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Why do good companies lose grant proposals?

asked 2014-09-02 17:44:14 -0700

Marie gravatar image

I have a friend who spent a whole year just trying to get grants for his nonprofit company. He never won a single one even though his organization does a lot of good work. Why do good companies lose grant proposals?

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answered 2014-09-02 17:45:10 -0700

fgcguy gravatar image

Grants are a very competitive business – even grant-makers admit that they have to turn down many very worthwhile causes and requests. Though there is a lot of money awarded in grants each year, there still is a set amount of funds available. So don't judge your ability to win a grant by how important your cause is. Then consider these two common errors grant seekers make:

  1. The biggest reason why grant proposals fail is that the applicant was not qualified in the first place, so to begin with make sure you read the grant package thoroughly and be absolutely certain that you are eligible before you spend time on your application.
  2. While you are carefully studying the grant package, determine the reason why the funder is offering grants: what are their special interests? What motivates them? As John McGee points out in Getting Grants, when he lost grant bids it was because he did not match his request carefully enough with the grant makers' specific interests and goals.
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