October 11, 2011

From {Centered}: Proposal rejected? Don't despair.

Even experienced grantseekers get turned down more often than they'd like. But how you handle those disappointments will affect how successful you are in the long run. Rebecca Shawver offers good advice on dealing with grant rejection in "It's Time to Remember that 'No' Doesn't Always Mean 'Never'" (CharityChannel, August 17, 2011). It's crucial, says Shawver, to speak with the funder after your request has been denied to learn the reasons for their decision. Different reasons require different remedies. For instance:

The funder liked your project, but they didn't have enough money.

  • Begin planning earlier next time.
  • Find out whether collaborating with other groups might increase your chances of success in the future.
  • Adopt any recommendations the grantmaker may make in your post-rejection conversation.

The funder doesn't know you very well.

  • Meet with them personally.
  • Invite them to visit your offices and program sites.

You didn't demonstrate community support in your request.

  • Before reapplying gather more letters of support and go after more matching funds and in-kind support.

Your program--or your description of it--needs to be better developed.

  • Refine your proposal to include components that describe your program more effectively.
  • Make sure your program reflects the latest trends and incorporates the best practices in the field.

The funder's "No" really did mean "Never."

  • Look to other sources of funding, there are other fish in the sea!  

Article from The Grantsmanship Center {Centered} October 2011 issue.

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