The upcoming round of DRS was scheduled to open for competition on September 5, 2023. The forecasts for these grants were released in July and have not been updated to provide a new estimated timeline. Even if DRS Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) posted today, with a typical 9-week turnaround, the deadline would come right after Thanksgiving. What could this delay mean for programs?
From a timeline perspective, the longer the NOFOs are delayed, the more likely it is that the turnaround time from NOFOs posting to applications being due will cross the holiday season. We’ve seen this happen in the past, and anticipating and being prepared for this type of timeline is helpful. Below are a few tips that may be useful as you adjust your planned timeline to accommodate the delay.
- Be ready to adapt timelines for drafting and review to fit team members’ scheduled time off. This is important for any grant writing timeline, but more important than ever when the timeline includes weeks when staff are usually out of the office or the program might be closed (e.g., holidays).
- Engage partners early and give plenty of advance notice for letters of support and agreements. Pre-planning is incredibly valuable for partner engagement. If you’re able to start conversations about partnerships and support now, take advantage of this time. When the NOFOs post and you know what you’ll need to move forward, you’ll be ready to give concrete guidance and deadlines to partners.
- Ensure grants.gov credentials are up to date and determine grants.gov assignments. When it comes to determining roles and responsibilities for the grant writing team, the end of the timeline (submission) is understandably not always the first thought. To ensure you don’t hit roadblocks, start now by making sure you can log into grants.gov. Identify the team member(s) who will be responsible for data entry and uploading the proposal.
There are many other ways you can focus your time during this delay – budget planning, program design, and considering start up needs, to name a few. We also encourage you to consider if and what type of support your program needs for its DRS proposal. While there are traditional services (e.g., grant writing), lighter touch supports also work well for programs who have internal grant writing capacity.
Foundations for Families offers customized supports to meet the needs of programs in DRS. We’ve listened to programs’ concerns and have observed where support is typically needed in the application process. Below are a few high impact solutions that are available for programs.
DRS Toolkit. Foundations for Families’ DRS Toolkit equips your program with a timeline, template, and process to successfully draft and submit a competitive proposal. With a step-by-step calendar to help you stay on track, our toolkit will direct you through the grant writing process. Questions and checklists based on grant criteria will prompt discussions about content and support a critical review of your final draft.
Quality Assurance Review. Using custom tools, Foundations for Families team members conduct a detailed review of your program’s proposal (drafted by the applicant) and provide feedback to strengthen compliance and competitiveness. This review can be conducted once or twice during the proposal development period and is aligned to the criteria and requirements of the NOFO.
Grants.gov Submission Support. To help agencies through the final stage of the process, Foundations for Families offers grants.gov submission support. We will walk you through application submission step-by-step so that you gain an understanding of grants.gov and feel confident that your application is compliant and meets the deadline.
If your program is competing for funding in DRS and needs help, please be in touch. We would be glad to talk with you about your programs needs and how to ensure a high-quality and on-time application. Contact us to learn more.
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