Friday, February 25, 2011

Top Ten Reasons Why Your Grant Wasn’t Funded: Part I

There are lots of possible reasons why a grant isn’t funded. Obvious ones are things like missing the deadline (I want no scuses Lucy), the funder ran out of money (recessions hit everyone), the dog ate your application (bad dog), etc. There are also subtle reasons and here are ten I’ve taken from my experience scoring grants and reviewing reader comments.

1. Your grant was reviewed by somebody from another state who has a grudge against your state. (Personally, I would never fund anything for Hawaii, they’re blessed with 360 degrees of beaches and 365 days of sun, what else do they need? Joking, joking, stop throwing coconuts.)

2. Your grant was reviewed by someone with a strong bias in favor of a particular methodology – and you didn’t use it in your program design. (In the old days you could get caught in the old Apple-PC debate!)

3. Your grant was reviewed by someone unfamiliar with the field you’re writing for – and you did not explain your program adequately for them to understand it. (The project director for agriculture in northern Iowa might be called in to read early childhood education grants.)

4. Your grant was the last to be reviewed by a frustrated triad of fractious – and unemployed – PhD’s competing to prove they’re qualified to serve on your dissertation committee. (Mail order PhD’s are particularly fractious and tend to stuff their computer bags with continental breakfast snails and Splenda® packets)

5. Your grant lacked the detail necessary to tie all the parts together – things like numbering the tables, figures, and graphics then providing a table for these elements. (Or you used too much of all of these things and did not explain your program in enough detail in narrative.)

Five more later...
Posts like this one:
Ten Quick and Easy Ways to Make Any Grant Application Better
Getting Past the What to the How

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Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.