During my fourteen years writing grants professionally, I’ve worked as a freelancer, owned my own business, and served as the grants manager for multiple nonprofits. I’ve been fortunate to help secure tens of millions of dollars in grant funding in my career thus far.
Over the last several years, I’ve pulled back a bit on grant writing in order to do more of my own writing, more speaking and workshops, and some rural community development work. Yet I still write grants part-time for a local educational agency and do a bit of freelancing too.
Recently I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor several new grant writers. Somewhat to my surprise, I loved it. I especially loved mentoring writers who were working for or with the same types of organizations I was encountering in my community development work and through Slow Church: the small- to medium-sized nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and schools that are doing such important work in our communities.
I think a lot about how to “democratize” the grant writing process. Grant writers aren’t a secret society with esoteric knowledge and access to vaults of cash. Most people can learn to write grants well.
To this end, I’m in the process of developing the “beta version” of a grant writing course. I think this course will help even more folks learn how to find, write, win, and manage grants—funding their passions and changing the world.
But I need to further refine my ideas and approach for the course. I’m looking to connect with a few people who can answer some questions about their own experience with grant writing…or lack of experience, if that’s the case (which is fine). I want to talk about their aspirations for grant writing—or their organization’s aspirations—as well as their fears, successes, failures, obstacles, and pain points.
In particular, I want to talk to staff or volunteers at the essential organizations mentioned above—or to people who want to develop grant writing into a skill they can offer to multiple organizations in their communities.
This is such a priority that I’m setting aside twenty slots in my calendar over the next several weeks for conversations that will be about 20 minutes in length. These aren’t sales calls. What I want is to have a few more conversations with folks “on the ground,” ensuring that the content and structure of my beta course (and eventually the full version) are as relevant and useful as they can be.
While I have specific questions I’m going to ask of you, we can also set aside a few minutes at the end of the call where you can ask me any questions you might have about grant writing. I’ll help if I can.
Can you carve out a few minutes to help? If so, you can get in touch through my Contact page or you can email me at john [at] theresourcefulcommunity [dot] com. I’ll respond with a link to a page where you can sign up for one of those time slots.
A few quick, final notes:
- The grant writing training will be focused on the United States, so the folks I’d like to talk to should probably be working in the U.S.
- I don’t know anything about small business grants. I have more experience with individual grants (usually for the arts), but those won’t be included in this particular course.
- I’ll be delivering the beta course online over the course of five weeks in late October and November. The pilot course won’t be free, but it’s going to be offered at a MASSIVE discount in exchange for participants’ feedback on how I can make the forthcoming full course better. If you want me to keep you in the loop on that, make sure to sign up for the TRC newsletter.
The Grant Writing Process: 11 Basic Steps (PDF & Checklist)
Writing grants for your organization is an adventure.
You wouldn't set out on an epic hike without at least a general understanding of the terrain ahead. So why would you set out on your grantseeking journey without an overview of what lies in store?
This eight-page PDF and checklist are the perfect place to start.