Grants are very competitive. There are limited funds and many organizations with the same need. Because of this, writing a proposal properly is imperative for being chosen. When drafting a proposal, there is a lot of room for errors. Below is a list of mistakes that could prevent your grant application for being chosen.
1.) Submitted Application Late
An application is automatically disqualified if submitted after the deadline. A late submission is revealing to the foundation. It shows that the applicant did not care enough to meet the deadline. Late submissions do not look good at all on the applicants part. If an emergency comes up or you have a valid need to submit the application past the deadline, contact the foundation to make them aware of your situation.
2.) Bad Grammar
This is such an amateur mistake. There are so many candidates and organizations trying to receive the funding that even small errors become big and can rule your proposal out. Spelling errors, punctuation mistakes will all decrease your chances. Take the time to proofread your proposal to create the best finalized version. Grammarly is a great free tool that can double check your grammar.
3.) Didn’t Follow the Rules
Grant applications have rules and guidelines that need to be followed. They are not provided as a suggestion, they are a requirement. Each grant you apply for may have a different set of guidelines to follow. Make sure to carefully read all requirements before beginning to draft the proposal. If the application requires 10 pages or a certain amount of words, it is crucial to meet that demand. If you neglect to follow the rules, it will lead to your proposal getting rejected. A great way to ensure you fulfill all requirements is to make a checklist. This site provides a digital checklist to include all regulations: https://www.checkli.com.
4.) Goals Do Not Match
Foundations have specific missions and values. When creating a proposal it’s important to thoroughly understand their mission. Many applicants do not match their proposal to the foundation's values which causes their application to be rejected. Some applicants include the foundation's mission, but are too general. Remember foundations choose the application that most closely aligns with their values.
5.) Person Or Organization Is Not Ready
Foundations are receiving a high volume of applications. They are looking for specific, detailed proposals that show exactly how you will use the grant money. Many applicants write their proposal too generally. This leads the foundation to believe that the person or organization is not ready for the grant or that they don’t have a strong sense of what they will be using the grant for.
When drafting your next grant proposal, keep these errors in mind. It will not only help you create a stronger proposal, but also provide a better chance of being selected. Now that you know why grants get rejected, it’s time to draft a winning proposal.