7 Tips for Successful Grant-Writing / 7 Reasons Why Your Proposals are Rejected
- Failure to follow directions – When the funder says no more than 10 pages, that doesn’t mean type in 8 point type to fit 14 pages into 10. When they have a deadline, you better believe they mean it.
- Bad math. Check and recheck your budget figures to make sure they’re correct. They also need to be realistic and consistent with the average size of a foundation’s grants.
- No plan for the future. You have to demonstrate a long-term plan; that you have prospects for future funding so the donor can feel its money was wisely invested.
- Wrong issue. Make sure you know a foundation’s area of interest (and disinterest) and don’t submit unless it’s a good match. And don’t just spout back their language – it’s got to fit.
- Not Klear & Compeling. Check your grammar, your spelling, make sure your writing is clear and compelling, with no bush league mistakes that will make you look unprofessional.
- Lack of clarity. Make sure you state clear goals and show the benefits of your program. Don’t just talk about problems; talk about solution, too.
- Being generic. Even if you’re sending your proposal to multiple funders, make sure it doesn’t look that way (every funder has a story of receiving a proposal with the wrong foundation name).
- Bonus tip — Tell a story. It’s a compelling way to make your case and make it real.