Thursday, August 5, 2010

Help! Grant Writer Drowning in Paper!

This post was written by Non-Profit Consultant and Expert Grant Writer, Derek Link, but I must admit that his desk looks quite tidy compared to mine. The issue he struggles with is the same one I struggle with, except that the piles of paper on my desk are threatening to take over. This is how it always is at the end of the grant writing season.  Now I have the joy of cleaning it up. Enjoy Derek's thoughts.  Can you relate?


It’s hard not to get buried in an avalanche of paperwork as a grant writer. Sometimes my desk starts to look like a paper recycling operation. I collect so many pieces of information necessary to the work, grant samples, a grant outline, pieces of research, books, booklets, digital disks, notes, charts, graphs, tables - some of it hard to find, and some of it needed once for one sentence, and then never used again.

The trouble is that when I do some research and toil away to find some precious piece of information for a grant, I tend to place a value that piece of paper that it may not merit. After all, if I can find it once, I can find it again, so why am I in angst about throwing it away? The truth is that my filing skills are not going to make it any easier to find in a file cabinet anyway. I’d be much better off doing another Google search or creating a bookmark for the location.

I’m afraid that my computer desktop looks a lot like my physical desktop much of the time. I place things there that I am working on and then before I get them filed away neatly and logically where I can find them the next time I need them, I am on to the next task and these files sit there sullenly until I get annoyed at the clutter and throw them in the virtual trash can.

I know I should be more organized and diligent about keeping order in my papers and megabytes but I don’t often have the motivation to do those things. I used to have a secretary to hand things off to. I’d say to her, “File this please”, and she would, and when I needed it again, she would know where to find it. It was magical.

But alas, for many years now I have been my own secretary and on Secretary’s Day I am not tempted to treat myself for my excellent work. In fact, if I could find a stack of pink slips, I’d give my inner secretary one.


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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.