Is There a Grant Season?by Andrea Abbott on 01/04/17
Is there are Grant Season?
Heartland is constantly asked this question by organizations we are working with to develop funding and strategic plans. Our answer is somewhat complex as the idea of a “grant season” depends on your funding sources and their requirements. Grant season is also different if you are seeking new funding and launching new projects. Regardless, it can be helpful to view your grant development and management efforts in the context of these three ideas:
1. Federal Grant Writing Season: The federal fiscal year ends on September 30th, the last half of the federal fiscal year is when the greatest number of grants are awarded (April to September). This time frame reflects all 26 federal grantmaking agencies. This timeframe also means that the actual time you will likely be writing federal grant applications is from October through March. I am groaning right now, because every year this means that grant application due dates are around the holidays…
2. State Grant Writing Season: The fiscal year for all but four states ends on June 30th (Alabama and Michigan have a fiscal year aligned with the federal fiscal year, New York has a fiscal year end of March 31st, and Texas ends on August 31st). When it comes to state funding, you will likely experience the heaviest grant writing period from July to December.
So, the answer is: yes, there is a grant writing season. Taking into consideration when federal, state, and foundation grantmaking agencies tend to release their funding announcements and have their due dates can help you anticipate your workflow. It can also help you determine when you will need the most grant writing assistance (either budgetary funds to hire a grantwriter or internal manpower to write grants). If your agency happens to apply for all three types of funding (federal/state/foundation), it would be safe to say that the spring months will have less grant activity, and a good time for a vacation!