Author Archive

Recently, someone asked me to review a couple of their grants that were almost, but not quite, funded. I took a look and sure enough they were well-written but there were a few tweaks that could really help them stand above the crowd. The first one being….space. Read More→

In order to become a certified grant professional, people have to demonstrate my competency in 8 areas as defined by the Grant Professionals Certification Institute.  These eight competencies are critical to the work we do. Five GPC’s have written a series of short articles about the competencies to coincide with weekly grantchats on each one on twitter. The links to the articles are below:

1: Effective Grant Applications by Diane Leonard

2: Program & Project Design & Development – Jo Miller

3: Funding Resources  – Diane Leonard

4: Organization Development – Jo Miller

5: Ethical Practices – Heather Strombaugh

6: Grant Management – Jana Hexter

7: Cultivate & Maintain Relationships – Mark Whitacre

8: Raise the Level of Professionalism – Heather Strombaugh Read More→

First of all, I hope you have a great July 4th weekend. As a European, I’m still awestruck by the vast tracks of wilderness available for us to use in this country on holidays like this. Growing up in the U.K., we would drop into a sea if we drove more than 5 hours in most directions and yet my son is now driving across country to Yellowstone Park after a  5-day drive. Incredible.  And fills me with gratitude for the freedom to enjoy the beauty in safety with my family.

And, if you spend the weekend working…..keep your eyes posted for my next blog called “Whatever happened to the weekend?” and an upcoming class on creating work/life balance and reigniting your passion.

Now….today’s article….

I recently completed a $3.2 million, 300 page (LOTS of appendices) grant for a client. The client was a partnership of two institutions and so five primary people were involved in developing the concept and getting it done. So, I decided to try using Google Docs for sharing and editing for the first time.

It worked really well in some ways and not in others so I thought I’d let you know about my experience and maybe it can help you in the future. Read More→


Renewing Your Vows

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This is a second post in a new and exciting partnership – a Linky Party – with esteemed grant writers from across the country, including Diane Leonard, Jo Miller, Heather Stombaugh and Mark Whitacre. We all hail from northern climes and we’re all stir crazy at the first signs of Spring after this brutally cold winter…so that’s our theme – Spring, renewal, revitalization, refreshing. I’m not a religious person but after this winter in Upstate New York all I can say is Hallelujah!.  Click on the links throughout this article to read their perspectives on refreshing your approach to grant writing.

“The voice within is what I’m married to.
All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage.
My lover is the place inside me where an honest yes and no come from.
That’s my true partner. It’s always there.
And to tell you yes when my integrity says no is to divorce that partner.”

~ Byron Katie ~

Spring….thoughts of April showers, May flowers, June weddings…and if you’re a grant writer… incessant deadlines. I submitted a grant last week, a concept paper goes in tomorrow, and I’m working on a big federal grant due in May. It’s grant season.

And last night I broke my own rule and worked until 9pm. It is all too easy to push ourselves, work late, not eat properly, forgo exercise, and ignore that thing called a weekend. Before you know it you haven’t had a day off in 3 months, missed several of your kids school events, and feel gut-wrenching guilt that you haven’t been spending time with your spouse, parents, or children. And forget friendships…haven’t seen a friend outside of work in months. Sound familiar? If you’re a successful grant developer, this time of year, I bet it is. Jo Miller’s article gives some suggestions about how to get out and connect more…something that is challenging for many grant writers this time of year.

And if you’re looking for a little how-to inspiration, Heather Stombaugh has some killer suggestions for spicing up copy that, as she says, will add musicality to  your writing. We can all do with a little more music in life, eh.

And if you’re not in that place and feeling a normal level of frazzle, I hope that this article plants some seeds that will beautify your path through life. Diane Leonard shares some tips in her article about planting seeds that will bear fruit in grant writing and tending to those you already sowed.  And Mark Whitacre’s creative juices are flowing… he has some really creative suggestions about how to refocus a grant search to fund a project that you haven’t found a sponsor for yet.

Regardless of where you are right now, we grantwriters have a problem.

We’re nice. Read More→

I often get asked about grants for businesses and for-profit ventures. It’s not in area that I have ventured into so when I met Micki Vandeloo and she told me this is her area of expertize, I asked her to write an article for you. If you’re a social entrepreneur or corporation, take a look and see if there might be opportunities for your organization to explore. Here’s Micki’s article…I hope it’s helpful to you. Read More→