This is one the most frequently asked question by our clients…and, of course, for good reason! Grant writing entails an enormous amount of time, collaboration, and attention to detail, so it’s understandable to want to know if that hard work on the front end is going to be worth it on the back end.
Reliable statistics are hard to find, and like many other things in life, there is no simple answer. Applications to the 26 federal grant-making agencies, countless state and municipal agencies, and 80,000+ grant-making foundations in the United States have varying rates of success, depending on the type of funder, competition within the applicant pool, and even factors outside of one’s control, such as geographic location.
In the federal realm, first-time grant applicants often have the toughest hill to climb; for example, less than 10% of first-time applicants to the National Institutes of Health are successful. (Gauge your chances of success for each NIH institute and activity code here.) The likelihood of funding for first-time applicants to PCORI isn’t much higher, with only 12-13% of new submissions awarded.
Years of experience has taught Words for Good that it’s better to redirect your focus to what you can do to improve your chances for success rather than get stuck on harsh statistics. Stay tuned for a new series of grant writing tips in next month’s blog!