We preach that grant writing is a process, a long-term investment in the financial stability of your nonprofit. Grant rejections can be common early on. Grants are not won overnight and it can take time — often months or years — to see success. And with work, it’s possible to turn a grant rejection into an acceptance.
It’s important to understand that a grant rejection is not the end of the world. The grant or grants written are still valuable on their own merits, and with proper nurturing they can be resubmitted.
Foundation grant writing is as much about building a relationship with a foundation as it is about great writing. Getting there takes time and effort, and often a few rounds of submissions and revisions.
So when you receive a rejection, contact the foundation. Often foundations send impersonal, form rejections. Unless they’ve stated something along the lines of “Your work does not align with our funding priorities,” you still have a chance to receive funding in the future. It’s possible to turn your grant rejection into an acceptance.
When you call or email the contact person, ask for more details on the rejection. Ask if they would encourage you to apply again in the future, and if they have any tips for doing so. You may also want to ask if they know of any other foundations that might be a good match.
Successful grant writing takes time, but once you’re “in” with a foundation, your efforts will pay off long term. A successful grant can often turn into many years of funding. And that funding often grows, too! Over time, you’re also developing a well of knowledge about the funders that align with your work, and how to approach them. There may be some you simply need to cross off your list for good — and that’s valuable information, too.
Interested in learning more about our grant writing services? Contact us.