Saturday, February 27, 2010

How Can the Grant You Just Finished Help Make You a Better Writer?

The minutes and hours (and sometimes days) after a big grant deadline are typically filled with relief, rest, cleaning up reference resources, and putting life back in order before you get started on the next grant and do it all over again. What is often missing, though, is something that can really make a big difference for improving your grant writing in the future.

What is it?  Reflection.

Take some time after your next grant is submitted and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What went particularly well in this process?  Is it something that normally goes well, or was this different?  If it was a pleasant surprise, is there some way to modify your process to repeat this circumstance so it does happen again?
  • What didn't go so well in the grant writing process? What was the cause of this issue?  Is there something you can change to prevent it from happening again?
Writing down your answers to these questions (something like a journal) can be very helpful.  If you work with a team, addressing these questions individually and then coming together as a group to discuss them can also be very helpful.

Another suggestion is to pick up a copy of the grant you just submitted a week or two later.  Read it with the scoring criteria or scoring rubric at your side.  Make notes about what you improve. Make those notes general enough to apply to any grant you may write in the future, but also note the examples from this grant so it will be a good reminder for you as your review your notes later.

There are many ways to reflect on your work, but the act of reflection is critical if you want to continue to improve as a writer. It is worth the time.  In fact, if your livelihood depends on grant writing, you really can't afford not to.


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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.