Grant Writer’s Blog

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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Breaking the Stress Cycle: Burnout Relief for Grant Writers and Fundraisers

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We’re all just walking each other home— Rumi   (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmi)   For most nonprofit and local government workers, there’s a “normal” stress level. Raising funds against growing needs, and often decreasing sources of revenues. Then comes family life–young children, older parents, loneliness, or too much togetherness.  Now we all share additional layers of stress from the COVID-19 pandemic,  the growing recession, the…

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Ethical Grant Seeking: Beyond Following the Rules

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Some people are drawn to true crime shows and podcasts. Others find solace in Animal Crossing or Candy Crush. Believe me, I am not judging. I self-medicate by watching reruns of the Great British Baking Show, and PBS’s Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries.   There’s something else that always catches my attention and that of my Fundraising HayDay co-host Amanda Day. Stories of grant fraud. …

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A Lesson for Nonprofits

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A Lesson for Nonprofits: The Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos   If you have listened to enough episodes of the Fundraising HayDay podcast, you’ll know my cohost Kimberly and I are fascinated by grant fraud. Don’t get me wrong. We hate that it ever happens. It is more like we are floored by the things that individuals and organizations try to get…

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How to Support Our Nonprofits AND Ourselves as Grant Professionals

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There is no doubt that these are unprecedented times for all of us as individuals and as grant professionals. I have lost track of how many emails I have received that are talking about how businesses, grantmakers, and nonprofits are responding to COVID-19. I thought email traffic was heavy before…now I realize exactly how many email lists I am on for colleagues, organizations we are…

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