Differences Between Public and Private Sources of Funding
usinfo | 2014-09-04 13:32

Public   Private
  Purpose set by legislation
  Focus on functions usually impacting significant groups in society.
  Have the most money and more likely to award large grants/contracts.
  More likely to pay all project cost and/or cover indirect costs.
  Easier to find information about and to stay current on project needs/interests.
  Application processes and deadlines are public information and very firm.
  Use prescribed formats for proposals many use "common" application forms.
  Possibilities of renewal known up front.
  Plentiful staff resources most projects have specific contact person.
  More likely to have resources for technical assistance.
  Funds available to wider array of organizations (forprofit and nonprofit).
  Accountable to elected officials if administrative staff dont follow the rules.
    More likely to focus on emerging issues, new needs, populations not yet recognized as "special interests."
  Often willing to pool resources with other funders.
  Wide range in size of available grants -- some can make very large awards, others are strictly for small local projects.
  More willing source of start-up or experimental funds.
  Full length, complex proposals not always necessary.
  Can be much more flexible in responding to unique needs and circumstances.
  Able to avoid bureaucratic requirements for administering grants.
  Can often provide alternative forms of assistance, i.e., software/hardware donations, materials, expertise, etc.
  Fewer applicants in most cases.
  Can generally be much more informal and willing to help with the proposal process.
Public   Private
  Are much more bureaucratic.
  Lengthy proposal requirements and complex application, administration and compliance procedures.
  Often require institutional cost-sharing and matching.
  Reviewers tend to favor established applicants.
  Sometimes difficult to sell new ideas and high-risk approaches.
  Cost to applicants much higher expensive application and compliance procedures.
  Changing political trends affect security of some programs availability of funds can change rapidly.
    Average grant size usually much smaller.
  Priorities can change very rapidly, continuation support can be difficult to predict.
  Applicants have limited influence on the decision making process.
  Information on policies and procedures must generally be researched, can be time consuming.
  Less likely to cover all project costs and most do not cover indirect costs.
  Limited staff fewer opportunities for personal contact and/or site visits.
  May not be clear about reasons for rejection hard to improve for 2nd attempt.
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