Ten More Grant Don'ts
1. Don’t expect funders to have a response to your grant application immediately. Funders must review the grant for completeness, send it to committee, and have the board vote on it. Many funders have scheduled times for making decisions. Plan your request several months in advance of your need. Very few funders make “emergency” grants outside of their usual funding cycles. 2. Don’t lobby board or committee members of the funder unless you have a close, personal relationship, and/or you know that lobbying is permitted.
3. Don’t rush the funder through a site visit or not have the appropriate staff available for the visit. You must be prepared for the site visit with the grant file and back-up documentation available. You should understand your agency’s budget and the grant’s budget.
4. Don’t ignore a letter reminding you that an evaluation of a funded project is due, and then ignore the evaluation format. You risk never receiving funding for your agency if that happens.
5. Don’t not send a thank-you letter to the funder. Funders do not need a plaque for their walls or other expensive acknowledgements. But they need a thank-you letter.
6. Don’t depart from your mission just to get a grant. It rarely works.
7. Don’t send too much information such as videotapes or newspaper articles. Read the guidelines for what is allowed as attachments.
8. Don’t argue with the funder if your proposal doesn’t get funded. Yes, there are people who do this!
9. Don’t ask for an extension beyond the deadline.
10. Don’t assume all funders act and think alike. Each is different.
Recent grants received by our clients include:
$65,000 for a medical and dental clinic for low-income, uninsured families - for a larger facility to serve more patients
$50,000 for a clinic for children from low-income families - for expansion to a second clinic
$25,000 for a private school - for a program that helps at-risk youth who have dropped out of traditional high schools strengthen their reading skills and graduate from high school
$25,000 for a faith-based program providing services to children - for a program that provides Christian focused counseling services for low-income children and families
$25,000 for an organization providing mental health services - for mental health services for homeless and very low-income persons
$20,000 for a domestic violence agency - for general operating expenses
Murray Covens, Principal