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Thread: Grant Writing

  1. #1
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    Grant Writing

    I am thinking about getting into grant writing.
    Does anyone have any experience in this? Any good books to suggest? I would like to look at a book before I look into a class...

    I should probably mention that I refuse to read a book that is for idiots or dummies... I just cannot do it.

    Any help is appreciated!

    ~Q

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  3. #2
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    I used to be a grant writer and was eventually promoted to grant management. I did this for many years. It's been awhile (4 years) since I left that field, but if you have any specific questions I could probably still answer them. I didn't learn from a book and I never took a class, just got an entry-level job and worked my way up (it was my first job out of college).

    From my point of view, far more important than anything they'd teach you in a grant writing class/book are
    1) basic writing skills
    2) attention to detail
    3) ability to understand what's behind a question (ie, why a funder wants to know particular things)

    With those basic things, you can be an excellent grant writer; without them not so much.

    The other thing that can really make a difference is whether you want to work as a free-lance grant writer, part of a fundraising department for an organization, part of a fundraising consultant firm, or part of a program-implementation department. For the first three, you won't be directly implementing the grant, and the skills you'll need (getting information, working with the program implementor) can be a lot different than if you're both soliciting and implementing the grant.

    ********

    I guess I should also say that I don't know about other managers, but when I was hiring for positions in my department, I looked for 1) experience in the field (for higher-level positions) and 2) transferable skills (for entry-level positions). People who listed a class or two on their resume but didn't have those other criteria were not generally people I called in for interviews.

  4. #3
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    i really DON'T want to get into grant writing and really know nothing about the whole thing. i am, however, interested into looking into what kind of grants i'd be eligible for as a non-college graduate single mother soon-to-be business owner. how do i find these things out without buying that book that's advertised by that nutty guy in the riddler suit????

    am i even thinking about the right kid of grants?

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarabell
    i really DON'T want to get into grant writing and really know nothing about the whole thing. i am, however, interested into looking into what kind of grants i'd be eligible for as a non-college graduate single mother soon-to-be business owner. how do i find these things out without buying that book that's advertised by that nutty guy in the riddler suit????
    Hmmm. I used to get this kind of question all the time while I was grant writing! And I never knew what to say, because all of my grant writing and researching was for grants that were restricted to 501(c)3 nonprofits (having the 501(c)3 status is important, because businesses/foundations get tax breaks for giving to them, so most won't give to non-501(c)3's). Now, as a PhD student, I've been struggling myself to research doctoral dissertation grants, even though I know they're out there!

    But, even though it's not a grant, something that might be of use to you is some kind of micro-credit agency or small business loan program. If you go with a non-profit group, you will get start-up capital with an extremely low interest rate, plus (usually) practical assistance in starting and managing a business. To find one, I'd start by contacting your local United Way branch and asking if they can put you in touch with any micro-credit/small-business organizations in your area. (United Ways are grantmaking bodies that usually fund a pretty wide range of local nonprofits in any given area, so they usually know a lot about agencies that work in particular issue areas.) Your bank might also know of some -- either they might have a special program set up, or they might sponsor local organizations that do this. And, finally, if those two lead you nowhere, you could try googling your city/area and "micro-lending", "microcredit", "small business loan", etc.

  6. #5
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    Re: Grant Writing

    Quote Originally Posted by quornflour
    I am thinking about getting into grant writing.
    Does anyone have any experience in this? Any good books to suggest? I would like to look at a book before I look into a class...

    I should probably mention that I refuse to read a book that is for idiots or dummies... I just cannot do it.

    Any help is appreciated!

    ~Q
    What sort of grantwriting are you interested in? I've written and edited grants, but they're all of the scientific sort, primarily NIH but also NSF and some private foundations. For scientific grantwriting, you're going to need to be able to digest the science and be familiar with NIH guidelines as well as scientific referencing, journal articles, and PubMed. Many large labs, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, and universities will look for people to help with those grants. And you have to be massively organized and computer-savvy because the NIH is switching to entirely electronic submission. And since grant funding is at an absolute crap level right now, I'm not sure how many openings there are in the field. Though many non-native English speakers hire ghostwriters to help with their grants and papers.

  7. #6
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    there are grant programs for female business owners in this area. a business loan isn't anything that i need at this point but grants could help build the business further.


 

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