There are a ton of foundations out there which do not have set deadlines. They either have revolving deadlines or they may provide you with their board meeting schedule and suggest that you submit something close to their meeting dates.
And every year I start to hear nonprofit staff ask if submitting proposals at the end of the year is a good idea. And the answer is: it depends.
There are 2 ways to view the ‘to submit or not submit’ dilemma:
- You should submit because foundations often have leftover funds that they have not given out by the end of the year and may be able to make more/higher awards at this point
- You should not submit. Instead, wait until January when foundations haven’t
allocated any/much award money yet and there will be less stiff competition.
Confused yet? If you said ‘yes’, then you are in good company. In the last quarter of the year, internet message boards, nonprofit Facebook groups, and blogs start to be overrun with comments fretting over this very topic. And the consensus is mixed. Which doesn’t help at all.
And I hate to throw a monkey wrench into things, but in my experience there is no 1-size-fits-all answer here. Like many things in life, it just depends on circumstances.
I recognize that this answer is more frustrating than it is helpful, so I’ve created this infographic to help you decipher whether or not you should hit ‘send’ on that grant proposal in December or after the new year. But please note that these are just suggestions and you should always pair them up with your best judgement and your gut.
Feel free to save it, share it, and give it to anyone who might find it useful!