OpenGrants AMA 2023 with Sedale Turbovsky
During this AMA session, Sedale Turbovsky provided an in-depth look into the future of OpenGrants, sharing insights into the latest advancements and innovations that the company is currently working on. As CEO and co-founder of OpenGrants, Sedale has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of fundraising and grant writing, and he will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the industry.
Whether you are a seasoned grant writer, a startup founder looking to secure funding, or simply someone interested in learning more about the world of fundraising, this AMA session is the perfect opportunity to connect with Sedale and gain valuable insights into the grant writing landscape.
At OpenGrants, the team is always looking toward the future, working tirelessly to develop new technologies and solutions that can help streamline the grant writing process and make it more accessible for everyone. If you’re curious about what the future holds for OpenGrants and the world of fundraising, be sure to watch this exciting AMA session.
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
- Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR)
- OpenGrants Community Portal
- Sedale’s Linkedin
- Sedale Twitter
- OpenGrants YouTube
- OpenGrants EventBrite
About the Speaker
Sedale Turbovsky, Co-Founder & CEO, OpenGrants
Sedale Turbovsky is the CEO and co-founder of OpenGrants, a venture-backed startup focused on building modern infrastructure for funding. He has been an entrepreneur since childhood. After honing his leadership skills as an outdoor guide in his younger years, he started his professional career as an independent consultant focused on delivering data products and digital strategies to enterprise clients in South America. He is experienced in independent grant writing and public/private partnerships at the highest level, having worked directly with OpenGrants’ current strategic partner, Momentum.
Read the Transcription
I am the CEO and co-founder here at OpenGrants, and I am super excited to be with y’all today. So let me go ahead and dive into this.
Thank you all for joining. Really excited to have you here. When we founded OpenGrants almost four years ago now, we set out to make grant funding more transparent and equitable and accessible for everybody.
Grant funding is this really cool. Resource and those of you who are familiar know that, it’s non-dilutive, it doesn’t require repayment. It’s an incredibly useful tool for creating outcomes in the world. So everything from, cancer research and the latest sort of, technology for our war fighters to fixing climate change and housing, the homeless, all these incredible things that.
Different stakeholders across the world wanna develop. And the big problem with this has been that, historically grant funding has been really hard to access. It’s very difficult. There’s a lot of relationship driven things. So it can be an incredibly difficult and unwieldy tool. I. To use.
And so today I want to dive in, just answer folks questions about, the company about OpenGrants itself, about grant funding as a process. Feel free to really throw anything my way in terms of questions. I do wanna throw out a poll though to see we’re getting a pretty good concentration of folks here.
Let me know, what brought you out today. I’m happy to dive in and talk a little bit more about the community and about our vision for the future and grant funding. And the company or talk about like grant funding and like tactical questions about how to be successful securing grant money or how to find the right grant writer.
So really excited to engage. And thank you all for responding to the poll. Definitely want to just dive into all of that and explore that over the next 45 minutes to an hour that we have here today. And then as I mentioned, do you know if you want to check out the chat Cody is o on the line and he’ll be able to provide links to things like my LinkedIn or my Twitter.
You can also connect with us on YouTube where we’ll be posting this afterwards. And really just, feel free to reach out in any of the ways that we’ve provided and get in touch. Excited to chat with y’all. So seeing a lot of great responses to the poll here including sounds like most of y’all are here, wanna learn more about grant funding in general.
There’s a good group also that Is really interested in learning more about OpenGrants. And then there’s a group of folks who are here for some other reason, which is awesome. So super excited to have you all here. Definitely use the q and a tool to send questions my way and I’ll get into it shortly.
So I’m gonna go ahead and end the poll though. And I will share those results with y’all too, so you can see And yeah, let’s get into it folks. I’m seeing some questions come in and I will just get into these one at a time and we’ll move through them that way. A really first one here, a new 5 0 1 is Pushing the sport of water.
Scott waterski freestyle Jump. They’re looking for grants to keep the clinics free of charge. And any help would be appreciated. So a couple thoughts about this. A and this I think, I can speak a little bit specifically, but then go a bit broader. One of the things that you might explore if you’re a 5 0 1 in particular if you’re working within a community is partnering up with community foundations.
This is a resource that I think a lot of people don’t have access to generally speaking because they just don’t know that it exists. But a lot of communities across the United States have community foundations that are either in your community or adjacent that may serve your community. If you are maybe in a suburb of New York City. The, it might be not technically New York, but it might, they’ll definitely have access to funding from the community foundations. And these community foundations, they tend to have a lot of capital. And they also don’t tend to have a lot of engagement because people don’t always know they exist.
So that’s one suggestion that I have for you. The other one, of course go on OpenGrants, put post your profile there. But I would tap into your local funding network that might be really interested in seeing that kind of activity continue to yield really cool results for the community.
And then of course the other space like corporate sponsorships if you haven’t considered those. Finding folks who are aligned with that sport. A lot of bigger corporations, and I don’t actually know a lot about, water ski and freestyle jump, but I’m sure there’s folks who make I assume there’s boats involved.
I assume there’s gear involved. A lot of folks companies will have their own kind of foundations or corporate kind of giving plans, and you might think about reaching out and connecting with them and networking with them. And I think that goes for any new nonprofit, you want to first do your diligence on, who’s around you that might be interested.
Like geographically there’s a lot of place-based fundraising strategies you can engage in. And then expanding from there to think, okay who are like the corporate people who might be interested in deploying grants to support this? And they may also be interested in helping you with in-kind contributions for your clinics which is, can also be super valuable, especially if it’s an equipment heavy sport or an equipment heavy endeavor that you’re engaged in.
There’s another question here. Is it realistic to create a new organization focused on creating renewables projects? It could be funded by grants. This is an interesting question. I’m wondering if you’re saying, oh, should we create like a 5 0 1 to go after grants because we’re a for-profit?
If that’s the question, then please don’t. There’s a lot of really great tools. We just published a blog a little while ago called Fiscal Sponsorship as a Service. There’s a great partner we have called Get Ribbon and they will help you create, really they’re like Stripe Atlas for this.
So basically you can go to them, spin up a 5 0 1 and have a special fund. That’s, 5 0 1 compliant set up so you can access grant money that might otherwise not be accessible for you if you’re a for-profit. However, if you’re just interested in creating a nonprofit to, focus on renewables projects, then fantastic.
Get into it. And Cody’s gonna throw the link to either that blog or that resource right there for you. Oh, great Question here. Many grants ask for a list of supporters on the requested projects. What makes a grant funder say yes to being the first to support a program or a growing business?
This is this is the core, this is the magic, or the core of this activity is, you’re gonna talk to a lot of people, it’s gonna be potentially difficult and long. But ultimately one of the things I tell everyone is that there’s somebody out there who’s really passionate about what you’re doing.
