I usually don’t apply for foundation money for the same reasons I don’t apply for intramural funding:
1. Small budgets (relative to the NIH).
2. Short period of funding.
3. Funding decisions dominated by politics (I have a great example of this in a peer review sheet that I show to my students as an example of how certain fields are dominated by dogma).
Of course the above three points don’t apply to all foundation money, I am just generalizing. When I do apply for foundation money, it is usually on a whim and somewhat hastily thrown together. I have a R01 that didn’t get funded on A1, and I am trying to figure out what to do with this project. I seriously can’t think of how to repackage it so it can go back to the NIH. Maybe someone who is done this successfully can comment below. Creative googling led me to a small foundation that I have never heard of which supposedly had rolling receipt and review of grants relevant to my orphaned R01. I submitted the grant, and in my normal OCD manner I went to the site the next day to log in and check the whole package again to make sure I didn’t screw anything up. Low and behold, all of the sudden there are posted receipt and review dates! This is the day after I submitted the grant (I know it wasn’t there before because I have the printout of the website text). Long story short, the contact person said my grant will not be reviewed until September and I will be informed of the decision by “U.S. Post”. This is just another reminder why I do not apply for foundation money.