Collaboration: An Important Piece of the Grant Writing Process
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Posted by: Skye Thompson
For many of us as grant professionals, we find joy in writing grant proposals and bringing our causes to life in hopes that funders choose to support the hard work our organizations do every day. As professionals, we know attention to detail, proofreading, and accuracy are integral parts of a compelling proposal. As the one writing the proposal, our job does not usually require us to manage the programs and organizations for which we are asking our funders to support. This means that for a lot of us, we must be collaborators, in addition to being the awesome writers that we are! We must be a binding force throughout our organization to ensure we have the information needed to submit a complete and accurate proposal.
I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people that make collaboration a breeze. There are things I keep in mind as I start a proposal or report, which makes for a smoother process as I gather information and write my organization’s narrative.
Collaboration will be a frequent occurrence as you continue in your career. Remember we are all human with our own work styles and personalities. This will help you shift your approach as you work with your colleagues to create a well-written and persuasive grant proposal.
- Connections – More than likely, there will be individuals that you work with repeatedly. If you can make a personal connection with these individuals and really share a lived experience, it helps both of you to view each other as a person, not just another cog in the wheel of getting the job done. When your colleagues see you coming, it is an enjoyable experience instead of extra work added to an already busy day.
- Communication – I know how I like to communicate, but it may not be the same for others. Recognizing and utilizing their preferred method – email, phone, in-person – helps to get the response you need within the deadlines you give them. It is a win for everyone, whether your co-workers know it or not.
- Timelines and Workloads – Everyone has deadlines and special projects they are working hard to execute and complete. As grant professionals, we often live by these deadlines. I sometimes find myself so laser focused on what I have to complete that I also have to take the time to recognize others’ deadlines. Giving my colleagues plenty of notice about what I need from them (understanding we may not be able to do so due to a last minute opportunity) will help reduce the stress of completing proposals and reports by the submission deadline.
- Showing Appreciation – I think most people understand the importance of grants and why we apply for them. Receiving funding is, on its own, the biggest reward; but, I also include thanking colleagues as a part of the proposal process. I like to show my co-workers, especially the ones I continually go to for help, how much it means to me.
GPC Competency: 03. Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development
Article Theme: Collaboration
Author Bio: Skye joined the Grady Health Foundation in May 2018 as the Foundation and Corporate Relations Specialist. Tasked with cultivating and stewarding foundations, she develops proposals and completes reports for potential and current foundation and corporate partners. Prior to joining Grady, Skye was the Foundation Relations Manager at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Since 2013, she managed the grant relationship with foundations, corporations, civic and religious groups, and governmental agencies to advance the Food Bank’s mission of fighting hunger. Skye began her career with the Food Bank in 2008 as the Benefits Outreach Manager and developed the Benefits Outreach Program to assist individuals with accessing public benefits for which they are eligible. Skye holds a B.A. in Sociology and Master of Social Work from Georgia State University.