I’ve been teaching my grant writing course in a classroom setting for the past three weeks. This is a course that was promoted as being hands on, meaning you will have to participate in writing assignments. It was designed this way because so many people have told me they want to actually write a grant in a class setting. Whenever I offer a mini-workshop it never appears to be enough. People want more. That’s why this particular format was perfect. It allows me to offer more time to develop the skill.
Here’s what I’ve learned from this course experience, as well as a previous online grant writing course I facilitated, most people don’t want to do the work. They seem to want instant gratification.
There is no magic formula to learn how to write grants. You don’t just take a course, listen to the instructor and then go out and get millions of dollars in grants. If it were that easy everybody would have grant money.
As in all things in life, you have to do the work. Grant writing is not for the faint at heart. It requires a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to pull an all-night writing session to get a grant completed.
It’s never going to be convenient to write and submit an actual grant proposal, even if that’s your only job. Life happens and it’s always going to infringe on your deadlines.
As I have often said when talking to aspiring nonprofit leaders: “You have to put in the time and the work.”
Just because you have a nonprofit organization with a tax exempt status from the IRS, the money is not going to just start rolling in. The same applies for grant writing. Just because you enroll in a course, it doesn’t mean you’re going to instantly know how to write winning grant proposals.
You have to put in the effort. The ONLY way to learn how to write grants is to just write them. You won’t get funded for every proposal you submit, but with every experience, you WILL learn something. Everything you learn will make it that much easier to write the next one.If you’re consistent, and keep getting better, you will eventually get funded.
In the meantime, be committed to doing the work. If not, I can assure you, you will not be successful. The same attitude you have towards participating in class assignments, you will carry over into the real world once you start writing.
There are NO shortcuts. You have to do the work. The competition is too fierce for you to submit mediocre work. The people who get funded give it their all and it shows in their work. When you phone it in, and just submit anything, that shows too. Those types of applications never get funded.
If you want to run a successful nonprofit organization that is consistently funded, then you need to put in the work. If not, why bother?
So, I’m leaving you with this final question, “How bad do you want it?”