proposals.

  1. Purpose: This AI policy aims to establish guidelines and best practices for the responsible and ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within EBHC. It ensures that our employees are using AI systems and platforms in a manner that aligns with the company's values, adheres to legal and regulatory standards, and promotes the safety and well-being of our clients. 
  2. Scope: This policy applies to all employees, contractors, and partners of EBHC who use or interact with AI systems, including but not limited to all LLMs, plugins, and data-enabled AI tools. 
  3. Policy: 
    1. Responsible AI Use: Employees must use AI systems responsibly and ethically, avoiding any actions that could harm others, violate privacy, or facilitate malicious activities.
    2. Compliance with Laws and Regulations: AI systems must be used in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including data protection, privacy, and intellectual property laws. 
    3. Transparency and Accountability: Employees must be transparent about the use of AI in their work, ensuring that stakeholders are aware of the technology's involvement in decision-making processes. Employees must utilize EBHC’s centralized system for AI governance and compliance efforts (‘AI System of Record’) to ensure transparency of proposed and active AI activities. Employees are responsible for the outcomes generated by AI systems and should be prepared to explain and justify those outcomes. 
    4. Data Privacy and Security: Employees must adhere to the company's data privacy and security policies when using AI systems. They must ensure that any personal or sensitive data used by AI systems is anonymized and stored securely. 
    5. Bias and Fairness: Employees must actively work to identify and mitigate biases in AI systems. They should ensure that these systems are fair, inclusive, and do not discriminate against any individuals or groups.
    6. Human-AI Collaboration: Employees should recognize the limitations of AI and always use their judgment when interpreting and acting on AI-generated recommendations. AI systems should be used as a tool to augment human decision-making, not replace it. 
    7. Third-Party Services: When utilizing third-party AI services or platforms, employees must ensure that the providers adhere to the same ethical standards and legal requirements as outlined in this policy. 
    8. Incident Reporting: Employees must report any suspected violations of this policy or any potential ethical, legal, or regulatory concerns related to AI use to the CEO or through the company's established reporting channels. 
    9. Enforcement: Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with EBHC's disciplinary policies and procedures. 
  4. Policy Review: This policy will be reviewed annually or as needed, based on the evolution of AI technology and the regulatory landscape. Any changes to the policy will be communicated to all employees.

E.B. Howard Consulting envisions a future where they are not only experts in their field but also leaders and innovators. To achieve this, they wanted to invest in expanding their knowledge and constantly exploring new methodologies, best practices, and funding trends. This thirst for knowledge would ensure they provided cutting-edge guidance to their clients.

E.B. Howard Consulting envisions itself as becoming a thought leader within the non-dilutive grant industry through conference talks, podcasts, webinars, etc.