Grantee Selection: Recruitment & Application

Selecting individuals can be difficult logistically, for two reasons.

  1. Grants- to-individuals programs often attract large numbers of applicants, depending on the nature of the grant, the criteria, and the difficulty of the application. This appears to be especially true of scholarships and disaster relief grants, which normally have broad appeal and eligibility criteria.
  2. Individual applicants may lack expertise, technology, money, and capacity to handle long applications.
  • Consider applicants’ time, logistical, and other limitations. Applicants may have limits on their schedules or capacity that affect the process. For example, if awarding scholarships, consider when during the academic year grantees will need scholarship money and when they will have free time to apply for it. Disaster survivors may lack a fixed address, and some may have lost their identification.
  • Publicize the grant, consistent with the foundation’s capacity. Publicize to the extent that the foundation can handle the number of applicants that doing so will attract. Several people cautioned against recruiting applicants directly because of the danger of raising expectations.
  • Weigh the advantages of an open application process versus nominations. The type of application process — open, or by nomination — has a bearing on the number and character of applicants. One arts funder said, “Everyone thinks we’re nuts to do an open submission because it attracts so many applications, but one reason we have so many exciting artists is that we have that open application.”

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Grants to Individuals.