Grant Attachments, Part Deux: Your Staff

11 Jun

It’s been a while since I posted–the real world demands of deadlines have kept me too busy to muse about grant writing. However, all the rushing around has reminded me of a few more attachments that are essential to have on hand to, ahem, avoid all the rushing around.

Today, we’ll be talking exclusively about Staff Bios and Resumes.

This is a sort of second tier priority attachment. Funders ask for this in different formats, usually with government funders wanting resumes and job descriptions and private foundations wanting short bios. But let’s start from the top.

I highly recommend that you ask your program staff to update their resumes. Now. Before you are staring down the barrel of a deadline. We should all have freshly updated resumes handy, even if we’re not job hunting. Chances are, though, that your staff hasn’t updated their resume since they sent it to your HR department in hopes of doing the job they’re doing now. Enlist HR’s help in making sure that anyone who might remotely be written into a grant budget updates their resume. This includes administrative staff. I betcha half of the staff doesn’t have a soft copy of their resume anymore. You don’t have time to retype and reformat a resume when you’re on deadline. And an outdated copy that has been xeroxed to death and is crooked won’t do.

It’s worth the time and effort up front to have a few different versions of a resume. Have your original two-page version, yes, but always have a one pager as well. If your funder places limits on the number of pages an attachment can be, and this happens a lot, you have to be ready with a version that really gets the job done.

Many social worker types and other staff with licensure or advanced degrees have multi-page resumes that list every article they’ve ever published. Well, you think, then I’ll just include the first page. Hmmm, nice try, but you can’t guarantee that page will have all of the basic, relevant information that the funder needs to know. This would be current employer, job title and duties; previous employers, job titles and duties; educational background; any licensure or certifications; and languages spoken. Anything else is gravy.

One page. Repeat: one page.

You’ll also need a brief, one paragraph bio that captures the essence of this one-pager in narrative form.

Last item is a job description for each staff. Again you ask–can’t I just pull one from HR? The one that was posted when staff was hired? Nope. Chances are the job description has changed since then. Start with the one from which performance reviews are conducted. AND get that puppy down to one page, too. No one cares if your staff can lift 30 pounds and has a valid driver’s license. Leave that off and make sure that job duties, responsibilities and educational qualifications (and licensure if appropriate) are right up top.

If your staff is comfortable with this, and if HR is as well, this is actually a  great project for a volunteer or an intern to head up. Especially those eager volunteers wanting to learn how to write grants. They may not actually be writing narrative, but it’s still an important task, and hey–no one said grant writing was glamorous.


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