May 31, 2022

2022 State of Grantseeking Report Recap

Get a fresh cuppa, because it’s time to pull up a chair and say “haven’t I been saying this for YEARS” approximately 45,000 times.

It’s a most wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeeeeear! GrantStation has just released the 2022 State of Grantseeking Report. Get a fresh cuppa, because it’s time to pull up a chair and say “haven’t I been saying this for YEARS” approximately 45,000 times.

While we could drag the white supremacy inherent in philanthropy making itself felt in every section of the report FOR DAYS, we’re choosing to go high today. You can find the full report at The 2022 State of Grantseeking Key Findings Report.pdf ( , but we’re picking some data points that we think are most meaningful for your organization’s grant seeking strategy (and of course, editorializing, because that’s our favorite past time!):

Thing One: Non-governmental funders need to give more money, and more of it needs to be in large multi-year grants.
“The median largest award from non-government funders (an aggregate of private foundations, community foundations, corporate grantmakers, and “other” funding sources) was $37,000.”

Oy. The world is falling apart at the seams, non-profits are at the frontlines of holding it all together, and yet…$37,000?!? Do better, funders. The gravity of the issues facing our society demand more from everyone, including you. Greater giving amounts and longer term investments (Say, 5 year grants as opposed to 1 year terms subject to competitive renewal) are necessary for non-profit to be able to engage in and execute long-term strategies. Multi-year grants are more sustainable, efficient, and effective.

Thing Two: Whether you’re sticking with private foundations or venturing into the state and federal end of the pool, you need a grant writer who knows what they’re doing. Many, many (SO MANY) non-profit staff hours are being spent on application development. That’s a logical outcome of not having a seasoned professional who knows how to streamline the process and navigate the environment.
“The grant process takes staff. For 63% of respondents, one to two people were directly involved in the grantseeking process for the largest individual award, while 25% of respondents reported that three to five people were directly involved.”
“The grant process takes time. Grant research took three days or fewer for 67% of respondents. Developing a strategic plan took three days or fewer for 52% of respondents, while writing the grant application took between two days and two weeks for 71% of respondents.

Thing Three: We are disappointed (although not surprised) to see that though smaller nonprofits are perfectly positioned to be highly influential and impactful in their communities, funders are passing them by in favor of larger organizations. Please turn this around, funders.
“Community Improvement organizations reported a median award total of $27,000, while Educational Institutions reported a median award total of $3 million.”

Thing Four: In the meantime, one way for smaller nonprofits to secure transformative grants is by collaborating with other organizations, especially those with a successful track record and a strong financial infrastructure. According to the survey, smaller organizations are less likely to submit collaborative grant applications, even though the success rate for collaborative applications is pretty good. Find a buddy!
“Fifty-seven percent of organizations with budgets of $25,000,000 or more participated in collaborative grantseeking in 2020, whereas 18% of organizations with budgets under $100,000 engaged in collaborative grantseeking during this period.”
“Forty-two percent of those respondents that did submit a collaborative grant application reported winning an award.”

Thing Five: If you want to win, you have to play. It’s true for the lottery, and it’s true for grant seeking. It really is a numbers game.
“Applying for at least three grant awards increased the frequency of winning an award. Twenty-five percent of organizations that submitted one application won no awards. However, the percentage of organizations that won at least one award was high among organizations that submitted three to five applications (91%), six to ten applications (96%), or eleven or more applications (98-100%).”

“Lack of time and/or staff (23%) continued to be the greatest challenge to grantseeking among respondents.

“Increased funder practices and requirements (15%), competition for finite monies (14%), building funder relationships (11%), and difficulty in finding grant opportunities that matched with specific missions, locations, or programs (11%) were also frequently cited as the greatest challenge to successful grantseeking.”

This is why having a dedicated grantwriter (on staff or a consultant) is so important. If you aren’t applying for enough grants, all those wasted staff hours don’t pay off in successful awards.

And you’re in luck! This is what we do. Hit us up at and let’s figure out how we can help you get in the game!