Seeking grants is a competitive venture. When approaching a foundation for your new program for the first time, the chances of a decline are higher than the likelihood of getting the funds. But people make many mistakes when writing their applications and others in the grant writing process. Below are the reasons you receive a rejection with your funding requests and how to approach it better to beat the odds and increase your winning chances.
It is a mistake to submit your grant application with no prior relationship. The first step is to contact and build a relationship before applying for federal grants. So, find if there is a preexisting connection, someone on your staff, board, or donor circle who knows a representative in the foundation and can open the door. Find a way to have such a connection, and you can do it yourself. Place a phone call first and introduce yourself and your organization to warm up the funder before grant submission.
The grant application does not follow directions
Always follow all the application instructions. But, others overlook the basic ones and end up getting a rejection. Therefore, always review the foundations’ application procedure, submission rules, and processes. Plus, any attachment you require before the deadline. Also, you ensure the program does not miss a vital requirement. So, follow application instructions carefully and do not cut any corners. Not following the application directions can land your proposal on the reject pile.
The organization did not meet reporting requirements
If the last grant was a great investment for your organization, take the chance to prove it. An organization or program must provide on-time reports for previous grants to show they deserve the foundations’ support. One quick way to receive a rejection letter is to submit a new grant proposal. And your organization has not met the reporting requirements. Remember, foundations view grantors as partners and grants as investments. Thus, providing reports that address the success and challenges clearly, is a way to show your organization is a great fit for continued funding.
The budget is not correct or clear
It is vital to include a compelling financial narrative. Avoid submitting a budget that is not clear, correct, or not provided. To write a successful grant budget, you need to follow the foundation format, match the application narrative, and establish your funding plan is achievable and sound. Providing an accurate financial outlook supports a clear need and reflects a sustainable and healthy funding strategy. More importantly, show which expenses will get support through the foundations’ grant.
Program fit is not evident
It is vital to be sure of the best proposal strategy or fit. Before submitting your grant proposal, research the foundation’s funding strategies. Grant makers’ can change their area of focus, and the website information is limiting. Therefore, email or call to describe the application idea you have to know if it is a good fit. Also, it helps ensure there is nothing excluding your project from consideration by the funders. Importantly, this can bring up the conversation that yields the grantor’s specifications and help you tailor your grant application to stand out from the rest.
Your expectations exceed your capacity
To be smart as you seek a grant, learn the funding environment and make projections and plans. If you can research how likely the foundation can offer their support. It can help keep your expectations on the mark. If your program has received funding from your foundation before and done reports successfully, and you have confirmed a strategy to reapply and believe the opportunity is competitive, your grant probability is lower. Build a grant plan balancing most low risk with high probability prospects and higher risks with lower probability targets.
To conclude, these tips can strengthen the winning odds of your grant organizations. However, it is wise to know that outstanding proposals get declined too. And, when your organization receives a rejection notice, go back to the foundation to get feedback. Most importantly, invite your contact for a site visit if you have never done it.
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