I think what separates a good grant writer from a great grant writer is his or her ability to manage The Process.
Managing the grant writing process well makes it more enjoyable, reduces stress, and ultimately leads to a better final product. There are at least three keys to managing the process well:
- Good communication
- Following through on deadlines
- Getting the most of out of your meetings
The truth is, good process management doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m a “big picture” kind of thinker. I see potential and possibilities and the final product — but not necessarily the pathway to make them a reality. I’ve been able to compensate for this in a few ways.
First, I married a woman who is amazing at seeing the details.
Second, I taught myself — and continue to teach myself — how to ask better questions about the projects I’m working on. (This is the subject of a future blog post.)
Third, I have found or developed a few tools that help keep me on track…especially when it comes to my grant writing.
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to share some of the tools I use to manage the grant writing process. These tools will keep your team engaged and informed, ensure no details are missed, and move your application steadily forward.
As one design-thinker put it, the beauty of a process is that it keeps you taking next steps — so that, “even when you don’t know what you’re doing, you still know what to do.”
Questions: What tools have you found to help you manage the grant writing or fundraising process? What are some elements of “The Process” for which you wish you had tools?
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.