Grant Application Tips: What to Avoid

Why Grant Proposals Are Approved Or Denied

The reasons why grant proposals are approved or denied can seem mind-boggling. Many grant applicants submit their applications with high hopes only to have these dreams quickly shattered. While grant refusals are at times unavoidable, there are often subtle mistakes that when corrected can get you the money you need. Here are some of the most common reasons you may get a No.

  • Application Quality– Leaving out essential information, applying to a grant program that does not match your goals, and unrealistic plans and objectives, are all ways of decreasing your chances.
  • Failure to Follow Agency Guidelines– Omission of critical information requested in the application guidelines, can and will eliminate your application from consideration. Thus make sure to thoroughly read and re-read the guidelines and ensure they are included in your proposal.
  • Limited Funds– Perhaps your application has been approved to receive a grant but for whatever organizational reasons there turns out to be no more funding available, so your recommended grant is cut.
  • Geographic Considerations– Sometimes grants are awarded strategically to different geographic regions. For example, some grant programs will balance their giving to rural and urban areas, leaving your specific region with only one available grant and perhaps a variety of worthy causes.
  • Healthy Competition– Not all agencies are a bottomless pit of funds. Many private grant sources are forced to choose between several worthy candidates when they only have enough funds to give to one cause. Applying for federal grants the money is slightly more plentiful and as such there tends to be less competition and increased approval rate.

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