Ever wonder why that grant you applied for ended up on the funding assessor’s reject pile?
You followed all the instructions, you spent hours creating a proposal, a budget, a project
plan, you filled out that application form to the letter, even submitted it before the deadline.

So why wasn’t it successful? Here are some possible reasons:

I focused the application on my organisation’s needs instead of the funding bodies’ needs.

When you’re applying for funding, you’re not applying to boost your business, or to give your
community the infrastructure/services they need – you’re applying for funding to deliver
something that meets the needs of the funding body. The funding body has identified a gap
or some outcome they want to achieve and that is what you need to focus on.

For example, a business can’t ask for funding for a new piece of equipment because theirs
has broken down. However, if there is a grant program that has a focus on job creation and
economic development, then they can ask for funding that covers the new equipment if that
equipment will enable the business to create a new product, access a new market and by
doing so they will need to hire more staff and bring revenue into the local economy.

 I assumed the assessor would know everything about my organisation, so I didn’t brag.

The assessor does not know you – even if they have actually heard of you, they still do not
know the specific details of your past experience, qualifications etc and they cannot score
you based on what they may remember of you – they can only score you for what you write
in your application. Sell yourself. Now is NOT the time to be modest – you need to brag like
you’ve never bragged before!

You need to tell them why you are the best person to do this project. Show off that edge that
you have over your competitors, the one that will make funding your project a roaring
success for the funding body (or the Minister) to gloat over in the press.

I wrote what I thought they wanted to hear.

Here’s a radical thought – maybe they asked the questions that they wanted to hear the
answers to! So all you really needed to do was answer the questions they asked in clear,
concise sentences that address each key point and provide evidence to back up your
response. Assessors score your application against the criteria set out in the guidelines and
application form. If you don’t address those criteria, your application is likely to end up as a
virtual basketball to dunk in the bin. Read the guidelines, read the application form, tick off
the key points in the question as you answer them, make sure you have everything they ask
for in terms of supporting documents.

One last tip for you… if you need grant funding but can’t afford to pay a grant writer, why not
try our GIY Grant It Yourself program? Our GIY course was designed especially for you – for
sporting clubs, not-for-profits, small businesses, and community organisations who need
grant funding to do their amazing work but don’t have thousands of dollars to pay someone
to write their grant. The program is step-by-step help to take way the overwhelm and
uncertainty of where to start and how to write a quality grant application.