grant request denied

Why was my grant request denied?

One of the most common questions people ask us is, ‘Why was my grant request denied?’ And the answer is that there can be many reasons.


Grant rejections are inevitable. Grant makers simply can’t fund every application, even if they’re all well written. The industry average for grant acceptance is around 1 in 10.


But there are usually things you can learn from a rejection, and steps you can take to improve for next time. It’s best if you can talk to a person at the foundation you applied to to learn more about why they returned a grant rejection. They may be able to give you tips for a resubmission. Sometimes, the answer is simply that there were many worthy applicants chasing too few dollars, and the competition won out. Still, there may be things you can learn for next time.


Here are a few resources to help you diagnose your grant rejection. Within each, we list some ways for you to strengthen your proposal and your overall approach to set your organization up for future success.


  1. Why your grants program is failing: Five factors to consider
  2. Are you making this deadly mistake with your grant writing? This is a simple step, and it will do wonders for your grant success.
  3. Is it too soon to start grant writing? Many nonprofits, especially new nonprofits, rush into grant writing. Take these steps to ensure your grants will compete well.
  4. How to run a successful grant writing program: Ensure that your processes are solid, so your grants  are well-written and have the best chance of success.
  5. What to learn from your rejected grant proposal: We know it stings, but taking the time to dig into why your grant was rejected will go a long way toward helping you improve.


Learn more about our grant writing services here.

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