Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Importance of Being Earnest

Public people take public falls for being dishonest.  Congressman Weiner’s fall from grace this week is the latest in a long string of prominent people who’ve been caught acting in a destructive way that has damaged their reputations, careers, and families.
Grant Writers may not be public people per say, but often a grant writer is contracted by a public (government) or a public benefit agency (non-profit). A grant writer charged with writing a narrative is usually given facts and figures to write the narrative by the client. Sometimes those facts won’t present the organization in the best light to the funder. Even so, it is vital to the writer’s reputation to write honestly, even if the grant narrative suffers from the truth. There’s nothing wrong with “planting the flowers on the client’s side of the street” but a professional grant writer always does so in a way that keeps their integrity intact.
Here’s the plain truth. Telling lies in a narrative will be exposed. There are times when the client does not read the narrative carefully before the grant is submitted. But, the client and usually one or more of the client’s board members and stakeholders read the grant carefully as notice of funding is received. 
It does not matter that a grant is funded or not, the client and constituency will want to know how to begin implementing, or why it wasn’t funded.  If the writer wrote a narrative that is inaccurate, exaggerated, or fraudulent, the grant writer might as well have Tweeted pictures of himself or herself in their skivvies; the lies are about to be discovered and everyone is going to be upset.
Honesty is the best policy in grant writing as in everything else. A grant writer who writes dishonestly will ruin their reputation. Their fall from grace may not be quite as public as Congressman Weiner’s humiliation this week, but their career will be equally damaged.

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By Xochitl Peña of Mydesert.com

Photo Credit - Lorenzo González

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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.