Thursday, March 6, 2008

Opportunity All Around

This is a really interesting and different year for us.

On the one hand, we keep hearing terrible news of doom and gloom about the economy. Organizational budgets are being cut like crazy and people are nervous. Some are downright scared. In California, schools are looking at budget cuts amounting to over $500 million. That's a lot of books, pencils, and teachers. I heard on the news yesterday that there may be 100,000 Californian teachers laid off over the next couple of years. Wow! I know a lot of teachers, and that number staggers me.

On the other hand, it spite of this, we are having one of our busiest grant writing seasons in years. There are so many opportunities with deadlines coming so close together that we can't take advantage of them all. It's a real shame. In addition, we're seeing clients turn down opportunities that are perfect for them because they are either a) overwhelmed and busy, or b) so focused on budget cuts and scarcity that they can't see the opportunity clearly. I actually heard someone say to me, "We can't apply for a grant right now. We have to cut $2,000,000 from our budget!"


It's really frustrating when people are so overwhelmed and afraid that they just can't see the possibilities. They call it "trying to focus," but it's just another way of saying that they just can't handle one more thing. They just can't take the chance that they might get more bad news (competing for grants is a risk, I know).

I really wish I could help them see that there is opportunity all around. You just have to adjust your vision so you can see it. You have to look at opportunities with an entrepreneurial mindset, not from a position of fear and lack. I'll be talking more about this in future posts.

Opportunity presents itself in your life (and to your organization) in lots of ways. Sometimes, it's in the form of a grant or some other new source of funds. Sometimes it's in the form of a partnership. I had a great conversation today with the owner of We're developing a partnership to work together on some data analysis and evaluation projects. It's a win-win proposition and who knows what it could lead to in the future for both of us. If I were only looking for cash, I would have missed it.

Is your vision so narrowly focused that you are missing many opportunities that might make a huge difference for you? Or are you open enough to see and hear opportunity when it knocks?

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About Creative Resources & Research

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Woodland, CA, United States
Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.