And generally speaking, when you find that first person who’s ready to support you, it’s because there’s a deep alignment of incentives and there’s some kind of trust or really just like a personal kind of connection that person is really interested in you and your team going out and taking care of this thing that they’ve, they feel really strongly about and they wanna fund.
So one of the things I suggest is making sure that you are. Networking that you’re showing up really authentically within the communities that you serve. And that will really help these kinds of funders find you and be interested. So it’s one thing to show up and cold call a funder and say, Hey we want funding to do X, Y, and Z.
It’s a whole nother thing to have been in a space be doing something for some time providing services and then say, oh, by the way, we are interested in some more funding. And I know that can be hard and there’s this cold start problem to solve, right? It’s like you need cash to be there doing that activity.
And there’s a lot of different ways that you can get around that. One is you could try before getting like funding. If you could try subcontracting on someone else’s grant, right? So maybe you come in as a supporter of someone who’s gotten grant funding and you help, and that’s one way you introduce your name as well as the quality of your work to that community of funders.
That’s a really great way to do it. Another way is simply there’s a, bootstrap, right? Get out there, get your name in front of those people and do your best to build that relationship. But frankly, it’s, two things. It’s that first and foremost, that incentives alignment, right?
They’re like, we wanna fund cancer research. You’re doing cancer research or whatever it is. And then the second part is just them feeling really comfortable that you’re gonna perform well and that you know what you’re doing. And a lot of that on, is based on relationships, but it’s also based on your track record.
And if you don’t have. That past performance. The second best thing is just to be really authentic, right? When they look around and survey the landscape and they’re like, oh, this org, has been writing great, thought leadership pieces about this, or they’ve been showing up and volunteering even though they don’t have any money.
Those are good. Those are good little like feathers in your cap that you can, that really help build that authenticity. Grant funding for-profit corporations. I mentioned this already, check out Get Ribbon. There’s a lot of grant money for-profit companies in general. So we have, in the United States in particular, we have the S B I R programs.
We have other research and other opportunities from the federal and state government to get grant funding. So just because you’re a nonprofit doesn’t mean you can’t get access to grant money. But then there’s also services, as I mentioned, get Ribbon where you can actually, it’s basically renting a 5 0 1 status because at the end of the day, people who are interested in funding these kinds of activities, it’s not like they are particularly, they don’t particularly care that you’re a non-profit or for-profit, but they care about is getting that tax.
Incentive, right? That comes with that 5 0 1 and they care about compliance with the i r S regs and basically, that 5 0 1 status makes it much easier for them to give you grant money. And so that’s really what you’re solving for. And to solve for that is much simpler. You can use a fiscal sponsor you can use a great platform like Get Ribbon fiscal sponsor as a service.
Or you can you can partner. That’s the other exciting thing you could do, is you can partner with a nonprofit and be a subcontractor. So one of the situations we see happen frequently, especially on like bigger projects where maybe there’s a lot of land or there’s a lot of capital, cuz you’ll see a government or a university actually get the grant and then you’ll see for-profit companies come in and subcontract on that grant.
And so that can be a great way to navigate this as well. But, just overall I will say grant funding for-profit companies just, get after it. And explore partnerships, get creative work with fiscal sponsors. Lots of ways to dive into that. Alright, I’m gonna pick and choose a few here.
But yeah, so this is one we get all the time. I’m looking for grant funding for my small business. This is, and this applies to everyone, getting grant funding. Is frequently a lot less about oh, I’m a small business, or I’m a veteran-owned business. And frequently a lot more about the outcomes you want to create, right?
So there’s a lot more grant funding for bakeries than there are for, quote unquote small businesses. And the reason I bring that up is because it’s really just a reframing of your search, right? One of the things you’ll see in federal and state programs and with a lot of the ecosystem is yeah, you score a bunch of extra points by being a veteran-owned business, or you can score a bunch of extra points and really advance your application much farther if you’re a small business.
But that’s not the criteria. That’s not how they roll out the grant. It isn’t Hey, we have grants for small businesses. There are some of course you could look at Hello Alice. There’s like visa, there’s a lot of, Not a lot, but there’s a good little group of like grants for small businesses.
But where you’ll see a ton of opportunity is when you say, oh, I want a grant to put charging infrastructure in front of my business. Or I want a grant to upgrade the electrical system at my business. Or, I want a grant to help me do customer discovery. I want a grant that helps me. Develop some software.
Those are the kinds of grants I want. A grant that helps me do research. So you want to shift your search and the way you’re looking for funding to be about the outcomes you’re creating in the world. So if you’re a small business and you’re a brick and mortar on Main Street, and you’re, you want to increase foot traffic, getting charging infrastructure in front of your business or in like your parking is a great way to increase foot traffic to your space.
And there’s a ton of grants for that in California. There’s a lot of grants for that in New York. And the different states have different programs where they have like really robust grant funding for something like that. In California, again, there’s incredible grants to help you upgrade your energy efficiency within your building.
So you wanna focus on the outcomes you want to create, and less on the intersectional or just identities that you carry as a business owner or the identities of your business itself.
Great question here. Small nonprofit seeking funding for food salvage pantries. Very few grants seem available. This one can be hard because you might not be finding a lot of grants that are published. But one thing that you’ll find is that there are, discretionary money depending on where you are.
And so one thing I always encourage folks to do once again, is if you’re in this space where you’re like doing some public service or a public good a lot of times we work with a lot of and this is a, this is one that’s difficult to navigate sometimes, but, w. A lot of folks at 5 0 1 they say you’re a nonprofit, you may not be in the public sector as much.
You want to try to dive in and unpack who in the government might be looking for support because we find governments all the time that are like, Hey, we don’t know where to spend our ARPA money. We don’t know how to spend this money that we got. We have this money for these programs, but we don’t know how to deploy it.
You could be that partner and so if you haven’t started building relationships and you’re like, you’re looking around the ecosystem, you’re like, I can’t see any grants for this. Think about your local government. Think about folks who might be doing place-based work in your area. And talk to them about the things they need frequently that can be a much better avenue than just like trying to search for grants.
Just because, even the best search tools don’t capture all of that discretionary money that’s just sitting around. Grant aggregators out there, they’re capturing like published opportunities. And they may capture the occasional oh, this, this agency has, 15 million sitting around for transportation.
But they frequently are gonna miss like that that nuance. So I would definitely, dive into those relationships. See what you can find there. Another great question here. I’m with a 5 0 1 for a community garden that wants to expand. What’s the best way to obtain grants to expand access for food and local communities?
And I, I would, once again, I would echo the same, look at those people who are doing place-based strategies. Look at your local government. Understand, especially when you’re doing these kinds of public good public service things that the government would love to get involved and generally speaking, they don’t have a lot of support to help them deploy money, but they do have money.
