Going back to failures.

I’ve been thinking about repeat applications to funders.

So far, at eQuality Time, we’ve either been funded on our first go, or never.  There is no case were we have changed the applications and been funded.

This is surprising.  I would expect that, in most cases, you would fail the first time, work out what went wrong, and then get it right the second time.

Another thing is surprising: how much work the resubmission is.  I always think it will be a few minutes of copy and paste.  Instead, it’s hours of completely changing the application from the very beginning – because in the six months between the first go and the second, lots of things have changed:


  • We’ve been growing as a charity, and have more interesting things to add.
  • I’ve been getting better at working out what a funder is asking for in the questions.
  • We’ve been working on the project, and we’ve already done some of the things we’ve asked for money for, or found that they should not be done.

The second reason is the main one.

I’m very slowly working out what funders want, but I still think I’m missing some big parts in how they think.  Nothing appears easy in the way applications are set out.    If anything, my repeat applications are showing me both how far I’ve come (by seeing the things that need to change) and how for I’ve got left to go (by getting turned down the second time).

All this is a slow way of saying that I’ve just made eQuality Time’s third application to the arts council for money to write a new novel. It’s a completely changed application: I’ve dropped all the parts that turn out to only be important to me (transparency, and the technology) until it was completely about making publishing more diverse.

In the end, I’m putting our ‘get it right first time or never’ problem down as a mystery half-solved.  I look forward to sharing the answer with you all.

Leave a Reply