Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eleven Ways to Earn Valentines as a Grant Writer

Grant Writers are either hero or goat depending on the outcome of our latest application. It is a fact of the profession that our best efforts to write a perfect grant are not always rewarded. Failure is not appreciated by clients and it can strain relationships. Around Valentines, you may be wondering "where's the love?"

Here are ten ways to avoid excessive rejection and/or make lemonade from the lemons of grant rejection.

Limit disappointing grant rejections by:

1. Being clear up-front with each client about the competitive nature of the grant business.

2. Making no guarantees and have a frank discussion about the risky nature of submitting grant proposals.

3. Charging an ethical price for writing. (fair to you as well as your client)

4. Carefully work with the client on selecting what you will and won’t write so you are not inflating your client’s expectations falsely in terms of a) your ability in a specific field; b) the likelihood of receiving funding.

5. Involving the client in the writing process including approval of the final narrative it is submitted.

Making DELICIOUS Lemonade by:

1. Offering a free rewrite policy like Creative Resources & Research does.

2. Reviewing the readers’ comments with your client.

3. Assisting your client with planning processes to resubmit.

4. Identifying additional sources of funding that the grant could be re-tooled for and submitted to.

5. Assisting your client with a protest if warranted.

6. Writing a brief, objective summary of why the grant was rejected and send it to the client (if you know why). They can use this with their supervisors and Board members. It may help diminish the impression that you just did a crummy job of grant writing.

Grant rejection can erode the affection of your clients. If you’re in the business for any length of time you’re going to lose a competition every now and then straining even a good relationship with a client. This is a fact of life as a grant writing consultant so do your best to avoid writing unlikely proposals and when you do miss one, spend the time with your client to review, plan and rewrite whenever possible. This way you’ll build a partnership with your client that will stand the test of occasional grant rejection, and perhaps you'll get some flowers and candy on Valentines Day.

Related Posts:
3 Lessons Learned from Failure
If It's Not Right, Just Say No
Is There a Formula for Grant Writing Success?

Photo Credit : D. Sharon Pruitt

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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.