Monday, September 13, 2010

The Worst Reasons for NOT Writing a Grant

I hear all sorts of reasons for not pursuing grant opportunities. To be fair, they are very real for the person making the excuse at the time, and grant writing is not easy.  If it were, everyone would do it.  It's difficult and time consuming.  There are some good reasons for not writing a grant, including a mis-match between your organization's mission and the purpose of the grant program, changing organizational priorities, and the implementation of a well-developed fund development plan that calls for a focus on other sources of income. However, most of the reasons I hear are not the good ones.  Here are the worst reasons for not writing a grant that I hear most:
  1. We don't have the time. Are you kidding me?  Who does have the time?  No one.  If you want to bring in additional resources to your organization, you have to make the time. It's all about priorities.  Instead of saying you don't have time, tell the truth.  Say, "We are choosing to spend our time doing other things."
  2. We probably won't get it. As my mother would say, with an attitude like that, you probably won't. My mother also used to say, "No guts, no glory!" The bottom line is that if the purpose of the program is well aligned with your organization's mission, and if you have a solid idea, you have a very good chance of being funded., but you definitely won't get it if you don't make an effort.
  3. The grant will just end in 3 years anyway. Believe it or not, I hear this one a lot.  Those who say this seem to forget that between now and three years from now, your clients will benefit from some great services. A lot can happen in 3 years (or 2 years or 5 years), and you can make a big difference in the lives of people over a year or two. Why would you give up that opportunity just because you may not have the resources to do it forever?
  4. We don't have anyone who can write it.  This falls into the same category as "we don't have the time."  You probably do have someone in your organization (or a team of people) who can write it if you just restructure the schedule for a while. And don't forget. you can hire professional grant writers to help if you need to.
Yes, there are some good reasons for not pursing some grant opportunities, but none of these fall into that category.  Get your priorities straight and focus on overcoming the barriers that prevent you from bringing n the resources your clients deserve.


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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.