Greetings from GrantLessons!
Well were has the summer gone? The leaf colors are changing, there is a crispness in the air at night, but it is still getting warm during the day here in Reno. These two lessons are short but very important to our application writing process.
Lesson #36 – Understanding the Decision
When there is a positive decision, we are always excited! Be sure to read carefully the acceptance letter to see if there are any requirements. The funder may require a grant agreement or a specific report. Be sure that the member who wrote the application receives a copy of the acceptance letter. It is important to acknowledge receipt of the grant immediately. The member writing the application should send the thank you letter. Annually, the member who wrote the application should send a justification letter to the funder documenting how the funds were used. By having the same person write the application, send the thank you letter and follow-up with the justification letter, the member is establishing a personal relationship with the funder. The funder now has a relationship with a member from the Assistance League chapter. Lastly, annually the committee should determine if they plan to write another application to the same funder for the next fiscal year. Of course if a funder gives us funding, we want to write again. A first time rejection still should be considered for writing another application the following year, especially if the writer on evaluation determines there are improvement opportunities for the next application.
None of us like getting a negative decision, but we should be just as excited! Often I hear that someone does not want to complete an application because they are afraid that they will be denied. One needs to realize by writing an application, they are getting experience at writing applications. The more applications written the better the chances are one will be accepted. Often times a funder will send a comment back such as “thank you for making an application, however, we are not able to fund your project, we appreciate the hard work you are doing in our community”. A funder rarely explains why they denied the application. One has to realize a rejection is just that a rejection to an application.
Lesson #37 – Follow-up
While this is a short lesson, it is a very important one. The acceptance or denial letter needs to be filed into Dropbox, as well as, the hard files. It will often seem like a laboriously task to complete this last element of the process, especially when it is a denial. Scanning the acceptance or denial letter, the thank you letter, and the justification letter and placing them into Dropbox and the hard files when the actions occur will help those who follow you. Next year, you may just be the one who is writing the application again. When you get many applications going simultaneously you will appreciate this attention to detail when you start or someone else starts their work next year.
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon! Sandie