Someone asked me the other day, "why are you giving away all of your tips and tricks for writing and getting grants"?
It's a great question because grant writers are notoriously stingy about giving up their narratives to neophytes. There's some sort of weird idea that "these folks need to learn the hard way, go through the hard lessons we've learned over time."
Blaghhh! Hogwash! In this blog, admittedly unique and unusual, I have been giving away the store for over a year now. My motive is simple; I want school grant writers to be successful.
I've been privileged in my career to generate millions of dollars in federal, state and private grants for many schools. It has indeed been a privilege. I get to see the effects of big grants on the kids we serve and their families. A great reward for my services is to see 30 kids working happily in a computer lab paid for with funds I found and coaxed out of people.
Coaxing: persuade (someone) gradually to do something. It's a good word in this application, especially the "gradually" part. Writing a successful grant application may be a lengthy process, and it's all about relationships. You not only want money for right now, you want to establish relationships (even friendships) in the grant-writing world. Networking with other like-minded teachers has been one of the great benefits of my work as a grant seeker.
Here in these articles you'll find tips, but I've also pointed out pitfalls. The latter are painful lessons I've learned while coaxing funds from foundations and other organizations devoted to doing good works.
I've also provided systematic instructions for putting together a successful application. My favorite give away has been the budget-planning tool; it keeps you on track, saves time and helps you be sure you think of everything as you construct all-important budgets.
In another post, I provided a template for writing grants to guide you, step by step. Make sure the information you provide for the grantor is complete and in a logical order.
Other resources from grant writers who are willing to share their tips tricks can be found with a simple Google search "tips for grant writers". What did we do before Google?
The trick here is to be sure the sites you're visiting are authoritative. Check to see who is posting the information, I try to stick to university and government sites, their material must be checked out before it goes online.
Some good authoritative sites can be found here:
Hunter College Grant Writing Tips (pdf for download)
Foundation Center - grant writing short course
No one says it will be easy to get a grant. Summer is the time to regroup. Can you imagine if we all banded together to share grant writing tips and tricks, what a wonderful world it would be?
Let's make a pact to do just that.
And - to get organized for the fall, visit Discount School Supply for all your needs.