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How to Play Nice With Others

Friday, November 26th, 2010

A couple of years ago, took a poll of it’s visitors, asking them to identify what skills they learned in elementary school that they continue to use today, and what features of grade school they wished carried over to adult life. The results were revealing:

Of skills most often used in adult life, 50% of respondents said spelling and grammar skills, 28% said learning how to play nice with others, 11% said how to calculate percentages, 6% said how to dodge things coming at you, and 6% said how to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. On which feature of grade school respondents most wished carried over into work life, 59% want recess, 18% want field trips, 6% want bake sales, 6% want slumber parties, 6% liked knowing when your work was finished, and 6% liked the more structured exercises in personal affirmation that took place in school, but that don’t happen in real life.

Field trips and recess—those were the good old days, weren’t they? I’m surprised only 6% identified ‘like knowing when your work was finished’ as a feature they missed. That’s one of the things I like about grantwriting. When you send off the grant, that project is finished. And you get a moment of celebration before you start the next one.

Today I searched the CompassPoint site to find the poll, and I had no luck. But I did find a link to the Strengthening Nonprofits for Tomorrow’s Challenges page, which has a few free podcasts from that event for you to listen to or PDF’s to download.

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

If you’re nervous about writing a grant, think of a grant proposal as asking someone for something that you don’t have to pay for. You ask your spouse to buy things, don’t you? You may ask your employer for an upgrade in your technology or a new company vehicle. What about your parents? Surely you asked them to buy you a car. Regardless of the outcome, you have experience devising a strategy to get someone else to provide you with cash or something that you desperately needed—and putting that strategy into words. You made a case for your cause, and you presented your best justification. Guess what grant writers do?

If you’re still anxious about tackling a grant proposal, just remember how many wives, teenagers, fifth-graders, and even five-year-olds have had success with their urgent requests. Remember your own successes, relax, and read this blog. The Grant Whisperer will help you tackle your first grant proposal (and many more) without fear.