Shark Week and Grantitude

Shark Week’s thirtieth anniversary on the Discovery Channel was completed in 2018 from July 22-29. In 2016, I wrote about Shark Week and Serving on a Nonprofit Board. This year, I want to revisit Shark Week and show some grantitude for all my fellow grant professionals.

Sharks continue to fascinate me, and I think they are beautiful, magical creatures, although I wouldn’t swim with them as Diane Leonard (What I Learned by Swimming with Sharks) has bravely done in the past. My husband teased me a few weeks ago by asking if I was one of the people recently involved in stealing a baby shark from an aquarium in San Antonio, Texas. Well……possible, but no, it wasn’t me. I’d much rather support shark conservation efforts, learn as much as I can about these amazing animals, and share their importance on this earth with others. Let’s delve into some shark facts along with thanking grant professionals for making the world a better place.

Shark Tank Meets Shark Week aired this year, highlighting the wonderful work of these nonprofit organizations researching and helping sharks survive: Shark Allies, the Georgia Aquarium, Bahamas National Trust, and the University of Miami Shark Research and Conservation Program. Human Shark Tank investors Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary each visited one of these nonprofits. They then competed through presentations before their fellow investors to win a $50,000 donation for the nonprofit they had visited. Grant professionals compete all the time for funding nonprofits through written proposals, presentations, relationship building, and sometimes, fundraising events.

The whale shark population has decreased by 50 percent in the last 75 years. Grant professionals write about these kind of shocking data points in grant application need statements. I hope we don’t lose these fabulous creatures. A way to help save sharks and other ocean animals is simple – stop using plastic straws and encourage others along with local restaurants to discontinue their use. Plastics are destroying our environment and our oceans daily.

Hawaii is the first state to make possession of shark fins illegal, and Miami is still a hub for the sale of shark fins. Annually, it is estimated that 70 million to 100 million sharks are killed through fishing and finning while only 6 humans are killed by sharks. In our lifetime, scientists state that approximately 25 species of sharks will become extinct. Grant professionals craft compelling stories combined with data like this to support nonprofits worldwide, save people and animals, and make communities a better place to live.

Orcas (killer whales) tag team to hunt great white sharks, and then only eat their livers, which are nutrient rich. Off the coast of Africa, two Orcas with deformed fins are suspected of collaborating to kill several great whites, which are then found on shore with missing livers. Researchers are studying this phenomenon. Know how you feel when working on a grant proposal or a cause you feel totally passionate about? That is the same kind of focused determination Orcas have when hunting great white sharks.

Did you know sharks have 3000 teeth? Grant professionals possibly write that many grants or collaborate with that many people over the life of their career to solve community problems. Can you count all the projects you have been involved with?

I hope this article motivates you to both support shark conservation efforts and to thank a grant professional for improving our world. If you would like to thank grant professionals through helping fund scholarships for their professional development, please consider donating to the Grant Professionals Foundation. What other ways can you compare sharks and grantitude?

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