Capital BCS Consulting
 A Relationship Beyond Consulting

(301)908-4681  |
Grants and Contracts Consulting Services  |  (301) 908-4681 

Richard P. Franetzki - Grants/Contracts Consulting Expert/Writer

Unique Experience On Both Sides Of The Funding Equation!

  • Thirteen years of non-profit experience with the American Red Cross and Children’s National Medical Center, receiving proposal funding from federal, foundation and for-profit organizations.  Hundreds of millions received in funding then managed cradle to grave.
  • Former Financial Assistance (Grants/Cooperative Agreements/Loans) Division Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce, funding programs through the Commerce bureaus of: EDA, NIST, NOAA, MBDA, ITA and others (see for program details).  Responsible for all complete management of the Agency's Financial Assistance programs: policy/procedures, compliance, reporting, education/certification, grants administration, balanced scorecard, staff supervision and team building, training, and the Agency's indirect cost review/approval program.
  • Grants Management training and consultation performed for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as to over 20 non-profit organizations.
  • As a grants consultant, I pull from 17 years of experience within the industry to help organizations meet their strategic goals by providing the expert services described below.

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Organizational Strategic Funding Plans (all sources of funding) 

The following three typical steps are found in our strategic funding plan services:
  1. Determine the best funding model for the organization’s short and long-term success. 
  2. Develop the official funding plan, with reviews and approvals from Management.
  3. Conduct a customized search for funding sources that match the strategic mission and project goals.  This may include searching multiple sources for federal, state and local government programs, as well as foundation, private, and for-profit financial support opportunities. 

Grant Funding Search

We conduct a customized search for grant funding sources that match our client’s strategic mission and project goals.  This may include searching multiple sources for federal, state and local government programs, as well as foundation and private funders.  A list of potential funding sources is presented for client review, and letters of intent developed as required.

Grant Proposal Writing/Development 
  • Our process begins with interviews and information gathering to obtain an excellent understanding of the client’s organization and the concept of projects/programs for which funding is being sought.
  • Next we make sure that the client is generally positioned, resourced and compatible with the funder’s grant program(s).
  • We facilitate a group meeting with key proposal contributors to walk through proposal requirements, develop the proposal work plan, and identify both existing resources and challenges.
  • With ongoing collaboration with client staff, we compile all required proposal information and draft documents for client review and approval.  The budget and timelines are created and incorporated, and all proposal components are developed as specifically required by the grant-making organization’s guidelines.
  • After proposal has been finalized, will provide submission and follow-up consulting support throughout the funder’s review and approval process.

Two Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you guarantee funding and provide your past funding success statistics so that we can see how that can guarantee us success? 

This is a big misconception within the grant writing industry.  No grant writer can guarantee funding success, and their past history of funding success cannot directly transfer from one organization to another to provide equal success.  Given the complexity of components that contribute to a funded proposal, the grant writer can only guarantee that applicable deadlines will be met and a thorough, professional well-written document will be created within funder guidelines.  Many factors are outside of the grant writer’s control:  existing organizational structure, weaknesses and resources; having proper staff in place (including the effectiveness of the board of directors); past project management success; and the level of competition with the funding round of the submission.  Don’t let these factors discourage you, but understand that a grant writer that tells you they get funded 80% of the time cannot guarantee the exact same results for your organization.
Do you work on contingency?  We don’t have any resources to pay for grant services without receiving a grant first. 

Grants are very rarely meant to be an organization’s first or primary source of funding – so this typically translates into not being the best time for an organization to persue grant funding using outside grant writing services.  Funders do not approve grants that include money for proposal development, so using grant funds for paying a grant writer would be unethical.  We strictly work on a fee for service basis, either by the hour or by the project completed.

Grant Proposal Review/Edit/Consultation 

We can also review and evaluate your grant proposal, drafted by internal staff, prior to its submission.  We will make sure the proposal completely complies with funder requirements, offer suggestions and critique, help expand or focus narratives, and consult/team with company proposal staff as required.  Will also take previously developed proposals and adapt to similar new funding opportunities.


Retainer Services 

For added value/savings to our clients who are looking for ongoing grants services, we also provide services on a retainer basis.  Use of our retainer services is meant to reduce the higher expenses associated with hiring, providing space and supporting a direct employee. Retainer services may include:  ongoing prospect searches for program needs; strategic planning and prioritization of funding requests; writing interim and year end grantee reports; writing and submitting new proposals, and consulting work to optimize internal grants management processes and procedures.  A monthly Work Summary Report is provided to your organization that details work completed and hours of effort required.  The hourly pricing under our retainer agreement is lower than the Standard Pricing quoted above.  We will work with you hand-in-hand to structure the retainer agreement to meet your ongoing needs at flexible reduced rates.

Good Advice From Funders: Seven Insightful Suggestions 

As a strong proponent of the use of best practices throughout our everyday work at Capital BCS Consulting, we bring to you seven important suggestions to keep in mind when submitting proposals for funding.  We incorporate these concepts into our grants management work, and so should each grantee organization.

The following seven suggestions for successful proposals are based on a speech by Anne C. Petersen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Programs at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

  • Your organization is doing the project with the people you will be helping, not to them.  We want to know that the people who will benefit from the project have at least provided input and assisted with the design of the project. Participants or service recipients must regard the project as valuable and must be ready to work with the applicant. Programs that are designed in isolation from the populations they serve inevitably fail.
  • Your organization must also invest in the project. One of the most precious resources of any nonprofit organization is, of course, its scarce funds. If such a nonprofit organization is willing to dedicate a portion of those discretionary funds to the proposed project, this signals a legitimate priority, rather than just a scheme for chasing grant dollars.
  • Your organization must be willing to have an impartial evaluator assess your work. The lessons learned from a project are equally important to the grantee and to the foundation. We each become better by learning from both our successes and our failures. Organizations that embrace honest assessment and realistic learning improve over time.
  • Your organization must plan to continue the program after Kellogg Foundation funding ceases. If being a seed-money funder means anything at all, it means that we should plant our seeds and nurture them so that they can eventually survive without us. If projects only live as long as the foundation is willing to pump money into them, then it is highly unlikely that the project is even what the community wants or needs. But continuity does not just happen. Long range funding strategies must be planned from the start.
  • Your organization’s proposed project needs the potential for broader impact. If a project can work only under very specific circumstances in a very limited area, then this idea is probably not a prime candidate for funding. Ideally, of course, the project would have the power to change public policy and transform major systems. Even if your vision is not this large, the project should still have the potential to work in more than one place, for more than a few people.
  • To truly build effective partnerships that endure, grant-seekers need to cultivate strong relationships with foundations. This means working together on an ongoing basis to share ideas and approaches to problems. The relationship requires mutual trust, honesty, and clarity.
  • An effective proposal describes a program for change, not a list of wants. Your organization must have a detailed plan that describes exactly where you are going and exactly how you will get there. Be specific about broad goals, measurable objectives, and quantified outcomes.
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