There’s a common concept in business—that for large organizations, new ideas are more likely to succeed from the outside in. They must be developed outside of the “immune system” of the organization, then introduced after they’ve been developed enough to show promise. Knowing the reality of this concept, we founded OpenGrants as a private startup to build a new ecosystem for grant funding, with the understanding that the chance of this same innovation happening within the current system is near zero.
Grant funding is not going to change on its own.
We are developing modern infrastructure that improves capital efficiency, accelerates funding, increases transparency of how funds are being used, and improves equitable access to those funds. OpenGrants targets antiquated technologies, operational models, and cultures that are deeply rooted in grant funding entities, and are a primary cause of their inefficiencies.
The OpenGrants software platform and network of users—and the data generated by them—unlocks new levels of communication, insight, and targeted action between multiple layers of funders and applicants. We’re organizing public entities, private organizations, and individuals to create funding solutions that allow our society to be strengthened by technological change, rather than crumble beneath it. We’re targeting 30% improvements in capital efficiency for all funders, and plan on charging 1-2% in transaction fees across our network.
The impact of modern funding infrastructure is huge.
The future of grant funding has no applications. The current approach to awarding funding is something that is simply a hold-over from a bygone era. At best, this practice is still around because of a lack of the correct tools. Similar to modern loans generated by lenders with a continuous understanding of your financials, the future of grant funding is based on a trustless ecosystem, where capital partners have all of the data they need to approve and provide funding, while managing their risk. Applicants will maintain a single profile and account on a grant funding network (OpenGrants), giving them expedited access to funds housed in tax advantaged structures managed in DAO’s, custodial accounts, and other vehicles that live on the OpenGrants network.
In the next and final section of our series, we’ll share who is supporting this work, and the focus of our efforts now and in the near future.