Greetings from GrantLessons!
Well it is that time of year again as we move towards Summer and away from Spring for new members who have signed up for the Grants Committee to go through training. Here are some thoughts about orienting new people to grant writing.
Doing a quick assessment will help the trainer understand what skill level the individual member has. Basically, one should be able to use a computer, be able to write, be able to work independently, and to understand the importance of good communication. Is the new grant writer experienced or inexperienced with the grant writing process?
The trainer needs to make two plans, one for the experienced grant writer and one for the member who has never written a grant. The training needs to include the following for both groups: Orientation to the programs the Chapter writes grants for, the historical files, the online file management system, i.e. Dropbox, and the Assistance League writing standards. The online file management system should contain the routine documents that are required by all grant applications, such as, the IRS Determination Letter, the Chapter’s audited financials, the program budgets, etc.
The trainer needs to assess the comfort level the individual has with moving forward and writing a simple grant application. Some will be ready to go forward, others will want a mentor to sit with them to work through each of the elements to ensure that they are being completed correctly. The new member needs to take in the information in small chunks so they can gain confidence in their ability to write a grant. The small parts could include the following: Writing a segment for a grant, reading a grant for errors done by a more experienced grant writer who may not know the program as well, or gathering needed information. Without question, the inexperienced grant writer will need a mentor.
For both groups, they need to understand the importance of following the Chapter’s individual protocols for filing and communicating to the Vice-President of Philanthropic Programs and the Treasurer that the grant has been written and then to see that a copy is filed appropriately.
The trainer needs to identify which grant applications each individual is ready to move forward with and then encourage the member to write the application. The trainer needs to determine if the member has the basic skills to complete an application. The trainer needs to understand where the member needs assistance. Lastly, the trainer needs to determine the motivation and interest in working on grants and the amount of time they have to complete applications since teaching one how to do them takes time. It is important to identify the deadlines for each applicant and to start the writing well in advance of the actual deadline.
Periodically throughout the year, the trainer needs to determine the progress each new grant member is making, be sure to offer encouragement and be there for the person when questions arise.
By the way, it is after June 1st and Spring cleaning is officially done and GrantLessons is going on summer vacation 😉 Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. SandieSandie