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What do I do if my grant gets rejected?

Ask Me Anything Summary

We had a great question. What do I do if my grant gets rejected?

Well, that happens, right? This averages one out of every four times we do an ask, we’re going to be rejected. That’s why you always wanna have four prospects if you need to have a certain amount of money for something that you want to do.

So the most important thing is, if your grant gets rejected, take a step back and figure out why. If it’s a private foundation, oftentimes you can call the grant officer or program officer there and ask for feedback.

You can even do that with government sources as well. A lot of times they’ll give you your score and then you’ll know exactly where your proposal fell short compared to those that actually received funding.

But the reality is most of the time, grants are rejected, it’s because you didn’t do the cultivation you need to do up front. People don’t realize that even grant funders need to be cultivated if you’re just sitting in a cold application and they’ve never heard of you before, and they don’t know who you are, or the kind of work that you’re doing, then more than likely, they’re not going to fund you the 1st, 2nd, or maybe even 3rd time.

So make sure before you send in that grant application, you take the time to reach out.

Tell them what you’re doing. Shoot your idea by whoever the program officer is and make sure it’s really a good fit. Then you can send them some great information about your outcomes and the impact of your organization and start that cultivation process.

But even if you do get rejected, don’t just send it over into the dump file. Make sure you follow up and find out why, so that you can improve the next time.

If you have any comments or maybe you need to run your grant by an expert who’s won lots and lots of grants. Shoot a note to us on our website or post a note here on social media, and we’d be happy to talk to you.

Have a great day.