While You Wait For An Answer

Posted on by Prapti

You’ve done your research, finished a business plan and completed at least one grant application and

have sent it off. Now for the really difficult part – waiting to find out if your project proposal has been

accepted. What steps can you take to make the waiting easier and perhaps help the application along

the way?

The first obvious thing to do is make a note of how long it will take to hear from the granting

organization. This information should be in the original grant offer. It can take anywhere from just a few

weeks to several months to get any kind of response from the granting body. If you have submitted an

application to the government, the Grants.gov website allows you to track the progress of your


Once the application is submitted, you should make a point of contacting them to ensure that it has

been received and to confirm that you have not missed any required information. If anything is missing

from your submission, it will not be considered. Before you contact them however, it is a good idea to

go over the original grant announcement in case it specifically states not to contact them prior to a

specific date. In some cases the granting organization may contact you to clarify certain points within

your proposal. For this reason it is extremely important that you have a copy of your application along

with any supporting documentation that was included. If all your paperwork is organized and readily

available, it will make it easy to send any further information they make require.

If your grant submission was made through Grants.gov there are specific things that will automatically

take place once your submission is complete and has been received. You will first be directed to a

confirmation screen and between one and four emails will follow providing you with a submission

receipt (which will include a Track My Application Link), a submission validation (or rejection due to

errors), agency retrieval information and in some cases, an agency tracking number. A detailed package

explaining how to track your application and what to do once your submission is complete can be found

at the Grants.gov site at: http://www.grants.gov/assets/TrackingYourApplicationPackage.pdf

To increase the odds of receiving a grant one should submit as many grant applications that are related

to your organization as possible. If applying for a government grant, the Grants.gov site makes the  33

process of multiple applications easier by providing applicants with one standard application form which

can be used for all government grants. Keep in mind that the project information that goes along with

the application may have to be revised depending on the specifics of each grant opportunity. Many

government grant announcements will also provide a link to other related grant opportunities.

If you have submitted a grant application package to a private foundation or other charitable

organization, their website will explain their own follow‐up procedures. Although it is recommended

that you do follow up after each submission, it is equally important to do so only in the exact manner

that they have specified. In the event that your application does not result in a grant, you should view

this as an opportunity to gain as much information as possible as to why you were not and use this

knowledge in subsequent submissions. If asked, some organizations will actually send you a copy of the

written evaluation of your proposal which would be an invaluable tool to be used in future submissions.

You should also find out if the grantor will permit you to make changes to your original application and

re‐send it when the next grant deadline is announced. If this is possible you may still be able to get the

grant down the road.

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