I’d say that whether a proposal advances to the final tier of consideration is really determined by the big things and not by the details though its is understandable that grant applicants worry about the details. Applications advance for the big things: (1) is it in scope? (2) does it develop biodiversity informatics capacity? (3) is data accessible and valuable to end-users? and (4) is it well planned? By well planned, we look for whether the inputs of staffing, time, expertise, partnerships, technology, and money can be connected to specific outputs and results, and whether those activities and outputs fit into a logical causal change of valuable outcomes. Virtually all proposals represent good ideas and intentions but most declined proposals fail for lack of focus, being too ambitious, claiming unlikely outcomes, unclear plans, weak informatics detail, and lack of end-user engagement. Proposals need a strong budget narrative that explains the costs, their timing, and connections to goals – we are a financial institution and money matters really matter! We encourage you to plan your project before beginning the application form.