And so it can be a great way to to really unpack and take advantage of that stuff. I. I’m gonna pop over to some of these startup questions because I’ve answered some of these, our grants only for nonprofits questions. Here’s a good one. I have a startup for-profit pediatric practice with two-thirds of our patients on Medicaid.
And we are providing aid to the homeless. Would you advise for young startup that should appeal to state and federal needs was for-profit? Where do I start? And this is a great, I would, let’s go a little bit deeper here. So I just talked about yeah, you should reach out to government for sure, for-profit, nonprofit, regardless get into those relationships that can be extremely beneficial and just extremely lucrative for you as well.
So don’t shy away from that. One of the things that you’ll want to dive into though navigating that space is that, you may need to take your services and partner with a nonprofit or a 5 0 1 to help ACC get access to some of that government money. The other thing you can do though and this isn’t necessarily a grants thing, but just a thing is reach out to your local ptech.
So there’s these cool places called Procurement, technical Assistance Centers, or PTACs all across the nation. And they are designed to help companies like yours, specifically early stage startups. And small businesses. They’re designed to help you secure government contracts. And there was some incredible success stories from the PTAC ecosystem, especially during the pandemic, where they would help restaurants that were going under secure government contracts to provide like commissary to a local air Force base or, these kinds of things.
And now these small businesses are doing two, three, 5 million in revenue every year just off of these contracts. So incredible opportunities within the government. I know there’s this sort of like looming government shutdown. We’ll see what happens with that, but eventually they’ll come back.
It works out usually. Definitely dive into that, go after that. Government relationships. Those government relationships you’re going to, in particular, if you’re focused on the population that you say here and that’s your, like bread and butter, you should definitely be building relationships there.
And that’s a process, but definitely worth the work. All new l c looking for startup funding. What’s the bus best place to start? This is a hard one to answer, but I wanna to tackle it because I think it’s really interesting. So a lot of what we talk about at OpenGrants has to do, and we bring this term up a lot of the capital stack. And what we mean, and what I mean when I say that is that, you should be using money for specific things and different kinds of money are good for different things.
And to make that even more clear, as I mentioned earlier, like you might want to get grants for your small business to put in charging but you don’t want to get grants to necessarily pay your employees. And one of the reasons is you usually can’t, but the other reason is that might come with a bunch of extra reporting could be super complicated and really might make your life really a lot worse.
And grants for infrastructure can be a lot, less cumbersome than grants for labor. And I bring all that up to say that like certain kinds of money are really good for certain things. Venture capital, super expensive money, but really useful. If you need to scale really fast and you want to go and be a billion dollar company there’s a whole class of money around like debt and loans.
You can get special loans from the S B A, so the small business administration and the s BDCs can help you navigate those kinds of instruments. There’s revenue based financing, so if you are a new L C and you’re already making money, you can actually get financing based on the revenue you’re bringing in to continue to increase that flywheel and drive more revenue.
So there’s just a lot of different. Places to explore grant funding is really great, as I mentioned, for impact focused kind of outcomes. And it’s also really good for infrastructure kind of work that you might might need to bring to the table. And that is where grant funding falls, but there’s a lot of different money out there.
And so if you have a new business and you’re trying to figure out like, where do I start? I need funding really start with what do you need the money for? Do you need it to get into a building? Do you need it to buy inventory to sell? Do you need it to import some goods from, from overseas?
There’s all kinds of different programs to help you accomplish each of the things that I just mentioned. Do you need money to go after government contracts? Guess what? The PTACs exist. Like you could go after those for free. Do you need money to like, do advertising? So lots of different opportunities to explore.
What you want to get really clear on is what do I need money for? And then try to understand what the best sources of capital are for that. So Grants non-dilutive, they don’t cost any, you don’t have to repay them. They’re an incredible source of capital, but they’re not good for everything.
They come with a lot of reporting requirements. They can be re rather complex and they can take a long time to secure. And so if you need money tomorrow, for example, for your L C, grants are not a good choice. So yeah, lots of things to unpack there, but I did want to get that across that this is about, designing a capital stack that helps you take your business to the next level.
So you want to start asking that question what do I need the money for? And then what’s the best source of money for that activity? What if we’re in the planning stages for a project but need funding? Is there a specific grant to apply for while doing research? And. This is a great question.
So this is one of the things that we’re dealing with a lot here at OpenGrants actually, is like, how do we help people access catalytic money to help them plan and develop a project that they can go after, like a larger source of funding, right? So maybe you’re doing a feasibility study, maybe you are exploring a, new business or new governance structure.
Without a clear understanding of what you’re doing I can’t really speak to the specific grant you might apply for, but I can say that there’s a couple of things to consider. One is there are like planning grants and that can be a good search term actually. Sometimes there’s grants to help you explore and there’s especially for construction projects, that’s where we see them the most, where they’ll be like a feasibility and planning grant and then there’ll be a construction grant and they’ll be divided into two parts.
So that’s one place to look. The other place though is that if you have a project and you’re saying, oh, this project’s going to. Bring, 240 million to this community, but we need to do the feasibility first. That’s the opportunity for you to reach out to philanthropy and other groups who might be interested in deploying catalytic money.
Which in their mind is like a really cool opportunity for, they could spend, 50 grand to help you unlock 240 million, right? That sort of narrative is really compelling. And there’s a recognition happening right now across the industry that’s something that’s really needed.
It’s a missing piece of the puzzle in accessing this kind of money. I can’t speak to a specific grant just because I’m not sure why exactly your, what exactly your project is, but I can say, Hey that’s a thing. Tap into philanthropy in other places and help them understand like the catalytic nature of the planning versus the, like a project.
And I just wanna mention too as we’re going through these questions, feel free to keep dumping ’em in. I know that we’re halfway through here. I’m happy to go over time if there’s those of you who wanna hang out. Also happy to connect with you all, as I mentioned on LinkedIn or Twitter.
I have a pretty unique name. It’s Cedel, Bosky. I’ll throw links, but also just, happy to connect with you post event. Great question here. I have an L C, but applying for 5 0 1 for our supportive services. We are developing affordable, supportive housing and alternatively structured strong buildings such as shipping containers.
Any ideas for funding for the first pilot project of 50 units? Really cool question. I think one of the things that. Oh, and let me just stop my share here. One of the things that you might consider doing is reaching out to builders and like folks in that space who are interested.
There’s a lot of really cool stuff happening in that industry, so you might think about doing that. You also might think about reaching out to like land developers. There’s a lot of cities that are struggling with homelessness once again, explore that government angle.
And then the other thing I’ll say is that if you reach out to other people who have gone before you and ask them what they did to secure funding for that. That can be a really great way as well to track down those things. But, high level, when you are starting a project and you’re trying to do that kind of scan of what’s out there there’s a lot of great tools.
