As grant professionals, we all know that using strong, relevant data from reliable sources to support our case for funding is essential to a quality, competitive application. Although this is true across all types of applications, it is especially relevant when applying for federal grants. While stories bring our programs to life for a reviewer, used artfully data provides the foundation that makes it possible to build a captivating (and winning) case for support. I’m going to provide you with some resources you can use to make finding - and citing - that crucial piece of data easier next time you need it.
I have found that in the world of grant professionals, there doesn’t seem to be much gray area when it comes to logic models. Most of my colleagues seem to fall into the “I love logic models!” camp, but I do know there are a few of you out there (time to fess up) for whom those two words bring feelings of fear and anxiety. I am confessing that I, too, fall into that category. To clarify, my problem is with the process of creating the logic model. I do love and appreciate what logic models achieve and the value of the end result but have always struggled with making my thoughts fit neatly into tidy rows and columns. So, for those of you who also think less linearly and need to see the forest before you examine each individual tree, I have some suggestions that have helped me to alleviate logic model anxiety.
Like many of you, school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have placed me in the - let’s be honest - not entirely welcome position of balancing a full-time career with my new role of homeschool teacher. I naively and, looking back on it, pompously believed that this would be a piece of cake. I have teenagers, not small children who demand constant attention. They are good students. How hard can it be? Hard. Harder than I thought possible.
Many times, being a grant professional feels more like an endless quest for information. We find ourselves at the mercy of those who create the programs and the individuals who hold the data. Navigating the twists and turns and the emphatic, “you need what!!??” can be daunting. Whether as a consultant or the grant writer on staff, our role puts us in the position of relying on others to provide us with the information necessary to craft a grant proposal worthy of funding. How this process unfolds is largely dependent on the culture of the organization and the way they communicate, plan, and process information.