This chapter will cover our strategy for turning applications around, and highlight the positives of being denied funding.
Although there are plenty of Food & Beverage grants, they are among the most competitive in the grant space. Ultimately, a program will look for applications that best match their goals.
Getting denied doesn’t mean it’s the end, or – more importantly – that you aren’t going to receive the funding you applied for. At Granted, we work hard to make sure that any time a client is denied funding, we resubmit to the program and do everything in our power to turn a “no” into a “yes.” This chapter will cover our strategy for turning applications around, and highlight the positives of being denied funding.
Due to the sustained growth of the Food & Beverage manufacturing industry, grant programs specific to this sector continue to increase in size and funding. Most programs have teams of Grants Officers sifting through each application and making decisions. Regardless of the intentions and criteria of the program, decisions are not always consistent; sometimes it just comes down to the merit an individual Grant Officer sees–or doesn’t see–in your application. For this reason, we’ve seen lots of strong applications get denied. When a denial comes through, the first thing to do is send an email to the point of contact at the program to ask for clarification. This is an excellent way to maintain a good relationship with the program and find out more about what the adjudicators are looking for. Additionally, getting the program to have another look will generate more visibility for your project and–if justified–may result in a decision reversal. Nevertheless, keeping in good spirits with the program is imperative during this process. In an attempt to be reassessed, the condition of your relationship with the program will be taken into consideration.
If the project you’ve been working hard to plan for is denied, keep your spirits high. An initial rejection from the program doesn’t always mean that you won’t be able to receive funding to execute your project. In fact, lots of Food & Beverage grant programs accept applications on a rolling basis, meaning that if your first submission is denied, you will likely have time to revamp your application to better suit the criteria of the program and then resubmit within the same funding window. Before you go back to the drawing board, we recommend that you attempt to schedule a call with a point of contact from the funding program. This will give you a chance to have an adjudicator take an in-depth look at your application and point out to you the specifics that need to be changed for it to be awarded funding. Any information collected from the program about your application after it has been denied is key to making improvements for your next submission and if used will be sure to give you the upper hand in your next adjudication process.
If you are denied on your first submission, it’s unlikely that your entire draft needs to be changed. In most cases, programs deny applications based on a few details that don’t comply with their criteria. Returning to a draft only to change these small sections is the best way to ensure you will be approved on the next submission without needing to put in the same degree of work you did on the first round.
With all this said, there is a lot that can be learned from rejection. First and foremost, if you get denied, the resources of the program remain available to you. Grant adjudicators can be reached out to and you can schedule calls with officers to give you clarity on their decision-making. This is all information that you might not receive if you were otherwise approved for funding. Just as every grant has a life cycle, it’s important to think of a rejection as an opportunity to better prepare you for your next application.
Even after reading this guidebook and doing your own research, you may be thinking that grants are not easy and begging approved is just the tip of the iceberg.