Giving Compass’ Take:
• Vu Le tackles the serious issue of foundations wasting nonprofits’ time with bad grant proposal questions in his signature humorous manner.
• Is your foundation asking the right questions? Could your grant proposal structure be streamlined?
• Read more honest answers on grant proposals.
What is the mission of your organization? This is a renewal grant. It’s the third year you have supported us. You know what our mission is, along with our programs, outcomes, challenges, etc., because we’ve been in constant communication. Instead of writing an entire proposal again as if you’ve never heard of us, how about I just tell you what’s new since last year? Demands for our services has doubled. Please send double the amount of money you normally send.
Please explain how you align with the foundation’s priorities: You told me the foundation’s priorities are set by its trustees. They’re very nice and smart people, but they are not exactly from the communities they’re trying to serve. So are they really the right people to determine what’s best for low-income communities of color? How about you send money so we can continue our work and I won’t bring this up for a while?
What is your plan for growth? How will you scale this program? We have no intentions of scaling this program. In fact, we don’t even know what scaling actually means. Like a lot of buzzwords, we just say it when you’re around to sound intelligent. The program is effective precisely because it is small and geographically contained to a community that we are deeply rooted in. Please send money so we can keep this small, effective program going.
Read the full article about grant proposals by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Philanthropy, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Philanthropy.
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