Common Reasons that We Decline an Application
We truly honor the time and effort it takes to complete an application for funding. We know that each person who applies has a vision and a dream with what they will do to make their community and the world a better place. We receive 3-4 applications for every grant we make, which is why we need to decline applications which do not fit our guidelines. These are some of the most common reasons we decline applications and hope it helps you as you apply for a grant with us!
The project is too big or established.
We prioritize funding startup projects that have been operating for under a year and are all volunteer run. We do not fund nonprofit or other organizations or institutions with paid staff or established funding sources.
The application was not filled out correctly.
We only accept applications that were completed using the instructions that we provide in the application. We do not accept facebook applications, applications cut and pasted into emails, faxes or snail mail applications. We do not consider applications that do not answer our application questions.
The project or budget focuses on one-time activities as opposed to creating a long term plan.
We look to fund activities that will help a project grow, stabilize and have long term impact. We often turn down projects such as one time retreats or trainings; training fees, consumable items such as food, art supplies and other things that are used once and only have impact at the time it was used. However, we are open to considering projects that show how their one-time activity will seed something bigger.
The project impact is too limited.
We look to fund projects that impact as many beings as possible. We do not fund projects that only impact one person, one family or one small group or class.
The marketing/distribution plan is too limited.
In the case of a media project (book, video, app., etc.), we see a lot of great ideas! To make your idea stand out, we like to see a realistic strategy for how you will ensure other people use and see your media project. For example, if you want to make a short video about climate change, please give us an idea of how you will make sure others see your video. Do you have specific people/organizations/partners who will distribute and promote it?
The project’s social change benefit is not well-articulated.
We are a mission-driven nonprofit organization and are committed to making sure that there is clear social change benefit in every project we fund. Please make sure that you clearly and – as specifically as possible- spell out the target audience for your project and how they will benefit as a result of your project.
The project budget is too big.
Even if you have raised very little to date, your project budget may be too large for us to feel like we are really making a difference. We are looking to be a seed funder for projects where $1,000 will really get something off the ground. If $1,000 is really just a drop in the bucket, we probably won’t fund the project.
Additionally, if your project requires more than $1K to be successful, and you have no plan for raising the amount you need, we may be concerned that our donation will not be used effectively.
We don’t fund people’s time.
We cannot fund your time. We do not fund people to carry out day to day project activities. We prefer to fund projects that show they have a lot of volunteer labor and support. In some cases, we will fund a very strategic and well thought out plan for paying someone for their help (such as a videographer, publicist, etc.) but it has to be very specific and geared towards the project’s stability and growth.
You requested funding for computer/video equipment that isn’t well enough justified.
We rarely fund ipads, tablets, computers or video equipment unless those items are being used to build overarching project infrastructure. We don’t fund items that only benefit one person (such as a tablet that is used solely by one or two students to do their homework) or where there are less expensive alternatives (like borrowing or renting the item) in order to achieve the project goals.
Your application lacks detail.
Sometimes we get applications that lack the detail for us to understand exactly what you are trying to do and how it will get done. What are you specifically doing? Are you charging for it? How will proceeds get used? What specifically will you spend the grant funds on?
You applied for the wrong grant type.
If your project is a for-profit, income generating endeavor, you likely should apply for a pay it forward loan instead of a straight grant. See our information on pay it forward loans.
You did not show us how your project would be sustainable
A question we often ask during review is: “what will happen once the grant funds run out?”. If you do not have a plan to sustain your project, or have not made that plan clear in your application, then we will likely decline your application.
Your project does not clearly align with our values of compassion consciousness.
We are a vegan organization that values ALL life. We look for projects that understand the intersections between human rights, social justice, animal welfare, environmental sustainability and the evolution of the human spirit. Sometimes we decline good projects because they focus on one single outcome and don’t reflect the inter-relatedness of these issues.
If we don’t approve and fund your application- we encourage you to consider these reasons, re-read our guidelines and try again!