Last but not least, keep up with all contacts made and next steps for each foundation. When you get funding results, get feedback from your contact whether you are accepted or rejected.
If rejected, don’t worry.
Many grantmakers are happy to provide some feedback. Sometimes the fact that your organization didn’t receive funding has nothing to do with you. Maybe the grantmaker has a different priority in mind or is more limited in available funds that in the past. Sometimes grantmakers will tell you what you can do to improve your grant request for next time.
Take note if you get that kind of information. Then polish your grant request up and submit it again before that organization’s next deadline.
If accepted, celebrate!
Send a thank you note (a handwritten one is a nice touch) immediately and find out when they’ll want a report and what information they’ll want to know and add it to your calendar. Identify someone else who could write a note to the foundation on your organization’s behalf. Did you receive funds to give an after school community center sports equipment? Have the basketball team captain write a short thank you note and include a picture of the team. Did the funds make it possible to keep a food pantry going another six months? Find a family that has recently benefited from its services and have them write a note to the funder.
In short, you appreciate them, and so do your clients. The grantmaker probably knows that, but showing and telling them what their funds made possible will go a long way.
Good luck! The key to a winning grant writing campaign is staying ahead of the curve and being organized, keeping accurate records of your processes. And, let us know how this process works for you and what your promising practices are for staying organized during a grant writing campaign.