I still have challenges with clients not getting information to me on time, resulting in some last-minute panic.

Dear Experienced Grant Writer:


I’ve been developing my grant writing business for about a year and a half. I still have challenges with clients not getting information to me on time, resulting in some last-minute panic. You seem like someone who has worked out a solution for this. I’m wondering if you have a resource you can pass along? Thanks so much!


  • Patient Grant Pro




Dear Patient Grant Pro –


Your challenge is one that we have heard from colleagues not just in the grant consulting space, but as employees as well.


In the realm of grant writing, encountering challenges with colleagues/clients not providing necessary information in a timely manner is not uncommon. The first thing to acknowledge is that those we are often requesting information from, whether you are an employee or consultant, is that the individuals are often primarily focused on the implementation of programs in service of the organization’s mission. So while they are individuals who have a stake in seeing grants be successful, their priority is on program and service delivery, and grant-related work has to fit into their priorities. 


That being said, to tackle the issue created by needing to receive requested materials on time effectively, it’s essential to establish clear deadlines in collaboration with the client/colleague before initiating any drafting work. Embedding language within contracts that underscores the importance of adhering to mutually agreed-upon deadlines serves as a proactive measure, emphasizing to clients the critical role their timely cooperation plays in the success of the grant proposal. By articulating the significance of meeting these deadlines, it becomes evident to clients/colleagues that doing so not only ensures the grant writer’s capacity to craft a competitive proposal but also mitigates the risks associated with last-minute rushes. When you create the timeline for feedback, be sure to receive their feedback on it to respect their time and receive their buy-in on the drafting process. 


Communicating the potential consequences of delays, such as the increased likelihood of errors that could compromise the grant application’s success, helps underscore the importance of timely information submission. Implementing a structured follow-up protocol further reinforces accountability and helps maintain momentum toward meeting deadlines. Through these concerted efforts, grant writers can navigate the challenge of client information delays, fostering smoother processes and enhancing the likelihood of securing funding.

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