How to Identify and Use State, Local, Federal and Corporate Grant Funding

We recently sat down with the CEO of Grants Office, Michael Paddock, for a Q&A to uncover what you need to know about grants and how we have provided all the needed information inside GovTech Navigator.

Q: Could you give us a high-level walkthrough of what grants are and what their implications are?

A: Grants are generally free money that's made by a governmental or non-governmental agency to support domestic assistance projects. The lion's share of funding comes from the federal government and it's about $700 billion a year minimum. And then we have state funding, local government funding and foundation funding, which represents about $80 billion a year. Foundation funding can be more flexible and responsive to the needs of the local community, and therefore can fill in gaps. Our focus is primarily on federal and state funding, although we do certainly keep aware of foundation information as well.

Direct funding is when money comes straight from the federal government without an intermediary. Pass-through funding gets passed through another entity and gets controlled in a lot of ways by that entity once it receives it.

The information provided in GovTech Navigator is so relevant because it shows grants in addition to what the states are doing to administer those funds and what a local recipient must do to access it. There's competitive funding and formula funding grants. Formula grants still require you to apply to get funding, but as long as you meet the requirements that are set forward by the funder, you don't have to really worry about qualifying for funding. Competitive grants require you to submit an application. All the applications will be reviewed and scored against some objective criteria, but not every application will be accepted.

Q: Why is the availability of grants data valuable to someone that is looking to engage their public-sector customers and advance their deals?

A: The easiest way to describe it is that your customers are getting grants to buy your solutions already, in many cases. This is just a way of capitalizing more on the opportunities that grants provide to make what we call “grant enabled sales.”

The grants information in GovTech Navigator can really help by providing context so you know what's being funded. By looking at where the money is flowing from, you can better understand where to focus your communications and your outreach.

Public-sector customers will use local money, annual budgets, bonds, etc. to make purchases. They're also using grant funding to a large degree to make these purchases, especially for new projects. Looking at where that funding is can be really helpful in terms of understanding where to direct your efforts.

You can look up more information on the grants in Navigator and find links back to more detailed information from official sources that provide you with all the information you need to know about that grant program.

Q: Are there any best practices or advice you can offer for once our audience identifies a grant and how they can bring that to their customers’ attention?

A: The good news is most public-sector organizations will probably be more familiar with grants and how they apply to their organization than an IT company coming in, since they use grants for projects all the time. You have the opportunity to introduce grant opportunities to a warm reception where people may not know about a particular opportunity, but they do already know how grants work. You won't need to necessarily know a ton about grants to introduce the conversation to your clients. Most public-sector organizations are at least familiar with how grants work, so it shouldn't be a total surprise.

To view the full Q&A and see the grants data inside GovTech Navigator, watch this webinar with Michael Paddock, CEO of Grants Office, and Joe Morris, deputy chief innovation officer and head of market intelligence at e.Republic.

Want in on what Navigator has to offer? Check out our platform here.