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Archive September 2019

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Conquering the Chaos and Coming Out the Other Side

The months of January, February, July, and August are absolutely insane in deadlines for my foundations. I write half of my total grants for the year during that intense time frame. This leads to a lot of coffee, and later, wine.

Using a Scrum Framework to Win More Grants

I was excited to read Jillain Veil Ehnert’s article How to Herd Cats: Compression Planning ® 101 last month. Compression Planning ® is an Agile framework, and as many of you have learned about me, if there is one thing I love talking about as much as grants (my family and the 1000 Islands aside), it is Scrum.

Success Stories from the Mentor Match Program

In any endeavor, personal or professional, one can almost always find value in interacting with others with more experience. I started running in 2004 and in those first few years, I was always grateful to seasoned runners who were willing to share their insights about training, shoes, different races, etc. I believe that their wisdom likely helped me avoid some costly mistakes…and probably prevented a few injuries. So what’s my favorite piece of running advice?

Writing Woes: Woe is Me, But Need Not Be

Some people do not like writing. They’re easy to spot at grant meetings. They’re usually the ones with anxiety glistening in their eyes and are hiccupping in mounting fear. Their voice squeaks when they ask you to repeat their due dates. They sway a bit in their chairs and dart panicked looks towards their co-workers. They wonder if they should just pull the fire alarm and run. Eventually they’ll make an excuse to leave the room, be it a third bathroom break or that Elvis suddenly appeared in the building. But don’t let them leave. They’ll disappear. Lock the door and distract them with cookies. Lots of cookies.

Power to the People: Promoting Equity and Community Engagement as A Grant Professional

With great power comes great responsibility. As grant professionals, we utilize our superpowers to connect the needs of communities, the interests of funders, and the mission and capacity of organizations. How can grant professionals promote equity in an organization’s engagement of communities? How can we help shift more decision-making power to the people most impacted by our work? Perhaps, we can glean lessons from another field.