You thought you had a sure thing. With a little
funding, your organization's new project was going to
cure cancer, end world hunger, and save the rain forest
- all through the efforts of an exclusively volunteer
labor force. With such noble ideas, why didn't the project
You spent a week writing the perfect grant proposal and waited patiently by the mailbox for the grant maker's response, wondering how long it would take them to cut the check. But instead of a check, you got a "We're sorry . . ." letter that left you scratching your head and wondering whether you should cancel your project altogether.
Good news! Your project is probably not the problem. But the bad news is that you didn't do your grant writing groundwork, the upfront questions that need to be answered before your proposal ever gets near the mailbox.
What kinds of projects does the grant maker fund?
Many proposals are rejected simply because the grant maker
doesn't fund the kinds of projects contained in your proposal.
Some fund capital projects, but not operating expenses.
Some fund projects for the elderly but not for youth.
You get the picture.
What is the maximum grant the grant maker gives?
You won't win any friends by requesting a grant that is
larger than the stated maximum. Stay within the range
or else you can expect to add one more rejection letter
to your collection.
What is the grant maker's preferred submission
format? Every grant maker has a preferred proposal
format. Some even have a simple application form. Submitting
your proposal in the proper format gives the grant maker
confidence that you've done your homework in other areas.
My best advice . . . Unless you are
an experienced grant writer/researcher, consider investing
in the services of a professional. You'll avoid the headaches
and the pitfalls and enjoy a much higher rate of success.