Having a grant application rejected is frustrating. Although there are various reasons as to why grant applications are rejected. There are two reasons that top all of them. Such as the proposed project was not the right fit or the organization did not meet the eligibility requirements. Therefore, if you want to win more federal grants. Save your application reviewers time, frustration, and money by applying to grants that fit your organization. But how do you know the best grant for you? You need to do some research and be honest about your organization’s capacity. Below are 5 questions that will help you access grant opportunities better.
- Is your organization eligible?
Of all the questions that you can ask yourself before applying for a grant, this is the easiest to answer. Plus, most funders ensure that they outline what the eligibility requirements are clearly. Thus, you need to review all of them carefully, and if there is one that you do not meet, it is best not to apply. In a case where you are unsure of a specific requirement, email or call for further clarification. However, consider the fact that some funders do not want you to contact them. Importantly, if you realize that you are not eligible and you want to try your luck, partner with an organization that is eligible and request them to be the lead applicants.
- If awarded, can you meet the funders’ requirements?
It is vital to be honest with yourself if you want to access the grant opportunities better. Asking yourself if you can meet the funders’ requirements is vital. Hence, before you apply, go through the post-award requirements carefully. Every funder has different requirements but there are common ones that you cannot miss. For instance, cash matching, a minimum number of the participants in the program, partner organization or service recipients, reports that can be monthly or annually, completion of the project at a specific time, among many others. The importance of considering all the requirements after applying is because your organization even with the extra funds may still not have the capacity to meet requirements fully. Plus, it is not wise to accept a grant then reject it or fail to meet the funders’ requirements.
- Will you work further the mission of the funder?
Every foundation has a mission. Just like you have a mission in your organization, the funders’ mission statement will be the guideline to all the decisions that are made. Therefore, ensure that you take time to review your funders’ mission statement before you apply to know what is expected of your organization in the project. Also, as you do this, ensure that you also read their history, current priorities, and values. This will help you know if the funder is aligned closely as possible to your organization’s vision, mission, and priorities.
- Does the proposed project meet the funders’ requirements?
Did you know that your organization can be eligible but the proposed project may not be right? Thus, be aware of your proposed project with what the funders’ requirements are by reviewing the project requirements on the funders’ website. If there is no clear guidance, review the funders’ priorities, mission, and previously funded projects. In this way, you will learn if your proposed project serves a demographic group that is a priority to the funder if the funder has a clear preference for new and existing programs, and if the proposed project incorporates any methodology that the funder does not support, among many other things that should tally with the proposed project you are offering to the funder.
- Is there a good chance of winning the grant?
Do you think that your organization has a chance of receiving the grant? This is a vital question to ask and consider. To access this easily, check how many grants the funder has given every year under the specific opportunity that you are applying for. The more grants awarded, the higher your chances. Also, you can consider your chance of winning by checking if you have strong partners, if your project is reasonable, and if you are the strongest candidate for the opportunity.