Grant Prospect Research

Good Works Grant Writing’s comprehensive prospect research system was developed to help nonprofit organizations best prioritize their efforts to achieve maximum results. The four-step process, which generally take a month to complete, positions your nonprofit organization for optimal funding success. We discern, define, determine and develop the best course of action for your grants program, whether we will be executing the work on your behalf or you will be completing the recommended grant proposals on your own.


To ensure we fully understand your programming and target population(s), the prospect research process starts with a discovery session to learn more about your organization and program offerings. This step is critical so that we are spending dozens of hours in the research phase we are not eliminating prospects that should be considered, or conversely considering prospects that should be eliminated. Step 1 concludes with the drafting of an organizational overview for you to review and revise as needed to ensure we have correctly, and thoroughly, understood your organization, mission, programs, and beneficiaries.

During this step we:

  •  Gather and review existing information on your organization and programs
  • Interview your designated staff to complete our discovery around the organization
  • Draft an organizational overview that includes descriptions of the organization’s
    programs as well as our suggestions for keyword searches during the research phase.


We want to make sure that we are putting together a list of prospects that are attractive to you. Therefore, we ask for your input on a variety of characteristics related to grant funders. Examples of questions on our parameters questionnaire include what is the minimum grant size you are interested in pursuing, are you interested in government grants, how much grant reporting are you willing to undertake. During this step, you can also provide a list of funders that you’d like to ensure are including in the prospect research.

Specifically, in Step 2 we:

  • Obtain your preferences on prospective funders through a parameters questionnaire
  • Gather information on board members and past funders to inform our prospect
  • Incorporate your feedback into and finalize the organizational overview that will be used
    to guide our prospect research


The bulk of the work takes place in Step 3, when Good Works prospect researcher delves into a variety of grant databases, including Foundation Center Online, to find solid prospective
funders tailored towards your programs and your preferences. During this step, we rate funders across six criteria that help inform each prospect’s likelihood of giving a grant to you. Other Good Works teams members will also weigh in on the research findings to incorporate their knowledge of funders based on their years of experience with them. In presenting the recommended prospects to you, we include information on how each prospect achieved its
rating, how to apply to the funder and a suggested ask amount.

In Step 3 we:

  • Conduct in-depth prospect research utilizing a variety of grant databases
  • Rate and rank the qualified prospects with Good Works’ prospect rating matrix
  • Present our prospect recommendations in rank order


Good Works’ comprehensive prospect research service concludes with the creation of a 12-month solicitation calendar. We create the calendar after reviewing the recommendations with you and getting your input on the various prospects. You have a chance to weigh in on your past experience with prospects, ask questions about our experience with or knowledge of prospects, and give input on your preferences of prospects to include on the calendar.

During this final step we:

  • Discuss with you our ranked recommendations
  • Determine which funders you’d like to solicit
  • Create a 12-months solicitation calendar for you

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