Pod-Cast: Red Flags
Submitting a grant proposal is a thrilling and terrifying experience. The fear of rejection and the giddy anticipation of securing the grant co-exist throughout the process. One way grant proposals are rejected is because of small, common and easy to avoid mistakes, also known as “red flags.”
The Foundation Center is the worldwide leading source of philanthropy and philanthropic organization information. The Foundation Center interviewed three executives in the philanthropic sphere to identify top “red flags” that negatively affect the applicant in the grant proposal review.
Richard Brown, Vice President of Philanthropy – American Express
- Incorrectly addressed proposal. This indicates that an organization isn’t paying attention to detail and could be sending proposals in mass.
- It’s important to take the time and tailor each proposal to specific organizations and programs.
Amy Barger, Senior Program Officer – Tiger Foundation
- Finances. If an organization finances are not in order, the foundation will need further clarification.
John Colborn, Vice President of Operations – Ford Foundation
- Budget. If a grantee’s budget does not match up with the activities stated in the proposal
- Outcomes. If an organization has not clearly stated and outlined the expected outcomes of a project.
- Staffing. If there is a lack of clarity to the staffing and organizational capacity of the grantee to support the proposed program.
It is important, when submitting a grant for review, to consider the big picture, but also always take into account the small details. When composing your grant proposal remember the above common mistakes, or “red flags.” Carefully explaining details, finances, budgets and outcomes will ensure one doesn’t fall into the pitfalls of avoidable mistakes.