Monday, April 12, 2010

Some Grants Are Like Peanut Butter

Here we go again..... Non-profit consultant and expert grant writer, Derek Link, shares yet another food-related grant writing analogy.  What do you do when the words just get stuck in your head?

In all the time I’ve been writing grants, I find that some grants flow easily out of my brain to my computer and others get stuck to the roof of my mouth like a spoonful of peanut butter. I sit at the computer during those times like my old German Short-Haired Pointer “Tucker” eating peanut butter, just gumming and gumming and gumming but not able to free up the narrative.

It’s hard sometimes to figure out why I’m stuck with a grant, but often it’s because I don’t have a clear picture of the program I am writing. Oh, I know what the program is about, but I just can’t explain how it’s going to work. Here are a few things I try to get the narrative “peanut butter” off the roof of my mouth.
  1. Develop a logic model for the project. This forces you to outline your thinking in a sequential (and logical) way.
  2. Do a little reading about the topic area you are writing about. Sometimes that gives me the spark I need.
  3. Talk more to the client about the program design and get them to expound on how they see it working.
  4. Try to write the abstract. If you can’t write a summary of the project, this may explain the parts of it that you’re stuck on.
  5. Revisit your goals and objectives. Sometimes your objectives are just activities and if they are, you’ll get stuck because you won’t have anything new to write about in the program section.
So when you’ve eaten a big gob of peanut butter and its stuck to the roof of your mouth and you’re sitting at the computer trying to get unstuck, try one of these five ideas. Hope it helps!

Related Posts:
Facing the Blank Page (Or, Beginning to Write)
Try a Change of Perspective
Some Thoughts from the Coach on Setting Your Intent
A Few Words from the Coach about Focus
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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.