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 don't ignore the evaluation format.  You risk never receiving funding for your agency if these things happen.

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.

This is a re-post of a blog from January 22, 2013.

If you think this blog was helpful, please let us know!

Recent grants received by our clients include:

$27,500 (3 grants) for an agency that distributes food and clothing to homeless and low-income persons through an in-house pantry and a network of community partners - for food distribution

$22,000 (3 grants) for an organization that provides wishes for children terminally ill with cancer - for general operating expenses

$15,000 for an agency that meets the critical needs of homeless children - for general operating expenses

$15,000 for an agency that provides furniture for families transitioning out of homelessness - for general operating expenses

Murray Covens, Principal


North Texas Nonprofit Resources