Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 34

What not to do A program officer for a small grantmaker receives an email followed by an angry telephone call from a rejected grant applicant. The program officer had visited this group a few months earlier, liked its programs, and invited them to apply for a grant. Unfortunately, her grant budget was cut, and she could not fund all the groups she had hoped to support. This applicant’s proposal didn’t make the cut, but the program officer hoped to fund the group in the future. The executive director of the NGO calls the program officer and yells at her, saying it was a big mistake not to fund her group, that their work was really important, and the foundation was wrong to reject it. The program officer is so upset by this unprofessional display that she vows never to consider this group for funding again. What is the moral of the story? It’s great to be passionate about your cause and your organization, but getting angry with a prospective funder will backfire on you. No foundation is required to fund you – you are not entitled to a grant. If you behave unprofessionally, you can destroy your chances of future funding and your reputation in the field. It is better to keep your anger to yourself and move on. Look for other opportunities and work on improving your proposal for the next time. 31