Team Building Without Trust Falls

I have a confession to make. Once upon a time, I used to look forward to ropes courses. I’m not sure if this is unusual, but for some reason, my education and early career involved lots and lots of ropes courses. Have you ever done one? The objective is to learn about yourself and your team by overcoming completely arbitrary challenges, mostly suspended on or by cables, wearing a helmet and in the woods.

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Grant Writing
The Six Steps of Effective Grant Writing

When I first began contracting as a grant writer, I had a client named Nick who was very concerned about his budget and his ability to fund my time. Sympathetic to the situation of new organizations, I explained to him that we could work together so that he could become accustomed to the process of preparing proposals, until his budget expanded. “No way!” he had exclaimed incredulously, “I don’t do my own taxes or perform my own dental work! Why would I think I could write my own grants!?”

To an extent, Nick was correct to assume that grant writing was a technical skill and that performing it with competency was challenging. However, there is much that an organization can do to sustain itself. While Nick may not do his own dental work, I certainly hope that he is brushing and flossing each day! In the same spirit, there is much an organization can do to help maintain a healthy budget. Many organizations will still require professional assistance in the long term, but certain submissions may be easily prepared in-house in a few simple steps.

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