The Development Source
Being the incumbent on a government grant puts you in a great position to re-bid successfully to continue your project through a new grant. However, often incumbents do not receive new grants despite their good work on the previous grant.
According to Chuck Keller of Keller Proposal Development and Training, there are several important tactical steps you can take to ensure that you win the next government grant as an incumbent. Some of these steps are process-oriented while others involve the development of a certain mindset. Although his advice applies to companies, it can be modified to apply to nonprofit organizations:
As Keller points out, the biggest danger for an incumbent is complacency when re-bidding. You cannot assume that you will be awarded another grant simply because you are doing good work. In your proposal, you must still answer the all-important “So what?” question.
Use the advantages you have accrued as the incumbent to submit a better proposal than the competition. If you have done good work, the grant is yours to lose.
Do not let it slip from your grasp! Treat the grant as a must-win proposal and behave accordingly.