While many on social media may think of #FOMO as the Fear Of Missing Out as it relates to social activities, vacations, and other exciting adventures, when I think of #FOMO it is the fear that many grant professionals deal with…missing out on a perfect grant opportunity.
Yes, I occasionally have a middle of the night moment of panic that I missed the opening of a long-awaited RFP.
How you might ask, is a grant professional to overcome the #FOMO on a perfect grant opportunity?
4 Steps to Avoid #FOMO…On the Perfect Grant Opportunity
Here are the four steps that I take to avoid any unnecessary middle of the night panic moments:
1 – Watch for new opportunities in e-newsletters
While our inboxes are overflowing, in my mind, there is no such thing as too many emails that are related to grant opportunities that are open. Whether grants.gov subscription emails, state register emails, or RFP bulletins, they all filter into a research folder in my inbox which I review at least once a week. Occasionally, I’ll peek during the week if my schedule allows, but I can breathe easy knowing that I will have time on my schedule each week to fully review the items in the folder and don’t stress about it each day.
2 – Setup Google Alerts
While related to the first step, setting up Google Alerts is a more direct and proactive way to search for specific grant-related opportunities keywords and news. Look at the go-to keywords you use for your organization when conducting research in tools like Foundation Directory Online or Grantstation. Create individual alerts utilizing those keywords and set up a weekly digest for the alert.
For example, if you are a healthcare organization in Metro Detroit in Michigan focusing on cancer, you could create the following alerts:
- Michigan and cancer and grants
- Michigan and healthcare and grants
- Detroit and cancer and grants
- Detroit and healthcare and grants
You get the idea. You’ll need to think creatively about where you *might* find new opportunities or find articles about grantmakers. The items in the alert will not all be about new funding opportunities, but you will also learn important information about who in your community/target geography is receiving funds or who is talking to the media about applying.
3 – Set a change alert notice for a grantmaker’s website
While the tools for the notification alerts continue to change, there are always a range of free options available to send you an email if a change is noticed on a specific webpage. For grantmaker’s that don’t offer a newsletter or widely publish their opportunities when open, setting a change alert notice is a HUGE mental relief that you will miss their new opportunity.
4 – Ask other grant team members to help watch for new opportunities
The next time that you meet with your grant team, explain to them the importance of having everyone keep their eyes open for opportunities to be forwarded to you for vetting and due diligence. Successfully implementing this step will result in receiving numerous emails about the same opportunity from various members of your team when something is released. Seeing the same opportunity in my inbox in one day or even a week from a grant team makes my grant professional heart fill with joy.
What other methods have you implemented in your work to help you set aside the #FOMO on the perfect grant opportunity?