How Should You Respond to a Rejected Grant Proposal?

Once a proposal for grant funding has been rejected, the grant writer should analyze whether the proposal met all the funding requirements before asking for feedback from the funding organization. The rejected proposal should be reviewed by a team to identify and correct its weaknesses.

After the review process is completed, the revised proposal can be used to apply for funding from other sources. In the case of a private foundation, the review team should contact the funding organization to clarify the reasons for rejection. For a public funder, an organization should write a letter citing the Freedom of Information Act, requesting all the reviewers' comments on the proposal, including the scoring of the proposal. For Federal and State grant rejections, an applicant should contact the respective legislator and ask for an investigation. The legislator's intervention can influence the funding of an applicant's future grant proposal positively.

To receive grants from funders who typically reject initial proposals, an applicant should keep applying as frequently as allowed. A writer should start rewriting a rejected proposal early in order to meet future deadlines for submitting the updated proposal. An applicant should record the progress of all grant applications to determine the success of each proposal. A grant proposal must be submitted on or before the submission date.