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Drabble This! Using Stories in Grant Applications


Grant writers from the Washoe County School District located in Reno, Nevada will present Drabble This! Using Stories in Grant Applications. This session will start with a challenge to the idea that personal stories of our clients' successes and challenges cannot be used to write successful grant applications.  The session will then explore why personal narrative stories - although powerful - are often discouraged in grant applications in favor of statistics, facts, and figures that can help describe our clients' needs but falls short of illustrating real-life implications. Then, participants will be introduced to the concept of the Drabble - a literary genre that challenges writers to write effective narrative using 100 words or less - and how they can be used to animate the facts and figures typically found in grant applications. The session will then give examples of how Drabbles have been used in funded applications (including competitive federal applications) without eating up valuable time and space. Tips on writing effective Drabbles will also be introduced and discussed.  
In the second half of the session, participants will have the opportunity to write their own Drabbles on their own or in groups, receive coaching from the presenters and other participants, and share the results and receive feedback on their efforts during the session. This exercise will give participants a tangible "take away" from the presentation.  Time for questions and answers will close out the session.
Learning Objectives of this Workshop:
- Participants will learn how to incorporate stories of their clients and/or organizations in grant applications;
- Participants will learn practical tips for writing descriptively and concisely; and
- Participants will practice and receive feedback on their newly acquired knowledge and skills.
GPC Competencies Addressed:
How to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application 

Lauren Ohlin has more than 20 years' experience in fundraising. Currently, she is the Director of Grants for Washoe County School District, in Reno, NV. She has written government and private grants averaging $75 million annually. She was named Fundraiser of the Year in 2011 by AFP.  She was one of the first three people in Nevada to receive the Grant Professional Certification. Lauren holds a BA in Journalism and an MA in Organizational Communications from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Marianne Reger has been writing grants for 20 years raising funds for Northern Nevada youth development, arts, health, and educational organizations. She has held the position of Grant Writer for Washoe County School District since 2014 overseeing private foundation grants, which total approximately $2.5 million annually, in addition to writing government grants. She has taught remedial and college level writing courses and holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.