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Comments from Hunter Corbin, President, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, from The Grantseeker's Guide to Winning Proposals:
At the Hyde and Watson Foundation, we look at every grant as a separate entity. In other words, if an organization we have previously funded submits a new proposal, we will not go back and look at their previous grant file. Each grant request stands on its own with the materials an organization sends us. We do have guidelines posted on our web site, but when people call and ask us what they should send in, we tell them it's completely up to them. It doesn't matter to us whether they send in an initial one-page letter or a full grant application. However, we do advise organizations that we will make an initial decision on the grant based on what they first send us. Because of this, in general, it is better to submit a full grant application, which this organization has done. Any organization whose proposal is considered at the board grants committee must submit a full grant application.
Everything we expect to find in a proposal was here. It met our guidelines, which is one of the most important criteria for receiving a grant from us. It was very well written and to the point. Further, all the attachments we needed were included, making it easier for us to come to a decision. Although the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center was not a normal grantee for us (ordinarily we would not fund a hospital in New York City), we were drawn to the pediatric aspect. Indeed, the projected benefit for the children was the strongest part of this proposal. This came across very clearly in their compelling statement of need. Since we rarely conduct a site visit, it's really what the organization writes that wins us over. This is a well-written letter, and they've done a nice job.