There is a finite amount of money in a foundation and always more people asking for money than there is to give.
Many grant writers and nonprofit people do not fully realize when a nonprofit gets money, someone else does not. Foundation members must determine from the stack of grant applications which are the best use of their money and people are left off the list.
When writing a grant request, a grant writer and nonprofit should be honest with what they provide. I have known nonprofits and grant writers who “stretch the truth” to give them a better chance of approval. I can only ask grant writers not to stretch things.
When I write a grant request, I keep in my mind any money received means less or none for someone else. In the application, I show how the nonprofit will benefit from any money received and let the foundation members decide.
When I work with nonprofits, I always look first at their dedication to the mission. Such as paid staff willing to put in extra time and help people. They do things outside their job description if it means helping someone else.
Grant funding is basically free money. It does not have to be paid back. All a nonprofit has to do is report on what they spent the money on. This puts a foundation and its members in a special place of charity.
I try to be realistic, though positive, in a grant application. Like all grant writers, I know how it is to be rejected. I have faith that the nonprofits receiving money had a more pressing need.