Finding the right grant;
Crafting a logic model;
Creating the project design;
Detailing a budget;
Writing the application; and
Submitting all of this in a timely fashion
Wow — all these tasks sound like a lot of complicated and all-consuming work and really no fun. It is a lot of work. Now in my 46thyear working in funding, it still remains a lot of work. Hopefully these years of experience and skills that I have learned around funding can bring you less sleepless nights, less sacrifices with your family and friends, and less tensions as the deadline for grant submission closes in. But most importantly, I hope to put the fun back into funding.
Let’s put all these multistep tasks into one whole-task condition. A grant proposal is really a call to action. It is a cohesive, persuasive, and well-researched need for change.
It begins by defining the problem you are trying to solve. It involves obtaining buy-in on the need and solution from internal partners (such as your school principal or superintendent) and external partners (such as business officials, PTA staff, evaluators, and/or community leaders). Taking the concept and mapping it out in a logical manner helps create commitment with the partners. During this time, be searching for appropriate, matched-funding sources. Don’t carry the burden of working on all these tasks alone — look for a small but devoted team. Establishing and following timelines and schedules that are doable and obtainable will lessen the anxiety and tensions during the process. When defining the project, think simple and clear outcomes, not complicated or confusing. Details for your budget should be realistic. Consider short, laser-focused sentences when writing.
At GrantsAlert, we remind ourselves to always strive for the fun in our funding work. My horse and I enjoy special moments when we come together and bond with laughter. As your small grant team or your larger partnership teams meet, take time to bond around your call to action. Enjoy the process and find the fun in funding!