Measuring Grant Success

Measuring Grant Success

How Do You Measure Grant Success?

What does it take to be successful as a Grant Professional? How do organizations hire and evaluate grant professionals? We put this topic to the Grantchat community and – of course – it was a great success!

Why are award rates so low now?

Grant success rates vary by industry and by type of grant, such as community development, education, technical studies and family foundations.

(Grant geek – numbers and acronym alert  – next paragraph) 

The National Institute of Health success rate report shows a drop in the percent of applicants successfully receiving award went from 30% to 17% in the past decade. Remember, that number is an average with some grant programs coming in at a 2% average success rate. For the NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants the rates have dropped from 28.5% in 2008 to 16.3% in 2013. What does that really mean? For one SBIR grant program in 2013, there were 3,738 applications and only 495 (13.2%) received a grant.

Grantors are funding a smaller percent of applications for two main reasons:

  1.  Reductions in funds available, and
  2.  Increase in the number of organizations applying.

Your application must be in the top 10-20% to compete. While some elements of the grant application are out of the control of the grant seeker, many factors that contribute to grant denials are 'user error.'

Inadequate pre-planning for program design and proposal preparation combined with shrinking appropriations create fierce competition. ~ Susan Perri, MBA

Too many proposals are submitted without the “3 R’s”: Research, Relationships and wRiting.~ Diane H. Leonard, GPC

Our Grant Application was Denied! Did our Grant Professional fail?

You can submit a brilliant grant application that meets the funders guidelines and goals, but still be denied funding.

Our profession has moved away from a Pass/Fail scorecard to an entire grade-book of success metrics. ~ Becky Jascoviak, MBA

What do perceptive, calculating organization realize that are helping them aggressively compete for grants and measure grant success?

Find out in the rest of this post on


How do you measure grant success? 

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