There’s grants.gov, there’s instrumental personally, right? I feel strongly that OpenGrants is the best. But obviously there’s a lot of different tools out there. You can create a profile in OpenGrants though, and you can get connected to the funding that we recommend. Instead of having to do all that searching.
And then when you build your funnel of funders and people who are interested, you are gonna approach it a lot like a sales funnel or anything else. You look at like the universe of the possible, you start to narrow it down. And there’s a great there’s a great webinar we did on like building that funnel and creating that.
But those are some thoughts. How does OpenGrants work? This is a great question, and it actually I do want to share something about this just because I think I think that this is a particularly interesting interesting opportunity that exists for our community that’s very unique.
So I’m gonna go ahead and share my screen here. And just talk a little bit about, OpenGrants. At the end of the day does two things really well for our users. One is we help folks understand what kind of funding is available. So you can log into OpenGrants and you can create a profile and we use AI to actually match you to that funding opportunity.
And the exciting thing about that, of course, is that you save a lot of time by not having to search in a bunch of different places. And we cover government, we cover foundation, we cover corporate grant funding. We cover local government, federal, state. But one thing that we do have available too is that.
We have this grant research program. And so if you go to community OpenGrants.io and you click into this space under OpenGrants community, you can see there’s opportunities. And one of the reasons we’re doing this is we do really believe that, this is a public utility. We’re creating it with public data.
And we’re deriving a good amount of of corporate benefit from this. We’re a for-profit company and we’re making money. And so one of the things that we offer to our community is that if you are diving in and you’re like looking at the grant research that you know you’re able to do and you’re saying, oh, there’s this local grant that you’re not covering, we will actually award you equity ownership in OpenGrants on the basis of your contributions to our platform.
And so that’s this grant research program here. And I do invite you to. OpenGrants is very much community driven. We’re doing a little bit of a brand refresh, which you’ll be seeing in the coming months. And we have gotten to where we’ve gotten because of our incredible community.
We have investors, we have builders, we have bug testers and penetration testers. And what we’re working to do is make sure that the, for those of folks who are contributing to the community, that there’s an opportunity to own some of OpenGrants. And so certainly explore this, dive in, this is the link up here.
It’s open to anyone. Dive in. There’s we have our partner library. We have an affiliate program. We have this event series. If you want to hear from someone specific, please suggest speakers that we can bring out and have, fireside chats with. We work with a lot of incredible folks when you ask how OpenGrants works, it works because our community is incredible because they’re engaged and because, we feel like they’re properly incentivized too to to contribute to what we’re building.
It’s a little bit of how OpenGrants works on a more sort of like straightforward technical sense. We scrape data, we download open data sets. We have people who bring us data and we put that all into a database. And then we post that up against an AI. That allows us to understand, hey, here’s what this community is doing, or here’s what this person is working on.
Let’s match ’em to grants. And all of that is free. There’s a pro subscription you can upgrade to, the core functionality of this platform is and always will be free. And then you can access TA providers, you can access grant writers all right there in the platform. And they tend to be highly specialized, right?
So we’ve organized them. Say you’re working on FEMA brick, or you’re working with a specific foundation, you can find within our network people who do that specific work with that specific foundation. And that’s an incredible. Efficiency cuz they don’t have to learn a new process or get up to speed. They know who they are, they know who your funder is, they know who you are.
Now that you’ve met. And you can get ’em up to speed a little bit faster cuz they have that experience. So that’s a little high level of how OpenGrants works. And feel free to go to the website, dive in. It’s free to sign up and just poke around. I encourage, anyone to do that.
Definitely dive in. Alright, some more questions here. We’re self-funded, solar developers planning. We are self-funded solar developers planning, building a new project which we’ll spin off when it becomes ready to build to demonstrate our scale. Our project will power 300,000 homes. We seek grants to accelerate our project velocity and make energy available as soon as possible.
I’ve addressed some of these, but basically, if you’re looking for specific grants, you wanna start with just who wants to make this happen, right? It’s an incentives alignment exercise first. And then who do you have access to? That also really helps. And then you can use platforms like OpenGrants to go and search.
You can also reach out to industry experts. Depending on where you are in the world, you might find that the government is very interested so the United States, for example where we focus tons of funding for these kinds of renewable energy infrastructure. So I would dive into that for sure.
Let’s see. Should I, or should I not list other grant funders? I have other grant founders on proposals. I think, funders is probably the word there. What if I don’t have any funders? How would I best demonstrate my ability to nonprofit if I’ve done the work as professional? Great question. I think we’ve talked a little bit about this already as well, which is to say that, how do you establish that past performance if you don’t have the past performance?
Like how do you show to funders that you’re gonna be a good steward with their money if you’ve never taken grant money before? That kind of thing. It’s hard. That’s the first answer. The second answer though is, as I mentioned, you can subcontract to get started. That can be a good way to get more more experience.
You can, just try to apply and see what happens and say, Hey, look, I’ve got this professional experience. I’m a upright, upstanding person, whatever. Those kinds of things can work as well. But subcontracting or partnering with other groups can be a great way to build the rapport and pass performance if you haven’t had it yet.
Okay, cool. Here’s hi there. Someone local in Folsom, that’s where we’re headquartered. So great to hear from you. Would there be grants available for new tech startups that are in the pre-revenue stage and are currently developing an M V P? Yeah S P I R is really the way to go for that.
Because what they like to fund, that’s the small Business Innovation Research program. What they like to fund is research. So if you’re really early and you’re looking to build something and there’s a research component to it, that’s a great place to go. So they will help you understand, they’ll help you do customer discovery.
They’ll help you do research with your end users and they’ll work you through a process of also doing like a lot of customer interviews. It’s great validation and an early win. If that if that sounds like what you’re looking for, then that’s a great program. However if you’re also like.
Looking for, sounds like you’re focusing on restaurants and food, so that can be a hard one from the research. Unless you’re doing some kind of research, maybe that’s not, s b might not be the right fit. But for early stage companies, you also wanna look at the corporate innovation ecosystems.
So I know just off the top of my head, like Tyson Foods has a really cool grant program that they run every year. I also know a few other food and ag tech companies that do those kinds of things. So you might look at, once again, that ecosystem, figure out who’d be interested in seeing you succeed and reach out to them.
But yeah, AgTech great spot for that. Maybe. Alright. Here’s a great question about cost as it relates to hiring a grant writer. The question here is, what would the cost range be for hiring a grant writer for a 15 page n s NSF S B I R grant? The answer is really that it varies.
It could be a good range is probably about eight to $20,000, depending on how technical and like the level of talent this person has and the level of education, right? So if you end up getting like a double PhD who’s got deep subject matter expertise and has written a ton of research grants, they’re gonna be more expensive than like a grad student.
