Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is Grant Writing Keeping You Up at Night?

The deadline is coming, it’s less than 36 hours away. Your narrative is coming along, but you aren’t confident about it yet. You haven’t received all of the signature pages and letters of support from the client and grant partners. Forget about the budget narrative, you haven't even  gone there yet.  You’re worried and tired so your anxiety level is peaking.

Veteran grant writers know these feelings well. There are times when a grant comes together so smoothly it feels effortless. Then, there are the grants that feel as though they will never come together. Tough grants cause high anxiety that grows over the period of development as the pieces of the proposal seem to defy gravity or force of will.

A veteran grant writer has fewer of these experiences than a novice. Through experience we learn to sidestep some potential problems. But much of what goes into a grant proposal such as signature pages, letters of commitment, MOU’s, budget figures come from people and/or organizations outside of the grant writer’s control. Depending on others can be problematic for lots of reasons: People are busy; People are flawed; People forget things; People lose things; People do not always read emails from others who ask them to do things.

When the anxiety of an approaching deadline strikes, it’s wise to take some concrete steps to place the responsibility where it belongs and refocus on what you can directly impact.

1. Carry out a campaign of direct, polite, yet redundant, communication to unresponsive people using a variety of media (phone calls, emails, text messages, Skype phone calls, etc) and personal visits if needed.

2. Stick to your checklist and complete all the items you have control over.

3. Document your efforts to collect missing information.

4. Keep a folder of all emails related to the project, a folder of all memos, and a folder of all documents developed.

A grant writer is a ring master as well as the main performer in the proposal development circus. Striking a good balance between the two roles is important if you’re going to get any sleep.

Related Posts:
Time Management Tips for Grant Writers
Good Grant Writers are like Wedding Planners
Stress Relief through Laughter
Photo Credit - Nara Vieira da Silva Osga

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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.