The Rationale for Your Decision: Giving Feedback

One grantmaker reported she has simply learned over time “to be more confident in expressing my judgments to people so that I don’t get into long discussions or pseudo-arguments.” But for another grantmaker, engaging in dialogue with grantseekers “is why I am here.” He sees it as part of his job to help grant seekers turn an unpromising proposal into a better one. The key for both, however, is that they understand the dynamics of giving a "Policy No" and are prepared for it.

"Personal-Judgment No's" pose the trickiest challenges. Reflecting on a case where the “program really fit, but the person was problematic,” one grantmaker recalled struggling with whether and how to offer feedback on a decline he was making after a long period of back-and-forth with the grantseeker.

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 Saying Yes/Saying No to Applicants.