So that’s one thing to consider. Certainly. The other thing to think about though, just when you’re hiring a grant writer is Generally speaking, they should be able to offer you a pretty clear idea of how much it’s gonna cost. I’d say, most of our grant writers range anywhere from a hundred to $280 an hour in our marketplace.
And then there’s, there’s the extremes on both end depending on their specialty. Research grants in particular, like S B I R, for example are just gonna be a little more expensive to get written. And generally speaking, we’ve found that it’s worth the extra expense. If you’ve never written a research grant before which is effectively what N s F’s S B I R grants are, then you really you probably will find yourself outta your depth pretty quickly.
And in particular I would say, NSF has a double Part process. They have a proposal, like a one pager, or it’s two pagers that you send in. That’s one that you could do yourself. It’s really straightforward and they actually encourage you to do these yourself. They don’t necessarily want all that research jargon in there.
But we can like statistically say that like you’re three times more likely to be successful if you get a professional to help you write your full proposal. That first like little submission that you’re gonna do before the full proposal, that’s something you can knock out on your own.
But yeah, it, it does vary depending on the subject and the writer. But between eight and 20,000 I’d say 20 thousands count on the high side, I’d say more like eight and 15 is a good sort of range there. I’m in the very early stages of a startup. Our grant’s a good start. What else would you recommend as far as funding to get started in pro product development, especially when your product is very innovative and hasn’t had proven results yet?
S B I R is the place especially if you’re early stage. And you haven’t proven results. S B I R is the Small Business Innovation Research Program. Phase one is about a quarter million dollars incredible opportunity for startups exactly at your stage, especially if you’re doing research.
S B I R would be the way to go. I’d highly recommend that as a program. And just be aware that N S NSF is not the only S B I R program and neither is the d o d. There’s 11 or 12 different agencies that have S B I R programs and lots of them are not nearly as competitive as the D o D and the n s nsf.
Sometimes the process is not quite as easy. But yeah, that’s an incredible spot to go just get started, especially if you’re doing research and trying to prove out like results from something that’s very innovative and technically challenging. Great questions here. I’m just gonna keep rolling through ’em.
Let’s say a, what we got here What’s the best way to come up for with out outputs, outcomes impacts for a general grant? I want to talk about this because I think it highlights one of the real problems in this space which is to say that there’s not a general grant that doesn’t exist and it’s a problem, right?
Like we would love it for, we would love for there to exist like a common app or just like a grant like that makes you know that’s, a standard. There’s no standardization in this space. So a federal grant looks different than a state grant, and federal grants look different from agency to agency, and even grant programs within specific federal agencies look different from one to the other.
So there’s no standardization here. The. The thing that I will bring up is that in your process, you really want to if you’re looking at a grant and you’re trying to understand like how to come up with some of the numbers or the justifications or outputs and incomes and impacts, you wanna write for the points, right?
So grants generally speaking in particular, if it’s a well-developed program, have a scoring rubric, and they will provide that to you when you get the R F P. And so you will be able to literally write for the points, right? So there the scoring rubric will be divided up and it’ll say, all right, we’re gonna grade you on team.
This is what a good team section looks like. This is what a bad team section looks like. Here’s how many points you score for having a good team. You need to understand like how to optimize every one of those sections of your grant for, the highest point outcomes possible so that you can score better than everybody else.
And when apart from that though, it really is dependent on the grant program itself, and you want to understand the incentives, you wanna understand everything you know about the program, and then you just wanna write for those points. And that’s like the long and short of it. A great segue into this one which is, what are the key factors for success in winning grants, assuming you’re focused on the right outcome, track record partners, technologies, quality, et cetera.
The key factors for success are there’s following the rules which is you’ve just made sure that you’ve been compliant with everything they requested. So that’s the first thing that’s gonna put you on an even footing with everyone else. And you, when you get a grant a request for proposal, you’re gonna look at it and you’re gonna say, all right, these are the things we need to do.
And you wanna make sure you do all those things. And if that’s sounds super simple, but actually in execution, we see people fail all the time, get straight up just disqualified because they didn’t follow the rules. So that’s one major factor. And then the other major factor is from a high level because the other, like the intricacies you asked about here once again, there’s no standardization.
And so the other thing that we’ll, I’ll say is being a good partner is the other thing that makes people really successful. And being a good partner depends on just so much, but a lot of it has to do with being authentic, showing up in the right way for the community that you’re serving, understanding the incentives of the funder themselves and acting in, in in good faith and acting with integrity.
Obviously there’s like the main things, if you’ve been flagged we for fraud or some kind of shenanigans you’re probably not gonna get funded. If you have like those kinds of issues this is probably not the space for you in terms of grants. And that can be, something to overcome, if that’s something that’s in your in your like past performance as a business.
So there’s that. But like it’s a lot more than that. It’s like showing up at the meetings, providing value, making sure the funder knows who you are, building a relationship that’s genuine, not just showing up and cold calling them for money. That’s really like the key is having that relationship built properly.
Alright I need startup funding for marketing and certifications. This can be a tricky one. I want to say there’s two things here. One is, on the one hand, there’s not a lot of grants that just fund marketing, but once again, this is about finding those outcomes, right? So my first company, carbon Blue, we got a, about a half million dollars from a agency in California to do marketing.
Now, what the marketing was actually like customer discovery, and we turned it into marketing at the same time, which was really neat. So we were a company that served fleets and so vehicle fleets across the state and across the nation. And what we got funding to do was to interview fleets and help them understand how to deploy.
Alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies into their fleet. Now, that was really cool because that’s the, we’d actually built software to do that, and that’s what we were selling to the market. So as a startup, we got paid to basically do our customer discovery and research. And in the process we built really strong relationships with folks that we could also sell our software to.
We built these email lists, we, we got paid for our travel. All those things. I bring that up to, to make a point that once again, this is about finding that incentive alignment and also using money for very specific activities. If you just say marketing at large, hey, you might find funding.
There’s there’s money for different things like creating documentaries and whatnot. Technology transfer. But if you like think about marketing as an activity, you’re gonna have a hard time like searching and finding that. But if you say, all right I want funding to go talk. To all of these people who are my customers, you might actually find a grant to be able to do that.
So get really specific about the outcome you’re trying to create. Let’s see. Great question here. So you, me the question is, you mentioned different styles of grants. How are we define grants? Like a government grant? Is there an actual link to go to or use? At a very basic level, grants.gov is where you can find all the US federal grants.
If you happen to be in California, for example, you can go to california.grants.gov, I believe is u r url. And then a variety of other states have similar portal portals like that. But. To answer your question, there’s a lot of good links to go to, to use. OpenGrants is a great resource.
We actually combine all of those different sites that I just mentioned. And then the other place that you can look especially if you’re a startup is the S P D C actually has teams that are there to help you with S B I R grant applications in particular. And so there’s a lot of different resources you can find to help you navigate that space.
