Contact the Funder’s Program Officer
Perhaps the most important part of successfully achieving a grant award is the personal exchange between the funder's program officer and the primary investigator or project lead. Prior to contacting the program officer, formulate ideas about your proposal and develop questions you may have that require review and are not immediately answered in the Funder's FAQ online or in the proposal guidelines. Sketch a proposal draft according to the funder's guidelines. Note project budgetary needs alongside these notes. Be sure to connect with your grant officer before proceeding with this step. Call, email or visit the funder to ask questions and to discuss the project.
Consider the Following:
- Think of the funder as a resource and partner.
- Identify a program officer who will address your questions. As the Principal Investigator/Project Lead, you are the best source for what the research and project will entail.
- Some funders offer technical assistance, others do not. Ask for assistance, including a review of proposal drafts. You might be surprised to find that they are extremely open to helping you be successful.
- Inquire about how proposals are reviewed and how decisions are made.
- Inquire about budgetary requirements and preferences. Are matching funds required? Is in-kind institutional support acceptable as matching funds? What may be counted as in-kind, and how might it be applied? Learn about payment processes on grant awards.