Planning a Competition: Time

When planning a competition, it makes sense to think about whether it will be a unique event or whether there will be multiple cycles, and how the competition might change over time. The kind of questions that grantmakers need to consider include:

  • Is it cost-effective to set up the administrative structure to run a competition for a single cycle?
  • Will projects supported in the first round of the competition be sufficiently far along to assess the competition and make adjustments before subsequent cycles are announced?
  • Will the grantmaker be able to stay closely involved for subsequent cycles, or is another organization needed to assume responsibility?
  • Is the pool of potential applicants deep enough to generate good proposals for multiple rounds? If not, what can be done to strengthen the pool for subsequent rounds?

“In the first year, because it was a first year, we got a very high caliber of proposals. In the second year, we thought there would still be a big pool, but in fact the numbers of applicants went down. I think the problem was that the people who had good proposals but didn't get funded were disillusioned and didn't reapply."

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Using Competitions & RFPs.