Note from Diane: Briana’s post today, “Celebrating Grant Success” is the first in a four-part series where different colleagues share their perspectives on celebrating grant success and also on handling and learning from grant rejections.
There is no instant gratification in grant writing. Celebrating success is as much about a successful process as it is a successful funding outcome, the latter of which often does not occur for 3-8 months after submission.
Hitting submit myself, or being notified by my client that the grant has been submitted, ushers in the first moment to celebrate (and to breathe!). After spending tens of hours on a project, sometimes 70 or more for the large government grants, the final submission of a grant feels like a euphoric sense of freedom from the pressure of a deadline and a feeling of accomplishment for having produced a quality narrative and other application materials. My celebration of this tends to focus on getting some quality quiet time away from the office to reenergize.
The next celebratory moment is notification of award! Not only did the application pass the technical review (relief for all of us who spend way too much time checking and re-checking that all required documents and signatures in blue ink are there), but it was funded! I have loved the times in which I could celebrate this moment with my clients by being the first to tell them of their awards, such as for New York’s Consolidated Funding Application where the awards are published online after a large ceremony, prior to actual award letters being sent out.
The third, and by far my favorite, celebratory moment is seeing the funding in action when it has been possible to do so. I don’t think anyone becomes a grant professional simply because they like to write. The real impetus for this work, at least for me, is being able to contribute to social change and build better communities. Visiting the funded programs or projects is a very meaningful and exciting experience that makes me feel more strongly connected to the grant and the organization, which is especially important as a consultant. It is the successful summer program, or the public mural, or the historic building that has been saved, that is the greatest outcome of the grant writing work and is cause for the most celebration.
What do you do to celebrate grant success when the award letter arrives? We’d love to hear! Share in the comments section below.