If you’ve written grants, chances are you’ve experienced rejection. Often, that is simply due to funders not having enough money to go around; they receive many more applications than they can fund, and even worthy projects don’t win out. But there are some common downfalls in grant applications you can avoid to improve your chances of getting funded.
Common downfalls in grant applications
1. The most common downfall in grant applications is weak logic. Many applications are unclear, failing to build a logical, clearly articulated argument for why the funder should fund the project.
This logic starts with the need, or problem, that the project is addressing, and builds on itself to prove why the project will solve the problem. And why the applicant is well positioned to tackle these big issues. The logic of the application should be clear and concise, so that the grant reviewer(s) don’t have to work too hard to fill in the blanks.
2. Grant applications should also adhere strictly to all of the application guidelines and instructions, especially for federal grants. Missing some of the details, such as how to organize the application, and specific attachments to include, could result in disqualification.
3. You’ll also need strong evaluation strategies. If your application doesn’t show how you’ll measure success, funders will likely cast it aside. This is one of the most common downfalls in grant applications: failure to show that there’s a plan in place to measure outcomes (i.e., that the funder’s money is making a difference).
4. Heavy use of jargon could also disqualify your grant. The grant reviewers may not be subject matter experts, so don’t pack your application with jargon, abbreviations, and complicated terminology.
5. Make sure your budget is in good shape. That means the line items should match the project narrative, and there should be a clear and logical relationship between the two. Here are more tips for making sure your budget and grant narrative are telling the same story.
Interested in learning more about our grant writing services? Contact us.