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Practical Tips for Getting Grant Information

This article is sponsored by Grant Holster.

You've got a proposal timeline approved by the team. Things are looking good, and you should be able to submit well before the deadline.

Then it all goes down the tubes -- you struggle to get information from folks.

When you remind them, you get empty promises, heartfelt apologies, or downright hostility.

What can you do?

Over the last 30 years, I’ve been in this position COUNTLESS times. I haven’t perfected a strategy for dealing with these folks, but I’ve made a lot of headway.

There are two types of strategies: PREVENTATIVE strategies and INTERVENTION strategies to help you get the information you need, even from "THAT" person (I know you are picturing someone right now).


Avoid a crisis before it begins. Follow the links to download templates and/or examples.

90/60/30 System. Until I come up with a cleverer name, this 90/60/30 System creates uniform tasks and timelines for moving proposals through a preliminary phase, a go/no-go phase, and a working phase. You may have to modify the structure for complicated grants, but the system is relatively the same.

  • 90-60: The Preliminary phase begins 90 days before the deadline. During this time, you research the opportunity, confirm the deadline, contact the funder if needed, and create the Grant Review Form and Decision Matrix (see below). Submit this information to the decision makers within 60 days of the deadline.

  • 60-30: The Go/No-Go Phase begins as soon as you send the information to your decision makers. They review the information you have provided and determine four things:

  • Will the organization pursue this opportunity?

  • How much will they ask for?

  • For what project or initiative?

  • Who will be on the grants team?

  • 30-0: The Working Phase begins as soon as you get a Go decision - at least 30 days before the deadline (longer if a complex application). This is when you are actively working on the grant proposal and submitting it.

Grant Review Form and Decision Matrix. This provides a consistent format to share information with decision makers and the grant proposal team. Click to download templates:



Despite our amazing planning, we've all had to scurry at the last minute.

Waiting on people to get us the information we need is usually the stumbling block.

What to do?

Here are FOUR types of people who often slow down timelines, and suggested strategies for dealing with them. These four categories come from Non-manipulative Selling by Tony Allessandra, Ph.D, Phil Wexler and Rick Barrera.

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