• Caroline Savage

Writing Tips: It’s okay to say no?


Writing grants and tenders is a labour-intensive and costly activity. The commitment to gather a team, develop a project and budget, commit resources to write, edit, review and submit an application has a significant impact on your staff and organisation. With so many applicants applying to the same pool of funding, it is also uncertain as to whether your work will result in a successful award of funding/contract.

Assessing the decision to proceed to apply is one of the toughest decisions you will make. The draw of the potential of the application/tender can place you in a bias to ‘give it a go anyway’. Whilst this decision is not without its merits, the decision to proceed to an application does deserve careful consideration.

  • Talk to the funder in the case of a grant or the issuing organisation in the case of a tender before the grant round/tender is issued to gauge their hopes and aspirations for the future activity.

  • Review their previous awarded rounds/awards to determine if there is a pattern to the organisations who win awards and contracts.

  • Compare your organisation to the successful organisations.

  • Assess your capacity to and actions required to be a competitive applicant in the process.

  • Determine whether staff have the capacity to develop, plan and write the application.

  • Cost out the impact of the application and the return on your investment.

It is okay to say no. By making an assessment as to whether the grant or tender is for you will only strengthen your position in the future and highlight the opportunities and strengths you can develop to position your organisation towards a competitive application in the next round.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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