Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"A GrantWriter" by Rose

While a grantwriter does what the title says - write grant - what is often mistaken about the term is that 95% of the time the person wanting the services of a grantwriter doesn't have any idea of the kind of grant they want to apply for.  That increases the duties of a grantwriter to not only include writing the grant but FINDING the grant programs as well.  I have seen posts by other grantwriter (not from this forum) about how someone wants to hire (or want the services of) a grantwriter but they fail to mention (at least at first) that they don't have any specific grant program in mind.  Their response is "Oh I thought you would have some grant programs for me."  I have even heard one grantwriter refer to these kind of people as "flakes" - someone that doesn't have ANY idea as to the process of finding applicable grant programs - and I stress the word applicable because unlike a magician a grantwriter can pull a grant out of his or her's "hat"!  Time and time again (and I suspect that it will be an ongoing time and time again thing)people have posted about wanting a grant (which by the way shows they need more basic information because one is not automatically guarenteed a grant and if anyone says that they can guarentee a grant you had better think twice (plus it also shows that one does not know the process of the "grant-making machine"! 

Time and time a post will say "I need a grant to start a daycare".  First of all this lets me know that the person has not taken the time to read the past posts where there have been a lot of information given about the various day-care related grant program.  It also lets me know that they are not familiar with the "grant" process.  There is NO grant program for someone that wants to "start a day-care".  There are grant program for those wanting to start specific kinds of daycare.  Now any good grantwriter can take someone who wants to start a daycare and tailor the specifics of it to meet with the requirements of related grant programs BUT no one is going to get a grant (or better I should say APPLY for them) for "I want to start a daycare"  There are certain questions that have to be asked and answered all leading to the specific way that one is going to operate their daycare.  You can't decide that you want to start a daycare and expect to get a grant for it and THEN decide the details later!  It doesn't work that way!  Sure there are day-care grant recipients that have received as much as $250,000.00 in grant money to start a daycare but you can't honestly believe that they were awarded the grant simply because they just said "I want to start a daycare" - and nothing else!

Do you know what a grantwriter does?  It can be comparable to what researchers and technical engineers do!  Why?  Because it involves finding information, deciphering it so that it makes sense.  It's hours and hours of reading "fine print", mounds and mounds of papers (or disks - whatever the case may be), databases, searching and finding and searching some more, keeping up with the current programs and finding out about the new ones (and yes there are new ones being created).  As a point for my own curiosity I'm wondering how many grantwriters out there wear glasses - you know all that fine print and all - because I am one of them! - LOL!

It is a LOT of work finding these programs and I will repeat that again because it bears repeating - IT IS A LOT OF WORK FINDING THESE PROGRAMS!

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