Presentation on theme: "Avoiding the 21 Biggest Grantwriting Traps An ounce of mistake prevention is worth a pound of apology."— Presentation transcript:
Avoiding the 21 Biggest Grantwriting Traps An ounce of mistake prevention is worth a pound of apology.
About Us Rochelle Fritsch Development Director at IMPACT (impactinc.org) Co-facilitator of Planners and Grantwriters Roundtable Expertise in foundation/local government grants Contributor to Metroparent Frequent guest commentator on WTMJ Jan Wilberg Owner, Wilberg Community Planning (jwilberg.com) Co-facilitator of Planners and Grantwriters Roundtable Expertise in federal grants Long-time trainer in grantwriting, collaboration and evaluation
Messaging TRAPS #1 Starting off MIRED IN THE MUCK RF Speak plainly – ditch the jargon Focus on WHAT not HOW “Making sure no one goes hungry” Be authentic #2Letting others SET YOUR STAGE RF Don’t play into stereotypes Don’t pitch pity and hopelessness Take a strengths-based approach Progress can be made
Messaging TRAPS #3 Telling the WRONG STORY the WRONG WAY RF Know the impact of current events on your message Tell more than one story Explore varied mediums for messaging Find what works best for you
Relationship TRAPS #4 Ignoring COLLABORATIVE POTENTIAL JW Collaborate with friends and competitors Slice and dice opportunities: Supply chain Expertise/strengths Cultural competence Evaluate in terms of funding advantage (#1) and friendships (#2)
Relationship TRAPS #5 Under/over-estimating the COMPETITION RF Honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses Do the same for your competitors Ask yourself: Duplicating services? Reducing community impact? Frustrating funders? Missing opportunities?
Relationship TRAPS #6 Getting tied in knots by MANAGEMENT JW Ongoing grants education for higher-ups Train management in the supremacy of the RFP Use briefing paper/logic model to educate Have the ear of leadership
Relationship TRAPS #7 Talking too much to listen RF One mouth two ears rule Network outside the nonprofit sector Avoid being a walking commercial Listen more than you talk Learn what motivates people Where is their heart?
Relationship TRAPS #8 Not having any (relationships, that is) JW Secure a safety net Cultivate relationships with experts Participate in training, networking Seek quality peer review Promote the good work of others
Grantwriting TRAPS #9 Partnering with leakers or tyrants JW Partner to your organization’s advantage Know benefit of your partnership to your partner Partnership must: Result in more points Be workable based on prior history Increase the power of the proposal Benefit people, not such organizations
Grantwriting TRAPS #10 Not attending to grantwriting basics JW Adhere absolutely to RFP requirements Have a high quality ‘deal’ Invest in a solid logic model Achieve MAXIMUM points in each section Focus on facts Create real, impactful outcomes Remember your roots: what peo ple need
Grantwriting TRAPS #11 Wimping out JW If YOU are writing a grant proposal, YOU need to be the expert on what the grant requires. Take responsibility Resist hijackers by having a strong team Keep the RFP the focus Keep your feelings out of the project
Grantwriting TRAPS #12 Letting your team run amok JW Be the leader Delegate wisely Include program people Use team members as hunter/gatherers, not writers Keep team focused on what is best for proposal Cheerlead/reinforce/demand/smile
Grantwriting TRAPS #13 Not watching the clock JW Budget more time than you need Stick with a published schedule of drafts, meetings, and reviews Assume nothing about others’ promises Include time for major review/revision Get technical issues out of the way first, e.g. online submission requirements
Follow-Up TRAPS # 14 Skipping the celebration RW Thanks and compliments Share proposal Keep people informed of the process Make announcement a BIG DEAL Share the credit #15 Celebrating too long JW Pay attention to start-up A ‘short’ year will mean poor outcomes Find ways to accelerate implementation without hurting quality Don’t relax until project is really running well
Follow-Up TRAPS #16 Letting a bad program languish JW Conduct a process evaluation Establish a practice of regular check-ins with program implementers Encourage discussion of improvements Use participant and other data to guide changes Keep funders informed
Follow-Up TRAPS # 17 Avoiding outcome evaluation JW Conduct a sound program evaluation Insure evaluator has ‘distance’ Measure the right things the right way Evaluate your evaluation Publish results Encourage open discussion Use results to focus on what’s next
Follow-Up TRAPS #18 Taking a one and done approach RF Successful grant seekers specialize in repeat requests The ask and thank you are relationship starters Keep donors updated on progress Include board and staff Changes in service delivery Use mediums they use Light touch via social sites Direct engagement via site visits
Continuity TRAPS #19 Throwing the recipe away JW Constructively deconstruct the proposal process Self-review Reconvene project team Obtain reviewer comments Decide where to spend time in the gym Focus always on next time #20 Staying dumb JW Assess your own grantwriting shortcomings Determine where the team is weak Participate in training opportunities or create own Read successful proposals
Professional TRAP #21Not understanding your power JW/RF Are you a scribe or a writer? Are you the secretary or the leader? Are you the organizer or the organized? Are you the expert or the amateur? Are you the visionary or the reactor? Are you the loser or the winner?