Doing This Will Guarantee Rejection of Your Grant Application!

Preparing a grant application takes time, but there are some things you can do that will guarantee a rejection. Remember, all applications are assessed against the eligibility requirements in the relevant grant guidelines. Any application that does not meet the eligibility requirements will be ineligible. So, if your application does not pass the check for basic eligibility requirements, it won’t be read!

The most frequent reasons why funders reject proposals are:

1) You’re Not Eligible

If you apply for a grant that has strict eligibility requirements, and your organization doesn’t meet them, your application will not win funding. Sometimes, it’s tempting to think the funder might bend their eligibility requirements after they read about the great work of your organization. However, the reality is that most funders receive so many grant applications, they actively look for reasons to eliminate applications from consideration.

2) You’re Not Grant-Ready

Compiling a grant application takes time. And, you don’t want your efforts wasted due to missing documents. First, there are the basics, like a DUNS number, EIN number, or proof of your tax-exempt status. Making a plan for the grant application and writing the grant took more than five days for 40% of applicants surveyed. This is an important process that you should not rush. Budget proposals, business plans, quotes from suppliers, and proof to back up your claims — all need to be current and organized. After all, if a foundation is willing to fund your project, you can’t expect them to blindly award funds. Show facts!

3) You’re Not Following Guidelines

Each grant application has its own guidelines that you must follow. Failing to follow instructions will result in an instant rejection. Another common error is submitting a proposal made of text copied and pasted from other proposals. While some text can be taken from former applications, each grant application has different requirements as funders have different interests. If you do not tailor each proposal, your proposals can sound generic and flat. Most importantly, rejection is also frequent when the request falls outside of the funder’s giving interests.

How to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Grant

Firstly, you want to ensure you have all the necessary documents to be grant-ready, have time set aside to develop a grant proposal and find grants that match your interests. is the leading grant listing directory with more than 7,500 grants currently available from both public and private foundations and corporations, as well as government funding sources.

You could also consider hiring a professional grant writer for help with the research, development, and overall polishing of your grant application. Grant writers have experience in writing winning grant applications for every federal grant-making agency. 

If you get a rejection, think of it as an opportunity — not a reason to give up. There are steps you can immediately take to help you recover. This can even forge a relationship with the funding source moving forward.

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