Three Tips to Get Started Working with USAID

For New USAID Partners

Securing funds from USAID can be resource-intensive and highly competitive, but getting a piece of the $21 billion the agency awarded last year can be well worth the effort. At AidKonekt, we want to make it easier for new partners to enter and grow in the USAID market. Our mission is to support USAID partners to spend less time on USAID business development and administrative tasks, and more time delivering positive impact globally.

We do this by automating the process for identifying and monitoring USAID funding opportunities, and by making it easier to find partners to bid with and do market research. We spent years designing internal tools, algorithms, and processes, to help our clients better work with USAID. We have now made those tools available to partners through the AidKonekt platform.

We support organizations around the world to automate and accelerate their USAID partnering work by harnessing the power of data and AI to bridge the resource gap between new partners and established implementers with large business development budgets. Drawing on years of expertise and experience in securing USAID funding, here are some tips to get started designing your USAID partnering strategy.

1. Focus on your proven organizational capabilities

USAID and their prime partners are used to hearing new and potential partners say that they can do everything. Of course, this is seldom the case. Differentiate your team from the crowd by focusing on the niche(s) where you have strong past performance and excel in delivering results.

We often hear from organizations that they could do a project, even though they don’t have experience in that geographic area or technical sector. We encourage partners to focus on USAID funding areas where have successfully implemented activities. When you approach an established USAID implementer to discuss partnering, the first question will be to ask about your documented past performance delivering results in that geographic and technical area. You want to have a strong answer for that.


2. Begin before the call for proposals is released (capture phase)

It is important to start your partnering process well before the call for proposals is announced. This is especially important for partnering and recruitment activities.

Your potential competitors and partners will likely begin building their consortium and team months, and sometimes years before a procurement goes live. It is important to be having partnering conversations as soon as possible. AidKonekt is designed to deliver your team the data to know when to start the conversations, and who to connect with.


3. Research USAID funding priorities

 USAID is a development agency, not a foundation. It is important to understand their funding priorities and goals and to approach the market not looking for funding for your projects, but to understand how you can help USAID achieve their development goals.

AidKonekt consolidates USAID project data, reports, assessments, and strategies, in a single, easy-to-use portal, where you can access this information in minutes. This provides your team with the knowledge you need to have effective partnering conversations.


If you want to learn more about partnering with USAID or discuss how AidKonekt can automate and accelerate your USAID partnering, you can learn more here:


Mike Shanley is the CEO of Konektid International (, a consulting firm that helps clients work with USAID. Konektid services include providing surge capacity support to USAID business development teams, designing and managing USAID revenue growth strategies for subcontractors, and providing other support for USAID business development and project management.