And I would just encourage you to reach out to your local S B D C, your local ptech. If you’re a business and you’re looking to do government, like work with government, whether it be grants or contracts the SPDC and the PTAC ecosystem is an incredible resource. So encourage you to dive into that.
I’m just gonna pop around here a little bit. I know we’re closing in at the end of time. As I mentioned. I’m happy to stick around and answer questions for folks. But also just want to be open, cognizant, and respectful of y’all’s time. Really do appreciate y’all coming out today. By the way, feel free, as I mentioned, that you can hunt me down on LinkedIn, Twitter and reach out that way.
So let’s see. Here we go. Are there entities that focus on funding, social impact or legal tech separately? Are there fractional grant writers? This is a great question for a couple reasons. One, I just wanna highlight there’s a lot of fractional grant writers, like a whole ton. So there’s the freelancing industry in the grant writing space is massive.
Lots of incredible folks. We have a ton of those people actually on our platform at OpenGrants. You could find them on places like Upwork and Guru. Really if you Google, grant writer. You can find a lot of people who, they may not label themselves as a fractional grant writer, but that’s what they are, right?
They are a freelance part-time. They want to get hired by your company to do some gigs or grant right for you at 60% or 50 or 40% time or less. So yeah, lots of fractional grant writers, lots of incredible folks out in that space. Highly recommend that as an avenue, especially if, you’re gonna do a lot of grant writing, you might find a fractional grant writer who will work with you.
And then the other aspect of that question, our entities that focus on funding social impact or legal tech. On the social impact, of course, tons. You can that’s, you can definitely just dive into OpenGrants. You can Google lots of focus there. Legal tech, one of the exciting opportunities outside, there’s a few foundations that do focus on legal tech.
But one of the exciting things is the Justice Department, actually, like Department of Justice actually has programs funding legal tech. And they have, I don’t think they participate in S B I R, but they have some really cool grant programs for folks that are developing, technology and strategies in that sort of legal tech space.
And highly recommend you check ’em out. Lots of cool stuff. And I think, what I’ve found is that just a lot of people don’t know that resource exists. So I would dive into that for sure. Oh, quick question here. Does UP and Grants offer support for the post-award grant management process, especially for federal grant management?
We do not directly. However, we have a whole incredible marketplace of people who do. And so you can definitely check that out on our on our platform. Let me just pick through some of these. This is a cool one to dive into. This question is is there grant funding for individuals rather than organizations to support yourself?
While leaning a nonprofit organization or being in school or something like that. Yeah, generally speaking, that kind of format is called a fellowship. And there are a variety. There’s some really cool ones out there. So you can, if you just search for the word fellowship on OpenGrants, you’ll find a good group of ’em.
And I can’t think of I know like people, Schmidt Futures have fellowships. There’s a lot of different foundations. Typically you’ll find them at foundations. And yeah, they can be really cool. I would dive into that world for sure. There’s a lot of really cool resources, and it does tend to be specific, right?
So if you are studying art, you might look for an art fellowship and funding on that front. If you are a writer or an activist, right? You might look at that space. It really, it depends on what you’re focusing on frequently. So you’ll wanna, factor that into your search. I’m gonna double down on this one because I’ve been harping on it a lot.
I know. But I think it’s really important. So the question is, are there keywords that you need to include when applying for grants? And all. There’s two answers I wanna throw out there that I think are particularly interesting. One is Yeah like obviously you wanna if they are talking about specific outcomes you want to use and reflect that language back to them so that they understand what’s going on.
And you wanna understand that like the incentives and the everything that’s happening in the community that you’re serving. And you wanna make sure that like your language and the application reflects that. There’s also some very interesting research in this space. Like for research related grants, the bigger the words you use are more complex, the more like you are to get funded.
So there’s definitely like a bias. And there’s, I’m not saying anything controversial. This is there’s published academic papers on this. There’s bias in the grant research, reviewing community. And it extends to, there’s some systemic racism issues. There’s bias against certain groups.
And then there’s just some, just like bias in terms of like terminology. And so you can unpack all of that. But the best way to start to understand it is to talk to your, talk to the funder. Listen to the language that they’re using. When they speak with you. Read the language that they’re using in their R F P and to the extent possible reflect that language back to them.
This is, again, it’s about aligning incentives and also just making it easy, right? If you introduce a new word to their lexicon, they gotta figure it out. And they generally are just not inclined to do that for one reason, cuz they’re just really busy. But there’s other reasons as well. Just want to throw that out there.
Let’s this is a really good one. Can you elaborate on how startups or small businesses can obtain partnerships with universities, which could use our services on large grants? Yeah I think this is a cool thing to unpack. There’s a couple different ways to look at it, right? So if you’re talking about research with universities S P I R has a partner to it called S T R.
And that’s all about partnering with like research institutions and universities. And so there’s a really defined pathway there. And so for a lot of startups that can be incredibly useful because s TTR is not quite as competitive as S B I R. And if you can bring that research university or university researcher to the table as a partner that’s a cool competitive advantage.
But de developing partnerships is something that is I find that like often. Especially in like the tech kind of startup ecosystem people are always looking for an app or something to solve this. And this is one of those human things that there’s not a quick solve for it, unfortunately.
There’s not a hack to like being really good at networking and there’s not really a hack for there’s some cool platforms. Like I highly recommend building a personal c r m or buying one. There’s some great platforms out there. I’ve used decks, I’ve used Clay, I’ve used Google Sheets but this is networking really There’s not a lot of other tools for doing this yet.
California Energy Commission has a really cool tool out there which I’ll get the link for and send it out in a follow up email. So there’s a few different places you’ll see, like at d o e there’s teaming lists that they publish with their grant opportunities sometimes, so you can go find partners in there.
And the Energy Commission in California has like a whole teaming website for folks who want to collaborate on grants. And so you’ll, you can find university partners there as well, but if you’re just working like on a, in a local ecosystem and as you mentioned, maybe it’s not as robust as it is in the northeast, then, network build relationships, show up, be authentic, get involved in your community do all those things.
And and that’s really how you build those relationships. Great question here. I’m a grant writer who just started using your platform to get answers to clients. What kind of vetting process do you have for grant seekers to make sure they really have the budget for grant writers? This is a great question. So this is actually something that we don’t currently have in place.
We do vet the orgs in terms of just like them being legit. But we don’t have a sort of tool in place to establish intent to buy or like a readiness to deploy capital for a grant writer. And it’s something that as we are looking at this refresh of our brand we certainly are open to like your thoughts on how we can best accomplish this.
So definitely please reach out to me on LinkedIn, find me on Twitter, shoot me a message. I’m fairly easy to get ahold of out there. My inbox is a mess, but you can always shoot me an email at cella OpenGrants that I owe. But Yeah. That’s something we’re really thinking about and I really appreciate the feedback.
