Grant Writer’s Blog

Career Paths: The Road Less Traveled

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I may have driven my parents crazy with all my questions when I was a little girl. Okay, I did drive my parents crazy will all my questions.  Maybe you did too. Or maybe you’re raising a someone who questions everything.    When I started school, my questions changed from “why is the sky blue” and “how do my eyes know when I’m sad” to…

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Rule Followers & Grant Managers Should Be One and the Same

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Growing up, my parents were strict but fair. They were clear in their expectations of how my younger sister and I were expected to behave. They wanted us to grow up as responsible adults. I did not always appreciate it at the time, but I sure do now. And let me tell you, between their expectations and my fear of disappointing my folks, they sure…

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Self-Care in the Workplace

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Self-Care in the Workplace. What Does That Mean to You?   On the latest episode of the Fundraising HayDay podcast (Season 3, Episode 11), my cohost Kimberly and I spoke to Tara Davis, head guru of workplace self-care for the American Psychological Association. She shared an awful lot of data and resources related to the importance of self-care in the workplace, but the one statement…

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No Community Need, No Grant Money – It’s That Simple

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Every time I teach an intro to grant writing workshop someone wants to know the secret to writing successful grant proposals. How I wish there was a simple guide, something like “8 Steps to Getting the Grant”, but this profession of ours is complicated and nuanced. Sometimes it’s about relationship building. (Actually, that’s often the case.) It is about the data, the storytelling, the budget,…

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Raising More Money: What Flossing Taught Me About Monthly Giving

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Are you sitting down? What I have to say in this post may be profoundly shocking for many of you.    I really love going to the dentist.   It’s true. I’ve been going to the same dental practice since I was 15. And it’s also true that I grew up privileged with parents able to afford regular dental care and braces for me.  I…

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Battling Burnout as a Grants Professional

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Who remembers When a Stranger Calls, the horror film from 1979? Maybe the 2006 remake? It features a teenage girl babysitting for a family. She continually gets these creepy phone calls from someone asking, “Have you checked the children lately?” Spoiler alert: when she finally calls the police, they tell her the calls are coming from inside the house. And that’s when I lost my…

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Improve Your Productivity with the Enneagram

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Personality typing and standardized testing leaves me cold. Humans are incredibly complex, messy, and often wonderful beings. That very complexity makes me resist the idea that neat little labels can define us—more likely, they will confine us, if we let them. I have been Myers Brigged, Neo’ed , Minnesota Multi-phased, and spent way too much time talking about “Who Moved My Cheese” in the early…

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Not Just By The Numbers—Successful Grant Writing Through Authentic Storytelling

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Storytelling is more than just a great way to connect donors and funders to your nonprofit’s mission; it’s something deeply human to share through story. Storytelling is a great way to help people understand what the issues are and how your organization will be addressing them.  But only if you are willing to listen and listen deeply.  In April, The Communications Network, an association of…

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Relationships: They Make the Grant World Go Round

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I am a proud army brat. My dad served our country for 24 years, and wherever the military sent him, my family followed right alongside him. Uprooting our entire lives, leaving behind homes, friends, and schools, we learned to start over. Again. And again. I quickly learned that I could be a recluse (and therefore miserable, because I’m an extrovert) or jump in and make…

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Grant Professionals, Fundraisers, and Marketers: We are All Storytellers

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When it comes down to it, our job as fundraisers, marketers, and grant professionals is to share the stories of our organization, the people we assist, and the communities we serve. Donors and funders read our grant proposals, emails, newsletters, websites, annual reports, letters, and other marketing materials. Based on our words, they decide whether to fund us or not. In episode 4 of this…

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