5 Steps to Take When Your Grant Proposal Fails
I dialed the number, introduced myself, and delivered the message. In any form , news of a rejected proposal is upsetting, to say the least. Each time the executive director/founder called, seeking feedback. When we finally met face to face, we both agreed it felt like seeing a pen pal for the first time. Assuming that funds are available, that eligibility is met, and that political but the following list of short-comings of proposals rejected by the National Institutes (Chief of the Division of Research Grants, NIH) that appeared in Science, Vol. Respond directly to the priorities of the funder and make the. Concise means you don't go one letter over the prescribed limit. I keep churning out LOIs but still get turned down. You need to meet the funder's general requirements, but you also need to demonstrate that you'll use the.
It's always frustrating to have your grant proposal rejected, but it's absolutely essential to stay optimistic and to persevere. The fact is that most grant proposals do get rejected, but learning from the experience--examining why your proposal was turned down--will benefit you by making future proposals stronger.
And don't give up on one foundation because they have declined your proposal. Unless you specifically don't fall within their funding guidelines in which case you probably shouldn't have wasted your time applying in the first placeyou'll want to reapply as soon as you're able.
Why Proposals are Rejected
If you feel like you've done a solid job describing your non-profit's mission, the population you serve, and how your proposed grant would help your clients, then take another look at the foundation's mission.
Did your proposal help the foundation meet its goals? Was it really a good fit in the first place? Foundations routinely turn down the best conceived projects simply because the goals of the non-profit and the foundation aren't aligned. Explore the foundation's website, annual report and form to see what kind of projects they've funded in the past, and compare those projects to your own.
See what you can learn, and if this step wasn't part of your last round of proposal applications, make it part of your next. If you're confident that the goals of your proposal met the goals of the foundation, then go back to the original Request for Proposals.
Evaluate the writing in your proposal. Did you state your needs clearly and specifically, right up front?
Your Grant Proposal's Been Rejected - Now What? by Pamela Grow
Did you include information about your non-profit's other sources of funding to help show that you're a worthy cause? Did you use testimonials to bring the needs of your clients to life, and did you use meaningful, accurate data to support your organization's needs? Is your writing clear and compelling? Does the proposal sound like it's been written by one person, or do several different voices make it choppy and scattered? It pays to find out why your proposal did not make the cut.
Here are a few tips for how to react when your proposal fails. If you do not reach out to a grant maker, you will never know why your proposal was declined. Whatever the reason, the best advice I can provide is that you will benefit the most if you look at the feedback as a learning experience.
5 Steps to Take When Your Grant Proposal Fails
Contact the foundation; ask for feedback. I have many grantees that, over the years, applied numerous times unsuccessfully.
One organization applied five years in a row without getting a grant. In those first conversations, when the organization was very young, a lot of the discussion revolved around governance and infrastructure. As time passed, and additional rejections were received, our talks focused more on programming. I shared with her best practices used by similar organizations, including key data points that she and her team could be tracking.
I do not imagine that this executive director was looking forward to talking to me the first time she called me. As a former development officer myself, I received rejection letters. I never contacted any of those grant makers to seek feedback.Writing Winning Grants and Proposals
I licked my wounds and moved on to another foundation. Looking back, I am embarrassed by my lack of follow-through.
If you make changes, report back informally. The proposal debriefs with the above organization were not the only times I heard from this executive director. She would call a few months after these conversations and tell me what she had learned, or how some of my suggestions had played out. Many of my ideas bore fruit; others did not. Yet this executive director stayed in touch.
And, without question, each year, as the organization evolved, the funding requests got stronger and stronger. After six years, the organization was ready for a grant.
I called the executive director and excitedly told her I wanted to arrange a site visit. When we finally met face to face, we both agreed it felt like seeing a pen pal for the first time.