On the Precipice of History: The Demise of Public Grant Making

Grant Results

The future of competitive grant making – in both public and private spheres – is of considerable interest to grant seekers and to those professionals who work with and/or for them.


This post explores four administrative and political trends impacting the future of public grant making, particularly at the Federal level. Its purpose is descriptive, not normative. Arguably, although the trends’ context is American, their scope and consequences are potentially global.


Targeted Funding:

Targeted funding is not new, but it becomes more popular and more intensive during periods of perceived or actual economic malaise. It reflects a widely held premise that public grant funds in general – and Federal grant funds in particular – should focus narrowly on the needs of certain pre-defined groups. As a question of public policy, it is most often framed in terms of advancing equal access or fairness or equity, least often in…

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