Barbara Floersch's blog

Grants: Passion Matters, But So Do Cold Facts and Calculated Action

Many nonprofits are born from the grave concern of someone who’s experienced a tragedy, suffered from a problem, or witnessed others’ suffering first-hand. These nonprofits radiate an intensity of purpose that inspires others to action and captures the interest of grantmakers who want to partner with authentic organizations working deeply within their communities.

Grants: Who’s in Charge

Supervising any high-level staff member is a balancing act. Star performers need leeway, appropriate decision-making authority, and a degree of flexibility about when and how they work. Hold the reins too tight and you’ll stifle them. But if you hold the reins too loose, you can lose control of the organizational functions they handle.

Grants Specialist or Martyr-in-Residence?

Is your organization’s grants specialist constantly frazzled, working nights and weekends and juggling a schedule bulging with proposal deadlines, program development meetings, and report due dates? Do other staff members tip-toe around the specialist’s desk, forgiving occasional expletives, ignoring the candy wrappers and dirty coffee cups, and excusing missed calls and meetings. If so, that’s a big red flag.

Outcomes for Prevention Programs

Grants are social investments that are intended to produce positive change. Defining intended change is easier for some types of programs than others. If you’re working to improve the health of diabetics, the proposed outcome may be a specific degree of decrease in blood sugar levels of participants. But grantseekers often get confused when developing outcomes for programs that are intended to stop something from happening in the first place.

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