As a grant writer (or grant professional, as members of our team prefer), your job is to write compelling grant applications to secure funding for your organization. It requires a unique set of skills, including researching funding opportunities, understanding the needs of your organization, crafting a convincing narrative, and navigating the application process. But what about daily habits? What are the things grant writers do on a daily basis to become successful?
I asked the members about how they get fueled and settled in for their daily routine of following best practices and they shared a variety of routines that involved enjoying coffee/tea; walking/feeding dogs, cats, iguanas, and chickens; working out, stretching, and/or meditation; and checking in with family and friends.
While their morning routine varies based on their personal preferences,the five things they address each day are very similar (even if their actionable work each day looks different based on the needs of different clients).
- Researching Funding Opportunities
One of the crucial tasks of a grant writer is to research funding opportunities. Successful grant writers develop a habit of regularly checking funding opportunities from various sources. They keep track of deadlines, eligibility criteria, and requirements for each opportunity they come across. For example, many grant writers subscribe to the free daily email blast from grants.gov, summarizing all the opportunities posted the previous day.
- Developing and Maintaining a Grant Calendar
Grant writing can be a time-consuming process, and it’s essential to stay organized. Successful grant writers develop a grant calendar that outlines their daily and weekly tasks. They prioritize their work and set deadlines for each task. This habit helps them to stay focused and complete their work efficiently.
(You can use our approach to researching grants and creating a grant calendar with our Grant Research Guidebook.)
- Staying Updated with Industry Trends
Grant writers need to stay updated with the latest industry trends and changes in the funding landscape. They must understand the needs of their organization and the broader community they serve. Successful grant writers stay plugged into industry publications, attend conferences, and network with other professionals to stay up-to-date.
- Creating a Compelling Narrative
Grant writing is all about telling a story that will resonate with potential funders. Successful grant writers develop a habit of crafting a compelling narrative that highlights their organization’s mission, goals, and achievements. They use data and storytelling techniques to create a persuasive case for their organization.
- Collaborating with Colleagues
Grant writers shouldn’t work in isolation. Successful grant writers develop a habit of collaborating with their colleagues, including the development team, program staff, and executive leadership (whether they call themselves a grant team or not) to gather the necessary information that they will integrate into the application. Collaboration ensures that grant applications are most closely aligned with the organization’s mission, goals, and priorities.
What other key activities are part of your daily habits as a grant writer? We’d love to hear in the comments below!