Let’s Have a Grant Writing Party

When I’m writing a grant, I prefer to have as many people in the nonprofit helping as I can. Diversity is a good thing all the time.

Yet, too many times the nonprofit staff and managers provide little input. While I encourage them to be involved in putting the application together, I just receive smiles. As if they are thinking, “thank goodness someone else is doing this grant thing.”

It’s too easy for a grant writer to ask for input, get nothing, and finish the grant themselves. I find myself sometimes doing this and I tell myself, “Self, don’t do that.”* Except, by this time the grant deadline is approaching and I have to do the grant myself, anyway.

Grant writing should not be a solo operation. Yet, getting people involved can be difficult. To make it easier on myself, I give out sections of the grant application to people with the most knowledge of that area. As an example, finances goes to the business manager, volunteer data to the coordinator, and I ask for data from the program director.

I treat my role as the coordinator where I put everything together for consistency. Of course it doesn’t work this easily, but I try. And I keep trying.**

The best grant writing process I’ve read about was when the grant writer got all the input they needed and put everything together. In the end, everyone involved met in a sit-down and talked about the application. This nonprofit had the most success with grants.

As a grant writer, what is your process for getting grants written?

* Yeah, I know. Bad joke.
** Hope dies last. (Studs Terkel)

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