THE SECRETS OF GRANT WRITING, PART I
By trade, I’m a grant writer. Most people think grant writers possess some magic formula, some esoteric ability to string together an alchemy of words that creates an “aha” experience in rich people who have money to give. “Most people” are right…when rich people read my words, they immediately start writing checks.
I’ve traveled through a labyrinth of organizations that need money, which (to push the analogy further) fueled my travels. To be successful as a grant writer, you have to gain an intimate understanding of an organization and the people who run them. If you’re an organizational psychologist, you’ll want to talk with me.
Leadership grabs a lot of headlines theses days. Grant writers need good leaders to be successful. In my travels, I’ve seen leadership and how it operates in charter schools, school districts, a university medical center, other universities, public television, job training programs, and even a nonprofit tap dancing company. I’ve worked with leaders who should never be leaders (the majority) and others (rare) who should be cloned to lead organizations.
For instance, I worked for a charter school in Jersey City that continues to adapt based on an open and honest system of communication that I’ve seen nowhere else; and I worked for a private girls catholic university in New Jersey that, while the faculty and others scream for change, the leadership is as frozen (in its thinking) as the nineteenth century statues that languish on its campus.
I was successful in one of the above organizations. Guess which one?
More secrets of grant writing to come; but not everyday…after all, grant writing doesn’t define me.