November 17, 2012
For two days this week I did all-day trainings at The Foundation Center, which felt like I was in school again. I liked it!
Two very needed classes, for my professional development in grant writing, were Proposal Writing Basics and Proposal Budgeting Basics.
World Domination Through Proposal Writing
I learned simple, useful things to make my everyday work easier – such as putting constantly referenced documents in an easy to access place (a board of directors list, IRS 990s, financial audits…). I also learned what belongs on a title page. The contact info for both parties makes so much sense! Yet it’s something I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of.
Some of the more difficult class concepts were centered around: circular reasoning and how to avoid it, as well as goals and evaluation. These will still be an ongoing process for me. Yet, thankfully, Grantspace, an offshoot of The Foundation Center has great resources at my disposal.
World Domination Through Proposal Budgeting
Budgeting, the other meat and potatoes course for this week, took me back to accounting class. I loved the step-by-step instructions and end-of-class exercise! What made me most excited, however, was getting to figure things out my own, like my organization’s overhead costs (about 15% and in our case was predominantly made up of rent and utilities).
Though the greatest gift from these two days of training was confidence. Applying for grants isn’t a question of begging for money, it’s about convincing people to join causes and invest (grant makers are fond of this word) in projects they believe in.
When I returned to the office after two days of what felt like being a student again, I finished a fast-track proposal in a record of 24 short hours. It was my first, actually. The turnaround for decisions should be fairly quick, as well. Will we get funding from this new foundation? Time will tell.
And so shall I, in the event we are this lucky.