How Do I Love Grant Writing? Let Me Count the Characters (I Mean, “Ways”)… by Leah Hyman

In honor of Valentine’s Day on the 14th, I thought it would be fun to take a moment to consider fourteen of the many things to love (or not) about our profession. Now, I’m no Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and this is no “Sonnet 43,” but I hope this list makes you smile and consider what you love most about grant writing.

  1. I love you, logic model. You can seem intimidating and complex, but deep down, you just want to be helpful. And you’re so helpful.
  2. I love you, funder who won’t accept unsolicited requests. You remind me that relationships matter.
  3. I love you, Zoom. Not everyone understands you (or that mute button), but you sure do make life easier.
  4. I love you, responsive program officer. You’re so busy, yet you patiently answer questions and do your best to set applicants up for success.
  5. Speaking of which, I love you, deadline extension announced with only a few days to go. We were totally going to make the original due date, but you just gave us the gift of more sleep and fewer tension headaches.
  6. I love you, Grants.gov. And I’m not just saying that. (Never mind… I am just saying that. But your Help Desk is okay sometimes, I guess).
  7. I love you, surprise character limit that doesn’t reveal yourself until I’m pasting the final narrative into the online portal the day it’s due. Not only do you keep me on my toes, but you keep me humble. All those thoughtful, poetic words I spent days honing and admiring? I guess they weren’t that great, anyway.
  8. And even when I’m on a content-cutting rampage, I love you, Oxford comma. Your style, precision, and clarity are always worth the extra character.
  9. I love you, request for proposals (RFP) that hardly changes from year to year. You’re like an old friend – dependable and solid.
  10. I also love you, RFP that allows 11-point Times New Roman. All those required narrative components, that restrictive (double-spaced!) page limit… you put up a tough front, but you’re not afraid of compromise. I see you.
  11. I love you, Tables 1-4 sprinkled throughout my “needs” section. You’re single-spaced, concise, and hold all of that data I’d spent hours gathering and then was afraid I’d have to cut for length. I don’t even mind that you completely messed up the surrounding paragraphs when I adjusted your spacing and tried to wrap text around you. So, you’re a little high-maintenance… who isn’t?
  12. I love you, “manage sources” function in Microsoft Word. You complete me (and my “References Cited” page).
  13. I love you, nonprofit program directors. You often do so much with so little for so many. And you make receiving award notification letters that much sweeter.
  14. And I love you, other grant professionals. You get it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

AGS blogs are aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills.

Competency #4: Knowledge of how to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application.

Skill 4.2: Interpret grant application request for proposal (RFP) guidelines and requirements to ensure high quality responses.

Skill 4.4: Identify and cite accurate and appropriate data sources to support proposal narratives.

Competency #9: Ability to write a convincing case for funding.

Skill 9.4: Use conventions of standard written English.

Skill 9.6: Follow formatting guidelines.