Respond to applicants quickly

Initial application response time for 2023 Community Innovation grant applicants

  • 1-2 weeks 10%
  • 3-4 weeks 31%
  • 5-6 weeks 29%
  • more than 6 weeks 30%
Why it’s important to us

We know that the time between submitting an application and getting an answer from us is stressful for applicants, and it puts them in an unproductive holding pattern as they wait. We also balance that desire for responsiveness with the desire to give thoughtful consideration to each application.

How we’re doing

While this is important across all our programs, we are using an indicator for Community Innovation grants because it is a rolling program and so each applicant is on a unique review timeline. For these applicants, 70% receive initial responses within 6 weeks.

While it’s hard to say no to the many amazing ideas shared with us, we want to do that quickly if it’s clear that a proposal doesn’t align with our program criteria. We also want to let applicants know whether they are moving forward in our process as soon as we know. That’s why we’re keeping track of how quickly we respond in the initial application phase. Of course, we want to make sure we are using applicant and staff time well throughout the entire selection process.

What’s next

This is a new metric for us. We’re excited to be monitoring it and looking for ways we can do better. We shifted to a shorter initial application to make the process easier, and that sometimes creates the need for additional clarifying questions before we can make a decision. We are working on how to do this more quickly in ways that still feel supportive of the applicant. For applications that move beyond the initial review, we are working on making sure applicants are aware of where they are in our review process.