Today I want to share with you some important lessons I’ve learned over the last 15 years of being a grant writer. The journey hasn’t been linear, but I’ve learned from every step.
I’ll talk about four key areas of lessons learned:
- Skill – It took a while for me to realize how the many facets of my skill set apply to grant writing. I have no doubt this is true for you too. Grant writing is like a muscle; it takes a long time to build up, but you improve every time. The process is both an art and a science.
- Implementation – Grants are a lot of work to write, but also for the nonprofit to implement. It’s important to have a good system for reporting and tracking.
- Mindset – To be a good grant writer, you have to get over the fear and embrace the uncertainty. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you ask, at least you stand a chance. A no is not wasted. There’s something to learn from every application process. You’re getting better every single time.
- Success – Grant applications are the most successful when you first evaluate when to say yes or no to an opportunity – whether it’s a new client, a potential grant application, job offer, or volunteer ask. Grants are not about chasing the dollars. There are people behind everything, so work to build those relationships.
I can’t write all the grants for all the amazing causes out there. Nor would I want to! That’s why I feel strongly about mentoring others. Take my lessons learned to guide your journey.
Together we can create a ripple effect and change the world. Let’s do it!
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