Collaborative Grant Writing as the Lead Organization: Tips to Create Partnership Bliss

Organizations of all sizes are frequently challenged to lead partnerships with other organizations which involve collaborative grant writing and program design. This workshop will educate participants on how to collaborate with other grant writers and program staff in designing compelling grant applications. The two presenters have worked together on a number of collaborative grant applications, including a successful $200,000 government grant from the USDA.

The workshop will provide instruction on several GPC competencies:
-Relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders: Maintaining the complex relationship between being the lead organization who works directly with the funder and collaborate partner(s) will be outlined.
-Effective program and project design and development: Importance of project management and communication tactics will be described. Also, evaluation on whether the partnership is a good fit for the organization and/or grant application
-Organizational development: Helping other organizations (frequently under-resourced with less capacity) develop their organization(s) in order to be grant ready
-Post-award grant management: Working with partners on reporting as the lead applicant
-Professionalism of grant developers: Describe appropriate procedures for working with and including the other organization(s) in application and program design
-Research, identify, and match funding sources: Working with partners to identify and evaluate which organization should be the lead in new opportunities once the original grant application and partnership has been established.

A successful collaboration will be respectful of the partner and provide clear roles at the beginning of the project throughout the duration of the partnership. This workshop will provide the fundamental skills to each participant to ensure that collaborations are successful and fruitful for their respective organizations.

GPC Competencies Addressed: 

Strategies for effective program and project design and development
How to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs
Organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking
Post-award grant management practices sufficient to inform effective grant design and development
Methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders
Practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers

Through her 20 years of experience working in direct service agencies, Maggie Bonjean has developed a track record securing grants from government, corporate, and private funders for a variety of programs. Through this work, she has developed technical expertise in program design, evaluation, and budgeting for under-resourced collaborations. In her current role at Oregon Food Bank, Maggie writes grants focusing on programs that bring resources to underserved communities.

Heather Ellis' 15 years of experience has been at a variety of nonprofits from a range of different fields, including the food bank, a mentoring organization, social services, an art college, a museum, mental health, and a children's symphony. In addition to grants, she has experience in database management as well as general fundraising expertise. For the last 4 1/2 years she has grown Oregon Food Bank's grant program from one to three staff members and brought in over 2 million dollars.