Seeking to expand its services, Washington-based federal government affairs firm Van Scoyoc Associates is partnering with FundBook, an online guide to finding and winning federal grants.
The move is part of a larger effort to offer more comprehensive offerings for clients, said Stewart Van Scoyoc, president and chief executive of the firm. About a year ago, the company formed VSConsulting to broaden its work beyond its traditional lobbying business.
Many law and lobby firms have been tinkering with their business models in the wake of the economic downturn, blurring the lines between various forms of advocacy. The result has been increased competition.
Van Scoyoc said he anticipates that the arrangement with FundBook, which provides municipal governments and other government entities with information on available federal aid, will help his firm meet potential clients earlier.
“Part of it is identifying an audience that’s actively, aggressively pursuing opportunities,” he said.
Additionally, his company hopes to help those entities make the kinds of connections they’ll need to win work.
“What makes people successful in competing for funding [is] relationships on an ongoing basis . . . with the program officers who are ultimately making the final decisions,” Van Scoyoc said. “Understanding what it is that they are trying to accomplish and how they are trying to accomplish [it] requires you to have a more in-depth relationship.”
Under the exclusive agreement, Van Scoyoc’s company will be the only federal lobbyist advertised in FundBook.
Toby Hicks, editor of FundBook, said the product started in October using a subscription-based model but has since switched to an ad-based model.
“It has gained considerable traction,” he said.
Hicks said he anticipates that the partnership will help grow FundBook’s user base. Though other lobbying firms were interested, he said Van Scoyoc offered the best fit and was most receptive to teaming up.
Van Scoyoc plans to next expand its work with universities and is also forming an advisory board that will be announced soon. FundBook too is looking to add new products and is seeking state-level partners, Hicks said.