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Reviewing Grant Proposals

Organized Grantmaking is Administratively Burdensome

To the chagrin of many proposal authors, most funders do not provide feedback to rejected grant proposals. Even those that do, provide very little feedback and it is rarely useful. Proposal authors are looking for ways to improve their work and for new opportunities. There is a tremendous opportunity to be had during the “declination” process but most funders are understandably focused on their actual grantees. Even if a foundation or grantmaker does take the time to provide detailed feedback to the grantee, the power dynamics at play can make that a very awkward conversation.

Unfunded List understands the work of both grantmakers and proposal authors. We know why many funders must choose to only accept invited proposals and we know why they cannot spend much time providing feedback. We also know that reviewing grant proposals can be a tremendous service to proposal authors at all levels of experience. 

In this training session, our founder, Dave Moss, talks about his own experiences with grant proposal review, gives an overview of how professional grantmakers approach declining grants, talks about the benefits of independently reviewing grant proposals, and gives some practical tips for being the best evaluator you can be.

Unfunded List Has Been Independently Reviewing Grant Proposals for Years

Our evaluation committee has hundreds of members from all over the world. Many are proposal authors themselves. Others are program officers at foundations, fundraising experts, and other proposal reviewers who have volunteered to provide independent, helpful, and candid feedback to any proposal author who requests it. Most of the authors who send us proposals will hear from 6 or more reviewers. We review grant proposals twice a year and we are always looking for new proposals and new grant proposal reviewers to join our committee.

Many who join our committee are experienced with proposals and philanthropy and are ready to dive right in and provide their feedback. Others are reviewing grant proposals for the first time. We believe all perspectives have value and that anyone can be a grant reviewer. Many of our evaluators who first evaluated a proposal with us have gone on to review with other programs including large foundations and government grantmaking programs.

We currently have several dozen proposals in need of review. Please consider joining us today. It is a great way to give back to the global nonprofit community while building your skills as a grant proposal reviewer. We believe that philanthropy can be more inclusive with a more diverse array of grant proposal reviewers. 


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