Friday, February 19, 2010

Grant Writing Success Starts with an Abundance Mentality

Attitude really is just about everything when it comes to success of any kind. Grant Coach MaryEllen Bergh shares her thoughts on the importance of maintaining an abundance mentality in the grant world:

How can the way you think about resources (time, energy, people, money) affect your success? If you always think about what you don’t have (scarcity), you are not able to see what you do have (abundance) and you see only problems instead of solutions. Scarcity thinking is the enemy of change – for individuals and organizations.

People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to...rather than detracts from...our lives.

In any task that we undertake, our success depends on a variety of things but one key component that is frequently overlooked is having an abundance mentality. Viewing things from this perspective allows you to look at how something can be accomplished rather than why it can’t be done; you look at possibilities rather than problems. People who begin from abundance believe that there are enough resources available to reach their goals and also that their success doesn’t mean failure for others.

Scarcity thinking, on the other hand, is a belief that there is not enough to go around and that, as a result, we must settle for less. For example, instead of “We can’t ask for that much money, we are only a small district…they won’t ever give it to us” think “What can we achieve for students in our district when we are able to fully fund this program?” Instead of “Look at all the resources we need” consider “Look at all the resources we have.” Scarcity thinking is limiting but safe; we don’t have to move into new territory. A scarcity mindset gives us permission to excuse poor performance (“We don’t have the time or the money or the people to do this!”). While we need to think realistically about the alignment of resources used with resources available, an abundance mentality allows for innovative ways of thinking about the use of those resources and how we deliver services. The challenge is to override your fear and to recognize when you have moved into that scarcity mindset.

Abundance starts in your mind. The more you think that you have all the resources that you need to succeed, the more you will succeed. Thinking abundantly reveals possibilities and opportunities that might never have occurred to you if you weren’t open to the concept that there is enough for everyone. As individuals, we are often willing to challenge and change our belief systems, but we can’t go very far in changing the mindset of an organization if the leadership doesn’t see the need to change their patterns of thinking. What kinds of activities need to happen in your organization to change from a focus on scarcity to one of abundance?


Would you like more insight from MaryEllen?  Visit the Coach's Corner on the member site for multimedia resources and lots of wisdom and support from our Grant Coach. Click here to learn more about it and to sign up.

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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.