Let's face it: rejection stings. When we invest many hours of our week researching and developing something that matters to us, it's only natural to feel disappointment when an idea gets rejected. If you are reading this, you have probably faced a recent rejection of your grant application. When a grant application gets rejected by a major funder, our immediate reaction might be to give up and focus on the loss.
We hear you!
Despite the gut-wrenching news, we can use a rejected grant application as an opportunity to learn by asking for feedback from the grant funder. Approaching rejection with a learning mindset can completely change how we view grant applications in the future and increase our chances of winning one.
We know it's easier said than done, though...
Here are five tips for overcoming rejection after submitting a grant application:
Request a phone conversation with the grant funder to learn their scoring process. This information will be invaluable to any potential applications you submit in the future. It's also a sure way to help you strengthen your grant-writing application skills!
Discuss what you can do better next time, together. Debrief with your team, grant writer, program managers, and anybody else who helped develop the budget for a grant application. Brainstorm how you might use grant applications as tools and the type of language to use for potential applications. If you're not working from funder feedback, focus on the sections you felt proud of. What budgets, outcomes, or project descriptions did you prepare that you can recycle in a future grant application?
Broaden your grant search. Use credible search engines for information like ProPublica, a free 990 research tool, or Foundation Directory Online, a subscription-based service easily categorizes new funders with their giving history or grant opportunities.Be sure to also connect with the Bloom team for prospect research support! We're here to support you in all stages of your grant writing journey.
Hire a grant-writing coach. Our team at Bloom helps clients strengthen their applications to win funding in the future. This includes coaching on how to plan for grants to reduce overwhelm and how to approach the right funders to sustain and grow revenue. Complete our interest form to schedule a 60-minute consultation for an initial interest chat or grant post-mortem meeting.
Talk with funders in advance. Increase your chances of a successful grant application in the future by requesting informational interviews with funders before submitting your application. Planning ahead is key. We can help you prepare for these conversations!
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- Jacquee + Alex