Grant applications have many applicants, and not all of them win. Thus, if you are among those that got their application rejected, even after going through everything to on-time submission, it is natural to wonder what could have happened or what went wrong with your grant application. If it was your first grant proposal, you are not alone, for most people face rejection on their first attempt too. So, do not regard this initial rejection as a sign you do not have what it takes to win US financial aid funding. Instead, take the rejection as an opportunity to learn more and be better by perfecting your future grant proposal application. Below are things to do after a grant rejection.
Listen to feedback
The first thing to do after a rejection is to call the foundation. In this way, you get feedback and learn why your application was on the rejection list, and you can write a better proposal in the future. Even though the answer you will get may not be satisfactory, you may get specific feedback. The feedback may show a general error in the budget, proposal, collaboration requirements, leadership, or a feature you were unaware of. Another plus for calling the funder is to enquire if you can resubmit your application for the next cycle and any advice they can give to be better next time. In this way, you can map out your application, and the funder learns you are interested in working with them.
Review the requirements
After receiving a rejection for your grant application, do not give up easily. It is best to look back to the organization’s program priority areas and guidelines. Through doing this, you will get to understand more of why you did not get the grant. Check whether the program was a good fit for your needs. If it was the right grant for you and if you took enough time to apply for the grant or rushed to finish and meet the deadline. Sometimes you will realize the issue, and you know what to do better in your next grant application. For instance, you may notice that the funders’ interests and your program’s objectives were not the best matches. This is possible if you take the time to compare the funders’ guidelines to your proposal.
Develop a relationship with your contact
Before you start your grant writing process, it is vital to have a relationship with the foundation members, and this can be through your contact. Therefore, even if they do not offer any informal review for the next application, you can ask your contact to advise you further if you can get back to them for advice in the future. Most likely, your contact is a program officer, and knows the information of the specific program you wish to apply to, how the organization works on the inside, and the sector you are in, in general. If you are lucky to have such a contact person and is willing to help and advise you. The knowledge you get from them will prove invaluable to you.
Not only is there power in numbers, but knowledge too. Thus, find a community of other educators who have applied or applying for grants. Read their accounts and check whether you can find any similarities or advice they offer concerning grant writing, the application, after submission, and any other relevant information. Also, you can contact one of them to ask for guidance or foster a discussion. Also, you can go through blogs and articles that write about different grants, such as grant applications for beginners, government grants, private grants, and you will learn a lot on the same.
Kindness, in this case, is in two ways. One form is when calling the funding organization or foundation. Two, be kind to yourself and do not beat yourself up for not getting the grant award. As you speak to the funding foundation, offer your gratitude to them for their time and open and honest feedback. In this way, you create positive contact that pays off in the future, and they will remember your positive words. More importantly, apply again.