When a no is even better than a yes

As we continue to grow, we are always on the look out for new funding avenues.  One led us to apply for a grant with a rather large foundation.  While we were hopeful that our request would be granted, but knew the odds were against us.  A few weeks ago we were informed, that in fact, we would not be awarded any money.

For the last nine months, we have been learning how to successfully raise funds with the help of Sandy Rees at Get Fully Funded.  Her willingness to share her knowledge and insight has been invaluable.  One tidbit that she recently shared with us was the fact that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask grantors why an application was denied.  So, we contacted the foundation and asked to speak with someone to discuss how we could improve our next application.

To the foundation’s credit, they got us in contact with one of the members of the review board. She spent half an hour explaining candidly why we were not awarded a grant.  While one reason for not winning the grant was our size, the reviewer told us not to be discouraged.  She went on to say that we are doing great work with the resources that we have and that she understands that we are in a catch 22.  We can’t get bigger without funding and we can’t get funding until we are bigger.  Here is the real kicker, though.  She told us that she would help us when we apply for other grants and even went as far as to tell us some angles that we should be using to set us apart from other applicants.

We now have a great resource in the grant world.  One that we would have never made contact with if we weren’t told no.