And please reach out with your thoughts on how we can make that better. Can you share thoughts about working on a federal grant? For example is kata all about r and d or is there a for-profit piece of the puzzle? Thanks. Yeah, so just high level federal grants and different opportunities and structures within the federal ecosystem.
A lot of it, once again, you gotta dive in and understand why they’re doing it and what they’re doing it for. It is generally hard to pull, like for-profit gains directly out of that research ecosystem. What you’ll see done really well by a lot of savvy entrepreneurs is they use that as like a bridge to, to get, pull down a good funding round.
So I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs and startups, get S B I R research, money Research Collaborative and then launch like a series A and just crush it. So that’s a really great way to roll through that ecosystem. Great question here. What’s with the ecosystem of Grant Mills in the S B I R S T R space?
From what I’ve read it seems that there’s a small group of repeat award winners with a consistent cohort of grant consulting firms. This is very true. I have there’s an incredible author who did like a whole deep dive on this right. Before S B I R got reauthorized. And I’m blanking on his name right now, so I apologize for that.
But yes, this is a real thing and it’s demonstrative of These are the problems with this ecosystem. It’s if you’re a good consultant and you know what you’re doing in this space, you could win all the time. I worked on a team where we had a 99.9% success rate applying for federal money.
That’s a reality. And so it is one of those things where, they try to put these programs up as like merit based and so forth. There’s definitely people who are hacking the system. And a lot of them tend to be highly paid grant consultants. And so a lot of what we want to do at OpenGrants it to offer some perspective here.
Is, it’s not necessarily like that. They’re doing this to be malicious. They’re doing it because there’s an incentive here to be successful and there’s a formula for being successful in this space. And the people who are good at it get paid quite well to continue to be good at it, and their clients know that they’re good at it, and so they continue to hire them.
What we’ve done at OpenGrants is curate a pretty exceptional marketplace of really good grant writers who can help you do that. And so hopefully this continues to like open access to really good resources and also highlights like the incredible free resources that are available within the ecosystem that can also help you achieve those kinds of like success rates.
Awesome. Another great question here. My company is building software. If the main cost and the production is the production of that software and that cost is human capital but the software meets the grants purposes, are there special rules for services versus goods? Are there other ways to account for the cost high tj?
This is a great question. It really like pulls at a complexity here of, like how can you pull, some benefit out of grants yourself in instead of just creating that impact in the world which is a tension that a lot of people are working with and is totally fair. I think the big thing is to consider if you can get a grant and just go on like cost for buying a thing, right? So if you can get in into a situation where you’re saying, Hey, agency, I’m gonna sell you this software, or I’m gonna use this grant to make this software, and you can avoid labor it’s just a lot less complex, right? So labor, especially with the federal government there’s a lot of compliance as you can imagine, and a lot of things to negotiate in terms of like fair wages not fair wages, but prevailing wage.
And there’s a lot of things to consider with that in terms of time tracking and all those compliance things. So it’s a lot simpler if you can get into a situation where you’re saying, Hey we are creating this software platform, it costs X and it’s the line item. So that’s what I would suggest there is to navigate away from labor being part of your grant if possible.
And Yeah, I know we’re at one o’clock. I’m happy to go a little bit longer and continue to answer questions. I still see a lot of folks on the webinar, so I’m gonna keep diving into it. But let’s let’s dive into a little bit more of this. So a question here. Any ideas why we don’t see the questions you’re answering?
The q and a? I just talked to Cody about that on Slack. It’s actually, I was looking down there. There seems to be something a little bit awry with that. What we’ll do is we’ll take the q and a, cause I know we’ll get it after. And we’ll publish it out to everyone. But apologies, there’s something is happening on Zoom that seems to be out of our control at the moment, so apologies for that.
But I, we will get that info out. So yeah, just gonna keep plowing along here. Oh, this is a good one. Can you share your point of view about using like the mini new contests or moonshot like programs that are trying to pull ideas and entrepreneurs into government? Yeah. This is a really cool trend that is happening, right? So you’ll, you’re seeing d o d, you’re seeing d o e, you’re seeing other agencies launch these sort of come build your startup with US programs.
One of the things that’s exciting about this and this is something that entrepreneurs should be aware of, certainly there’s a lot of really cool technology that’s been built at our national labs and built in our like, research ecosystem that’s just sitting on the shelf. And activating this technology presumably is, a really big priority for all these folks these agencies.
So to the extent that’s like you are interested in building this kind of company it’s an incredible opportunity. I think, for those of for those folks who’ve had some experience navigating the government once you’re in and you are starting to learn that language and that ecosystem, it’s incredibly lucrative.
There’s lots of opportunities to create really cool impact. And, having the backing of these like really big customers is awesome. Really exciting. My overall viewpoint on that is that, hey, this is awesome. What a cool trend. My only sort of caveat to it is I. I hope that it works out right.
Sometimes the government has a hard time letting go of technology. Sometimes the contracting and procurement burdens that they’re under can be difficult to navigate. And so you do want to go in with eyes open and just understand that there’s probably a lot of bureaucratic red tape that you’re gonna be dealing with that can, could make the situation challenging.
But once again, I think more people should do it. I harp on folks all the time work with the government, please. You don’t have to work at the government, but work with them, like partner up. Cuz they need help. And I want to highlight this for everyone on the call who’s still here.
If you have questions, you’re like, oh, how do I find funding for this? And you’re doing something that impacts the world in a good way. Or create some cool research outcomes or whatnot, go figure out how to work with the government. They’ve got a lot of money right now, shut down, potentially aside, there’s a lot of capital there and they really do need better partners and more partners.
So go work with ’em. We’re a 5 0 1 And the space is heavily competitive. Are there opportunities for nonprofits to access some of the grants you’re mentioning? Yeah, of course. A lot of the grants, that I’ve mentioned, especially in the, like the federal and state ecosystem, that they tend to be available to Businesses, regardless of their tax id, as long as you’re accomplishing the outcomes.
So they are, they tend to be a little more outcomes focused. Like when you get into the world of philanthropy because of the tax structure and the tax benefit that they’re trying to deliver. That’s where you find those like 5 0 1 restrictions and whatnot, A lot more than when you’re out in like the public sector.
So yeah, lots of opportunities to partner, collaborate, build really cool things, create impact. Definitely get into that space. Partner with folks. What are the best structured proposals and agreements to secure and pay for grant writers? This is a great question. I personally believe that the best, I like the ideal structure to like work with a grant writer is on some kind of master services agreement with a task order kind of relationship and a not to exceed.
So that gives them the structure to do all the things they need to make sure your project is successful. I know there’s other structures out there. I don’t particularly think they’re any of them have been executed well yet. I do know of a couple of like subscription services that are out there that seem to be incredible and I’m very excited to see more of that in the market.
