Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Grant Writers are Like Wedding Planners

Non-Profit consultant and grant writer, Derek Link, shares some thoughts on deadlines:

Deadlines are stressful and that’s what a wedding date is for a wedding planner. Each grant also comes with a deadline date and that makes grant writing stressful for the writer and his staff. Many grant applications are complicated documents that necessitate great attention to detail in order to produce a cohesive proposal. Paying attention to detail under the pressure of a deadline is hard! A good grant writer must also be a good organizer, sort of like a wedding planner, without the cake.

Here are a few glitches that can and do come up all in alignment with Murphy’s Law which says if things can go wrong, they will go wrong, and at the worst possible time.

1. Online submissions are always subject to the vagaries of the Internet, the website host, your internal network, your computer, your software, and power failures. A crash in any of these can cause you to miss a deadline.

2. Paper submissions are subject to internal network problems, computer problems, software problems, copier problems like running out of ink or hideous accordion-folded, roller-munching paper jams.

3. Any kind of submission can be impacted by key staff getting sick, faulty review of application docs that suddenly become clear at the last moment, lack of expertise with software or online submission programs, failure of the applicant to register for the online system in time to be approved and receive access, and even - dare I say it - clients who neglect to get key documents signed and returned until the day of the deadline.

In the end it’s crucial that the deadline is met because a tardy grant is a dead grant. It is important to know where the potential pitfalls are in advance, especially if you are motivated by the adrenaline-laced rush of procrastination. Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby in the Procrastinator's Success Kit said, “A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large.”

Grant drama is as inevitable as wedding drama so be sure you know where the pitfalls are and then put contingency plans in place.


Do you know about the awesome resources available to you through the GrantGoddess.com Member Site?

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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.