(The following blog post was written by Dr. Bev Browning, Vice President of Grants Professional Services for eCivis and the author of more than 40 grant-related publications.) “I just don’t have time to write this grant application!” How often have you heard yourself saying this to a co-worker or your supervisor? You likely have one job title but multiple job responsibilities. Suddenly having to assume grant writing duties means that your boss has activated the “and other duties as assigned” language in your job description. Does this sound familiar?
(The following blog post, part 2 of "Handling a Grant Rejection," was written by Dr. Bev Browning, Vice President of Grants Professional Services for eCivis and the author of more than 40 grant-related publications.) The best way to handle a rejection letter is with your head up, and with a game plan for getting the funding through another source. Here are some more tips on rebounding from rejection.
(The following blog post, part 1 of 2 on "Handling a Grant Rejection," was written by Dr. Bev Browning, Vice President of Grants Professional Services for eCivis and the author of more than 40 grant-related publications. Other articles by Dr. Browning can be found in eCivis' subscription-based Grants Network: KnowledgeBase.) As a grant writer, getting a rejection letter from a funding source can be a big letdown. Besides coping with your own personal disappointment, you also have to face your superiors, peers, and others in the community who rallied to your cause and helped you put the grant proposal together. The best way to handle a rejection letter is with your head up, hopes high, and a game plan for getting the funding through another source.
If you’re a fire department in search of grant funding, the first place you likely turn toward is FEMA grant opportunities—namely the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) general program and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) program, and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) opportunity. These are proper choices, of course, as these are multimillion-dollar programs whose awards provide a major boon to the grant winners. But there are several other grant opportunities your department might want to look into, including other public and even foundation sources, especially if you have small volunteer fire departments under your wing. Here are some funding opportunities to get the ideas rolling:
Summer's nearly over, and our Grants Network: Research database has plenty of grants whose due dates are fast approaching in the fall. We thought we'd highlight a few of the grants whose applications are due in October and November (with one exception).
I was reading an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy the other day about the main reasons that grant makers reject grant proposals, and it inspired me to reach out to some major foundations to get the word from the funders themselves. The answers bear repeating: Sources agree that oftentimes a proposal is denied funding not “because there was something ‘wrong’ with the proposal that if fixed would then result in a grant… but because: a) the foundation’s grant budget was insufficient, b) the program or purpose wasn’t a priority, or c) the organization did not demonstrate the capacity to carry out the proposal” (Council of Michigan Foundations, Information for Seeking Foundation and Corporate Grants). This source was recommended to me by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
In this way, project alignment and capacity make up the foundation (forgive the pun) upon which the argument for funding is based. To pick an easy metaphor, take job searching: For instance, you could have the "perfect résumé"—but it isn't perfect if you’re applying for the wrong job. If you’re not the right fit for the company, you’re not getting a call back. It doesn’t matter if you have superb qualifications, grammar, and the premium glossy paper from OfficeMax.
eCivis' Grants Network: Research database includes myriad federal, state, and foundation grant opportunities for state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, school districts, and institutions of higher education. The purpose of this blog post is to notify database users that we are highlighting specific opportunities relevant to individuals and for-profit institutions in our Grants News section.