But right now I think like the best structure is that kind of like retainer agreement with like very few exceptions. Great question here from from another fellow user who’s been a longtime user appreciates you with so many consultants, how do you decide which one to go with? This is a great question.
Generally speaking, find the person who’s like specialty is the thing that you are doing. Which is to say that it’s great to have a consultant who can bring subject matter expertise and agency expertise to the table. So the example I’ll give is if you’re doing medical devices and you’re doing let’s just say medical devices, and you’re working with the N I H you wanna get funding from the n I h find a grant writer who does medical devices for the N I H.
And I know that that’s a little bit trite, but if that’s like the key, I think personally, it’s like you want a consultant who does, you don’t have to take a bunch of time to get up to speed. You want them to be really good at their job and have that subject matter or expertise. They have to learn new lingo.
And you want them to have relationships with the agency so that they can help you navigate the nuances. There’s all kinds of weird quirks about working with funders. Everything from the portal and the actual, like submission process, which can be super funky for the federal government in particular to the language you should use.
I we mentioned earlier should you use certain words? Yeah. Understanding the words you should use and how they’re gonna be interpreted. I make the analogy a lot here to hiring an attorney. Because, anyone can go and look up the law, generally speaking. And with some, with a reasonable amount of effort, you can understand the law and the legal system in the United States.
What you don’t always have the ability to do and what attorneys provide in a very unique way is for example, if you have an attorney for, IP law in the state of Delaware, they’re gonna understand not only the law, but like how it’s interpreted and how it’s enacted and like how it’s, how things are prosecuted.
Th those kinds of things which are all specific and nuanced and changed from place to place. And from org to org. And this is the challenge and this is why you want these consultants with specialty like knowledge because they’re gonna help you get up to speed and navigate those like potential bumps and nuances.
Another great question here. Talk in more detail about how impact oriented funding can jumpstart another grant source. This is a great, this is this is something that I’m super excited about right now is like there is op, there are painting, like stepping back a little bit. You’ve got the by Barss and Infrastructure Act.
You’ve got the Inflation Reduction Act, you’ve got the Jobs Act. There’s all this federal money just stacked up in different places. And regardless of what happens, as I mentioned like with the disclaimer of the government debt ceiling issues there’s gonna be capital that’s deploying into communities and groups across the country.
The NSF just released their builders thing, like there’s all kinds of stuff, and generally speaking, you’ll find orgs that maybe don’t have. The capital to hire a good specialist, like a consultant to bring these proposals to life and secure this funding. So we, I’ll just use builders as an example. It’s, they’re, I think it’s 9.5 million awards.
And there’s gonna be a variety of them, and there’s like the tech hubs that just got released as well. These are significant amounts of capital and it usually takes money to get more money. That’s a generally just generally like a real thing here in this space. So if you want to get the best and the brightest firm to go do your builder’s, application to get that 9.5 million, you might spend 60 k.
It’s not an unreasonable amount. If you know that at the end you’re getting 9.5 million, spending $60,000, that’s fine. And that’s like the, that’s a catalytic like deployment of capital where you could say, all right, we’re gonna do this really cool builders program and it’s gonna be like the, this, northwest region for whatever.
Just as an example. So you might go to a community foundation and say, Hey, guess what? We have an opportunity to secure 9.5 million for this incredible program here in the northwest funder. If you spend 60, we’ll probably get this $9.5 million. That is an example of that catalytic, fun, catalytic function of that money where you’re getting it to do like the pre-development, what we call like pre-development or planning or feasibility work leading up to, actually securing that money.
So that’s just one example. But there’s a lot of, a lot of things that are like that. What trends are happening in the fundraising space right now? What’s the new paradigm in philanthropic funding and how are ways that funders, how are the ways that funders distribute money changing?
This is a great question. And I think that, one of the things that’s really exciting in this space is that we, I’ve seen more recently in the last few quarters, like more philanthropy reaching out, trying to find interesting ways to deploy capital. And also just generally speaking, they are looking for ways to deploy money into these kind of catalytic sort of situations where they can see their money creating and opening up more additional opportunities.
So we’re seeing a lot of I’ve met with a couple of new like fund managers, foundations over the last few months who are like really, drifting away from that. Like we give our money to this network and we’re not like looking for more people to, Hey, how do I source better projects to fund?
How do I engage with this community more just seeing a lot of new, like a lot of walls come down in the philanthropic community, which is really exciting. And seeing generally a better a more inclination to just adopt new technology and new processes, which is also exciting. Let’s see.
I’m speaking to a small group that does writing workshops and support progressive causes in various ways. Connected through writing collaborations or subsidies. Any ideas on how grants could help them? Lots of thoughts, but high level certainly just one of the things that comes to mind as related to what I mentioned earlier is like fellowships where they, get funded to go do deeper research on these causes and.
Really develop a thesis and maybe, pro produce something really interesting for the community that could be interesting. There’s a question here. What was the last resource for research-based help Ag Tech? It’s actually ptac, so if you’re looking for help researching and understanding the government contracting space, there’s procurement technical assistance centers, P T A C P tax and they’re federally funded and subsidized for to support small businesses with securing government contracts.
Let’s see. In terms of my last question, are you actively chasing sources of foundation of philanthropic funding for the platform? And can you help us with sourcing this type of funding for social impact vectors? Yes. So yeah, we’re definitely very interested in that space. As I mentioned, we have our grant research program, so we have other folks who are chasing down funding sources as well for us.
And certainly can help folks source, social impact, kindness of funding using the platform. Great question on the grant. Do grant applications happen within the OpenGrants portal? No, we do not do that yet. Our vision is to create like a common app for grant funding. That’s where we’d like the company to go, and that’s part of our vision.
However in the current like iteration of the platform, we simply aggregate this data and then link to the funder’s website for you to do applications there. Alright folks we are drying up on 15 minutes over here and I do have to transition into some other things, but this has been super fun. I really appreciate y’all coming out as a incredible testament to the community that you’re all that you were able to come out and hang out. Hopefully this is has been useful.
Once again, if you haven’t been able to get your question answered definitely reach out. And I’m happy to answer questions about fundraising, about startups. I love, I love startups. I love new businesses, and in particular, I love this space because folks are just working on such cool stuff.
So please do reach out. Happy to connect. And I apologize for any issues with the q and a tool of not being able to see things. We’ll definitely grab those and publish them. And then this will get published on YouTube. So please do go to OpenGrants. It’s free. It’s a great resource.
Check it out. Let us know how we can be better if you’re a grant writer on our platform yet questions, I know there was a couple. Please reach out to me. Tell me how we can, make your experience more ideal. We love the feedback. Really appreciate it and thank you all. Have a lovely week and we will talk soon.
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