Where has the time gone?
12 years ago, I started a business with the idea that my background as a Program Officer
and my experience as a staff grant writer for a large organization would be a great combination to help build grantseeking in nonprofits. Now, 12 years later, as we continue to focus on the same mission
and look back on what has changed in our field, the answer is - A LOT!
While not all change is perfect (character restrictions in an online application are not always a good thing), there have been numerous positive events and changes that have enhanced our work as grant professionals.
Top 5 Things I LOVE About What Has Changed in Our Grantseeking World
- Online applications. Roll our eyes as we may at the character and word counts that are sometimes too small for our liking, online applications (especially our team favorite, Foundant!) have made our field more efficient for everyone – the writers, the grantmaking staff, and the reviewing volunteers and board members. Yes, FedEx and UPS lost some overnight shipping business, but the stress level of hundreds of grant professionals is better as a result of this advancement.
- Google Drive. We no longer have to send narratives back and forth as attachments in email, worrying about who has the most recent draft and trying to merge tracked changes from multiple colleagues into one document. It is live. . . All. The. Time. All grant team members can always see the latest version and weigh in with a suggested edit or comment. Life changing!Canva. What did we do to create so many awesome images for grant applications and grant reports before Canva? No clue. I’m not graphically creative (just ask my team!), and no, we aren’t affiliates for Canva, but having this tool available for free to nonprofits is fabulous.
- Grammarly. Grant professionals are fast typers. We have to be. And sometimes our fast fingers make a mistake, and it isn’t until we click submit or send that we realize there was a typo in the online form or body of the email. Grammarly (again, not an affiliate, just a huge fan!) took this worry away, even with “just” the free version. Now the visual cue in the online forms/email just as we are used to in the Word documents and Outlook email systems helps us pause to ensure what we are sending the funder says “we are appreciative" and not that “we are appreciate.” True story. (And for the record, that last phrase is in red as I type this blog post as Grammarly desperately tries to tell me I made a mistake.)
- But the big one? Grant Professionals. That's right, not grant writers, instead grant professionals. Whether Grant Professional Certified or not, grant professionals are advancing our field by leaps and bounds each year. Holding each other accountable to our ethical standards through the Grant Professionals Association; working with grantmakers for stronger transparency; working with nonprofit organizations to strive for healthy outcomes and to share those results with all of their stakeholders.
And as a thank you for being a part of the increased professionalism of our field, and commitment to best practices and the ethics of the grant profession, I want to share with you five gifts that we also shared with our community when we celebrated our business anniversary earlier this year.
Five Gifts for YOU, the Grant Professional!
- A brand new Relationship Building Toolkit! The toolkit has a grantmaker outreach checklist and then two supporting pieces for two items in the checklist, a Grant Maker Relationship Questionnaire for helping staff/board members identify connections to foundation board/staff, and Talking Points for Grant Maker Outreach.An updated grant readiness e-book with 12 Tips to Improve Your Grant Readiness! Check out this updated version of one of our most downloaded resources.
- A 15% discount on all of our upcoming grant writing CharityHowTo webinars. Use the code greatday (case sensitive) to sign up for one of our upcoming grant writing webinars. You can find them all here.
- A nudge to go check out the free webinar portion of our website. Do you realize how many free recorded sessions we have there? We’re all about getting quality resources in your hands at no, or as low a cost as possible. Don’t forget about this section of the website as we update it at least a few times a year with new recordings.
- A friendly reminder that I will always spend time with anyone looking to understand our services and if we are a good fit for you or not. And if we aren’t a good fit for you, or maybe you have some grant readiness and board development work to get started on first, I will always point you toward more resources. Interested in having that first 15-minute conversation? Schedule your time here.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you, and the nonprofit community the past twelve years. We can’t wait to see what positive changes come about in our field in the next twelve years!
About the Author
Diane H. Leonard, GPC is an experienced and respected grant professional who has provided grant development counsel to nonprofit organizations of varying size and scope for more than a decade. Clients she serves include health care providers, advocacy organizations, social services agencies, elementary and secondary schools, and municipal corporations.More Content by Diane H Leonard