I get by with a little help from my friends

8 Sep
Mean Kitty, CFRE

The Mean Kitty is always available for editing.

I have said many times that grant writing is a team sport. You have the grant writer serving as project manager and wordsmith, your program people feeding the grant writer information, your finance people writing budgets and budget narratives and of course your admin team is willing and able to gather attachments and package the final product. At least according to my Grants Team theory, this is how it should work.

Is this how it works for you? Or are you writing in a vacuum? If your answers are “no” and “yes,” follwed by teeth gnashing, I have to inquire—are you asking for help?

I fall victim to the “I’ll just do it” mentality. I’m impatient. I like things how I like them. I want things done a certain way. This doesn’t always yield the best results. I urge you (and myself) to get out of your own head and invite others into the process.

Ask your team for help. Be specific in your request. “I need your help in making the outcomes more measurable and time specific,” rather than “The outcomes need to be rewritten.” Be grateful for their assistance. Bribe them with small treats (I’m not kidding).

Look outside of your team. Ask your friend, spouse or partner in crime–preferably someone outside of your agency who has little or no subject matter expertise–to read your grant. Again, be specific. Ask them to tell you what is unclear, what is not convincing, what works and what doesn’t.

Ask with an open mind, ready to hear what your ally has to say. A grant is not a personal document. Be willing to ask, listen and receive.


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