Saturday, September 15, 2007

Grant Writing: Getting Blamed?

September brings good news and bad news in the grant writer's world. The Feds finally make all their decisions public in anticipation of their new fiscal year, October 1.

As usual, the results for applications I've written are mixed. We're all disappointed when we get a rejection, especially when we thought it was an especially good match. So, this post on Kivi Leroux Miller's blog caught my eye. Here's an excerpt and a link --

Nonprofit Communications » Blog Archive » Why I Don’t Write Grant Applications or Direct Appeals: "1) Nonprofits blame you, the grant writer, if they don’t get the funding, even if their project is really weak or they are applying to the wrong funding source. Even a beautifully written grant application can’t turn a lousy project into a winner, nor can it convince a project officer to fund you if the project is outside her area of interest."

I don't think I've ever been blamed for a grant application not getting funded. Maybe I've been lucky, but it's always seemed such a team effort that blame hasn't entered the equation.

What's your experience? Am I just lucky?
Photo by debaird


Anonymous said...

I found another resource to add to your list! This morning a company NOZA just launched a free online database of 1,000,000 grant records. It's located at

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth,

I'm interested in this `writing` that you made mentioned. Please share to me some details and sites where i could post any piece of work that i have. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

yep I think you are lucky.. Good for you though! in my experience the hottest seat in non profits is fundraising. Somehow in my NGO they are the only type of staff to ever get fired due to 'lack of results'.

Ruth Wahtera said...

Interesting observation -- it probably reflects the difficulty (resistence?) many agencies have about defining clear process and outcome measures and targets for improvement.