One of the things I love about the grant profession so much is the diversity of backgrounds that bring people to the field of writing grants. If you talk to five different grant writers/grant professionals, you will hear five different stories of the paths that brought them to the work they do today. It isn’t as clear as an undergraduate major that is the “usual” track for people to enter this work. Rather, it is a path connected by a desire to create impact using the written word, a belief that grant funding can help create change, and a willingness to dust yourself off after the result of your hard work gets rejected.
Regardless of whether you are a year into working in the field, or are a more experienced grant professional, what you likely agree on is that celebration around the work usually centers on the receipt of a grant award. While that is important, it is not the *only* thing that should be celebrated. There are things about relationships and process improvements that should be celebrated along the way, but most importantly, it is YOU that should be celebrated. That is why I wanted to share three ways for you to consider celebrating your work as a grant professional.
- Set Aside Time for Your Professional Development
Whether it is attending a webinar from Foundant, participating in our Lunch and Learn series, or participating in the FREE annual #LearnGrant Online Summit (6 awesome speakers, 10-minute presentations each) on International Grant Professionals Day, prioritizing your own professional development within your work schedule is a means of celebration. This way of celebrating is especially fun when you are also surrounded by thousands of your awesome grant pro peers, like at the Summit!
2. Take a Moment to #HumbleBrag
Our work is about much more than our award percentage for a year or for a particular type of funder. Our work is also about the number of grantmaker relationships established and/or maintained. Our work is about the number of collaborative partner relationships facilitated. Our work is about the hours of research done for new and forecasted opportunities.
If you don’t already have a scorecard or dashboard for yourself that helps you track more than the number of grants awarded and/or the dollar amount of the grants awarded, take some time to develop one (basic is great, no need to be flashy!) that you can then share with others throughout the year to show the breadth of impact that your work is having in your organization and community.
3. Go See Your Work in Action
Take time away from your computer and take time to watch your work in action. Go look at the new exhibit at the museum you helped secure a matching grant for. Go walk on the trail at the park which you secured the planning grant and then the implementation grant for. Go watch the video released about the STEM program that was scaled to numerous communities with the support of the grant application you developed. These opportunities, whether in person or virtual help us to see the impact of our work and remind us, should we need the reminder, why we do this work. In fact, this is part of why our team writes about #GrantsWork and the impact of seeing our Grant Funding in Action on our blog.
Which of these ways have you tried before? Which are you going to try now? What is another way to celebrate that I didn’t include that you’ve done before? Let us know in the comments, or reach out to me directly to let me know. I’d love to hear!