Ron Flavin recently appeared on the Stu Taylor Show. Flavin has over 15 years of experience developing funding strategies for businesses and government organizations. He has worked with a wide variety of clients, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to international corporations, and is the author of “Business Grants: Everything You Need to Know to Connect with Local, State and Federal Grants for Business”.
Flavin discussed grant funding in light of the recent economic downturn, conceding that the process of obtaining a grant is more difficult than it had once been. With banks generally more reluctant to lend, there are more companies seeking alternative funding options. This has greatly increased competition for government funds allocated for grants. At the same time, governments have become more selective in authorizing grants, focusing on only those projects that are highly likely to be successful. To illustrate these trends, Flavin estimates that only 3% to 8% of the proposals received result in authorized grants.
Considering grants which have been authorized recently, Flavin identified some trends. Specifically, projects that relate to renewable energy sources are more common, as are projects that make healthcare services more efficient or accessible. Additionally, projects aligned to public safety interests, (e.g., enhanced surveillance cameras) and workforce development interests (e.g., training programs), have continued to be common.
The grant approval process, according to Flavin, is similar to attempting to obtain a bank loan. The government wants to invest in projects that will result in long-term success. Therefore, even though grant money need not be repaid, the government will often be as stringent as a lender in making a determination to authorize a grant. Given this selectivity and due diligence, Flavin emphasized the importance of consulting a professional to help obtain grant funding.
Particularly so as the writing of the grant proposal involves several technical components, which Flavin discussed in some detail. A successful proposal, according to Flavin, must include a discussion of the company’s organizational background and company history, a discussion of the company’s vision and how it is aligned with the government’s priorities, and a detailed discussion of the team members and their background and technical expertise. In addition, a successful grant proposal should contain a detailed commercialization plan, marketing plan, and description of the research as to how the project will appeal to customers. Finally, it should contain a sustainability plan and a budget, so that the government can evaluate the company’s chances of succeeding once the grant money has been depleted. Seeking the help of a qualified professional in writing and submitting the grant proposal is necessary to increase chances of success.
Flavin encouraged listeners to visit his website at www.rflavin.com for more detailed information.
For more information, or to listen to Flavin’s complete interview on the Stu Taylor Show, please click here.