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Designing Pilot, Selecting Partners and Securing Funding by Sam Schanfarber

Forth
Forth

Sam Schanfarber, Program Manager at Forth gave this at the designing and financing transportation electrification webinar on February 09, 2021

Designing Pilot, Selecting Partners and Securing Funding by Sam Schanfarber

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Designing pilots,
selecting partners,
and securing
funding
Photo @Dylan VanWeelden
Forth’s Business Development Team
Key responsibilities
• Identify new RFPs and
grants on a national scale
• Scope & build new pilots
(funding & partnerships)
• Maintain relationships
with partners
• Maintain relationships
with funders
Comprised of:
● Four staff members
● Writing, communications, project
management, and sales
backgrounds
Designing Pilots - 2 Paths
Secret sauce: Constant communication between
program & fundraising team
1. Design pilot tailored to funding opportunity
● Identify funding opportunity
● Design pilot around what funder seeks OR
modify previous program
1. Find funding for new idea (often fee for
service)
● Idea typically stems directly from programs
team
● Business development team fleshes it out
● Seek funder OR client willing to fund pilot
Seeking partners as a
prime
Advantages:
● Ability to guide project direction
● Lion’s share of budget
● Most possible exposure, both with client
and in press opportunities
● Generate the most experience
Possible drawbacks:
● Contractor management
● Time - full-time staff per pilot
● Single application (MOST of the time)
● Upfront resources for fundraising
Sub-Contracting
Advantages:
● Multiple applications
● Play directly to our strengths
● Build relationships with partners
● Easier to write
● Easier to manage
Possible drawbacks:
● Less control over project direction
● Smaller piece of the pie
● (Potentially) Less exposure to
client
● Less responsibility = less
experience learned
Past pilots
● SiLVERS
● Forth EV Showcase
● Multi-Unit Dwelling Toolkit
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Designing Pilot, Selecting Partners and Securing Funding by Sam Schanfarber

  • 1. Designing pilots, selecting partners, and securing funding Photo @Dylan VanWeelden
  • 2. Forth’s Business Development Team Key responsibilities • Identify new RFPs and grants on a national scale • Scope & build new pilots (funding & partnerships) • Maintain relationships with partners • Maintain relationships with funders Comprised of: ● Four staff members ● Writing, communications, project management, and sales backgrounds
  • 3. Designing Pilots - 2 Paths Secret sauce: Constant communication between program & fundraising team 1. Design pilot tailored to funding opportunity ● Identify funding opportunity ● Design pilot around what funder seeks OR modify previous program 1. Find funding for new idea (often fee for service) ● Idea typically stems directly from programs team ● Business development team fleshes it out ● Seek funder OR client willing to fund pilot
  • 4. Seeking partners as a prime Advantages: ● Ability to guide project direction ● Lion’s share of budget ● Most possible exposure, both with client and in press opportunities ● Generate the most experience Possible drawbacks: ● Contractor management ● Time - full-time staff per pilot ● Single application (MOST of the time) ● Upfront resources for fundraising
  • 5. Sub-Contracting Advantages: ● Multiple applications ● Play directly to our strengths ● Build relationships with partners ● Easier to write ● Easier to manage Possible drawbacks: ● Less control over project direction ● Smaller piece of the pie ● (Potentially) Less exposure to client ● Less responsibility = less experience learned
  • 6. Past pilots ● SiLVERS ● Forth EV Showcase ● Multi-Unit Dwelling Toolkit
  • 7. E Tractors Project Multiple partners ● Forth ● Sustainable NW ● Wy’East RC&D ● Rusted Gate Farm ● Bonneville Environmental Foundation Multiple funding streams Shared goals
  • 8. E Tractors Project - Scaling a Program Need to address a chicken & egg problem: ● Identify new sources of funding ● Identify geographic regions ● Identify farms willing to participate in program