CPA & Business Advisory Blog

Federal Grant Applications: It’s who you know

Generally, when one thinks of a successful grant application, the first concept that may come to mind is “innovative research or technology”. What some may not know is that the grant application process may actually be more of a “who-you-know” game.


According to G2G Consulting, a firm that links organizations with government opportunities, while innovation is important, the key to a successful federal grant application (and future applications) is to develop a relationship with the specific branches of the federal agency that is awarding the grant. This may include contacting your congressman/woman to gain support for the organization’s idea and/or to network to find the right person from the target federal agency. Note that you may have better luck contacting your congressman/woman in August since Congress is in recess during this month. Providing office tours to allow the federal agency to better visualize how the grant awards would be applied may also be helpful. 


For those organizations that have existing grants, developing a relationship with the federal agency following the award date can help the organization possibly find future funding for other research. 


Finally, when considering your “sales approach”, whether it be in your application or when contacting your congressman/woman or even developing a relationship with an existing federal agency contact, note that your focus should be on the novel – how your research/product may address military needs, and how many jobs your research/product would create. Because, in a “who-you-know” game, it’s not enough to reach out and contact someone, but it’s also how you approach them.


For discussion (use our comment feature below):


·         Does your organization actively foster its relationship with government contacts and federal agencies?  

·         Do you think your organization would benefit from developing a relationship with a government or federal agency contact?


Contact a member of our Life Sciences and Innovation Group by calling 440-440-6800.

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