Every grant has a maximum award amount. When it comes to pie in the sky dreaming on how to make a program happen, and execute to its fullest potential, the maximum award is definitely a figure to keep in your planning.
The maximum award amount is the highest amount of grant funds a single applicant can receive. Many times, the applicant will not get funded the full max award amount. In these cases, it is because either the reviewers did not believe the applicant needs the max award amount or the funding agency was running out of money but still wanted to fund the applicant’s program.
Federal grants typically range from the hundreds of thousands to millions. Foundation grants typically range from thousands to low hundreds of thousands. Every applicant can ask for the max award amount and propose their budget based on that amount. However, if you apply for more than the max award amount, it will be automatically disqualified.
The most important planning consideration in all of this is: be mindful of your actual program budget. Often your program will still need additional funding sources. The maximum award, while exciting to contemplate, is not the end-all figure to solve your program’s financial needs.