Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 33

you can expect to hear whether you are awarded a grant if this information is not already specified on their website or in their guidelines. If you do this, keep your email or call very short. Don’t try to give a pitch at this time or have a long conversation. The program officer will appreciate it if your message is brief and to the point. in an application – if your submission is incomplete, some foundations might reject it without review or reject it in favor of another applicant who followed the instructions exactly. Program officers recommend their top applicants for review by their board of directors; sometimes the program officer loves your organization, but the board turns the grant down. There are lots of reasons why organizations are denied grants, many of them have very little to do with the quality of its work. It is best to apply early if you’d like to get a timely response to this request. The foundation may get hundreds of applications right at the deadline, making it next to impossible for them to get back to you right away. In fact, some foundations state in their guidelines that they will not confirm receipt and that you will only hear from them if they decide to award you a grant. When you receive a rejection letter or email, it may or may not say why you were rejected. Read the message carefully to see. If the letter states that your organization does not match the funder’s guidelines, then you should remove the foundation from your prospect list. Don’t waste time applying again to a foundation whose interests do not align with your work. Make a note on your calendar when you expect to hear back from the foundation. Then, sit back and wait. Don’t call or write the program officer or the foundation during the review period unless s/he contacts you to ask questions or get additional information. In that case, be sure to provide complete answers as promptly as possible. Too much contact can backfire: if the program officer feels that you are harassing him/her or wasting a lot of his/her time, it can affect your chances of being funded. If you hear “no” very shortly after you apply, this usually means that your application was incomplete or that your organization does not qualify for a grant because it doesn’t meet the funder’s guidelines. If the letter doesn’t include a reason why you were rejected, or the message indicates that the foundation likes your work and invites you to apply again in future, get in touch with the program officer. Write a short email or letter to thank him/her for considering your application and ask whether he/she is willing to give you some feedback on why you were rejected and how to improve your proposal for the next time. Some program officers are willing to give you advice, while others are not. It’s worth a try. But make sure your message is short, polite, and respectful. If you don’t hear back, try again, but don’t badger the program officer – some foundations receive so many applications that their staff aren’t able to handle these requests. If you do not receive a decision by the notification/grant awarded deadline, then email the program officer a short message asking about the status of your proposal. Be sure to include the name of your organization, title of the application (and application number if there is one), and the amount of the