Monday, December 19, 2011

The Grant Goddess' Favorite Posts

I always get reflective as we approach the end the calendar year. As part of that, I spent a little time looking back at some of the older posts on The Grant Goddess Speaks... and I found some pretty great tips and posts in the archives.  Some of them are so good that they deserve another shot at the light of day. So I decided to pull some out for your enjoyment.

Some of these are on the list because they have great advice.  Others are here because they are cute and funny. Regardless of why they made this list, they are among my favorites (in no particular order). Consider this list a special gift!


If They Made a Movie About Grant Writing Consultants. . . 

Are You the Bear or the Salmon?

14 Tips to Stay Off The Naughty List

Disadvantaged by Expectations

The 12 Days of Christmas for Grant Writers 

Deadlines Are Like Burritos

The Detail Dilemma of Grant Writing

Grant Writer or Grant Valet?

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Difference Between a Gift and a Grant

Gifts and grants are completely different animals, yet they are often treated the same. Unfortunately, those who treat them the same usually end up in trouble.

A gift is just what you would expect it to be - a sum of money or a resource that is given to your organization with nothing expected in return or very little expected in return.  Most cash donations from private individuals fall into this category. Sometimes a donor may request that a gift be earmarked for a particular purpose (i.e., building fund, youth programs, etc.), and sometimes a donor may request a certain type of recognition or publicity (i.e., naming rights, public recognition, etc.), but that's about it.

A grant, on the other hand, comes with a contract and a set of expectations. A sum of money or a resource is given to you with the expectation that it will be used in a particular way, and appropriate performance is expected.  If you don't perform, the grantor (if it is a governmental agency) can take the money back. There are usually rules you are expected to follow as you implement the proposal that was funded.

Also, in most cases, a grantor expects that something measurable will change as a result of the money or resource you are given. Gift givers often don't expect change, but they are support the organization as it currently is (operational support).

Of course, there are some exceptions to the distinction I've just made, but the general rule is pretty clear.

Many organizations write grant proposals without understanding the difference, and then they are shocked at all of the :"strings" that come with the grant, even when those expectations were clearly delineated in the instructions before they applied. Part of the decision about whether or not to apply for a grant requires that you look into the future when that grant is funded and determine if you are actually willing to perform as expected.

If not, the grant you're looking at may not be the one for you.

Related Posts:

The Worst Reasons for NOT Writing a Grant

5 Mistakes That Can Lose Millions of Dollars in Grant Applications

If you need some successful grant proposal samples to help you along, visit

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.