Lessons Learned from Grant Application Denials

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” – Bo Bennett

What lessons can we as grant professionals learn from grant application denials beyond developing a thicker skin? How can we help our organization and/or client move forward with their grant seeking strategy without feeling devastated by a denial? These are the tough questions that we tackled this week in #grantchat. Within the safe space of our #grantchat community, some wonderful dialogue was had and supportive advice was shared to help those who are newer to the field.

One of the biggest, ben there done that, sort of lessons discussed was about how to handle the rejection and any follow-up communication with the grant maker funding had been requested from. Of course we are all hurt and professionally disappointed. We need to commiserate with our colleagues and lick our wounds for a few minutes, but then we need to think about how to move  forward. We asked the #grantchat community how they handle the rejection with the funder. Here is some great follow-up advice from experienced grant professionals:

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Regardless of how you handle your communication and relationship development efforts with a grant maker after a denial, your colleagues and/or client may still *feel* devastated by the denial. Everyone has put so much energy into the proposal development – from the budget to the work plan to the collaborative partner letters. The questions of “Now what? How will we ever launch this project?” may loom large. Here are some great suggestions from experienced grant professionals about how to avoid feeling devastated by grant application denials:

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Still smarting after a recent rejection? Here is some final advice from our #grantchat community to help you work through grant application denials and keep your chin up as you head into the next grant application:

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Do you have a blog post about how to handle grant application denials? Or other advice and tips how to strengthen your proposals as a way to avoid denials? We would love to hear! Please share your thoughts and/or links in the comment section of the website or with us via social media using the #grantchat hashtag.


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