You didn’t get the grant. Now what?
What should you do if your nonprofit organization gets declined for a foundation grant? Is it appropriate to follow up with a call to the foundation to find out why you were rejected?
I think an email is better. Many foundations have small staff and won’t respond to your call. However, I have found that many foundation program officers are very willing to explain their decision and talk to you about the project.
Send a brief email asking to set up a short phone call so that you can get clarity on what you could do to strengthen your proposal in the future. This is a great way to develop a relationship with the foundation that can lead to future grants.
It’s a great time to develop your nonprofit’s relationship with foundations. A Nonprofit Fundraising Survey reports that most nonprofit organizations were hopeful about 2011. Approximately 47 percent planned budget increases, 33 percent expected to maintain their current level of expenditures, and only 20 percent anticipated a lower budget for 2011.
And, in 2009, foundation giving made up 13% of all dollars to philanthropy. So go ahead and cultivate relationships with foundations whose mission aligns with yours. Don’t let a rejection get you down. Use the opportunity to strengthen your proposals and get funding in the future.