In August I wrote and submitted a grant proposal for one of the nonprofits I work with.
Sadly, we received what I call a "Polite Rejection" letter that stated, more or less -- Thanks for applying, there were so many great applications but yours wasn't one of them. We are happy to provide feedback at your request.
Requesting feedback was a frog for me. I wanted to know, I put a lot work into the grant proposal. I didn't want MY writing to be the reason the non profit did not get the grant. If I am to improve I need to get honest feedback on how I can do a better job.
We got the Polite Rejection Letter October 9. It took me a week, and on October 16, I sent my letter requesting their feedback. I hadn't yet heard from them.
The foundation allows, and encourages, nonprofits to send a draft proposal prior to sending in the real thing. This offer ends 2 weeks prior to grant deadlines. With their next cycle deadline being December 1, time was ticking down.
Wednesday I put on my big-girl panties and became a little more assertive in getting feedback. Not only did I send an email to the grant committee requesting feedback, I also sent the old grant proposal to be pre-read, explaining that I was not successful in previous cycle and have asked for feedback, but haven't gotten it, and could she look it over and let me know if there was something I could change.
Friday I got the reply:
Thank you for reaching out to us. We always appreciate applicants requesting feedback. Overall, the committee felt you had a strong application and it was well written. The main concern was in looking at the bid you provided as many of the activities appeared to imply that your consultant would be doing direct fundraising as oppose to educating your organization on develop your own fundraising capacity. As the goal of this program is capacity building, direct fundraising would not be an eligible expense. If you have any further questions, we are happy to talk more with you and always encourage you to take advantage of our rolling deadline and apply again.
See that? I "had a strong application and it was well written."!!!!!! We are attempting to hire a consultant and that consultant's contract (which they call a bid) had things in it the foundation won't fund.
It wasn't me!
The consultant has met with this foundation and they are happy with what he is proposing he do for us. The went over his contract/bid and he will update it, and we will resubmit!