I have now experienced multiple instances where a group of researchers involved me in a grant application where the total awarded funds were quite small compared to the number of researchers in the group. Thus I find the benefit of a successful application very small compared to the time spent writing the application (the awarded funds are likely going to be divided by the number of researchers in the group). I have also been quite good at getting funding from other partners or private entities (only a small share from companies), so I find it hard to stay motivated for these public grants. Yet, it remains mysterious to me why other researchers in the group stay motivated -- they would be better off doing their research than writing this complex grant application for an overall small sum. I must say I have quite a bit of experience in academia, and almost always got easy funding (not public funds) in the past. It looks like some researchers enjoy "winning" a grant regardless of how small the funds are.
Do you have thoughts on this? I feel odd that I'm not sharing their enthusiasm; and it looks like I'm missing some key element.