Over the years here at PNDTalk I took note of a recurring overall issue regarding grant writing. The questions asked were:
-- How many proposals do you submit and during what time frame?
-- What is your percent “success rate” of proposals submitted to grantors to grants awarded?
-- What is the minimum amount of money you must raise as a result of your grant proposal writing activity for this fiscal/campaign year?
The inquiries took different forms: from individuals simply wanting to compare with others out of curiosity; from grant writers who were in various stages of anxiety and exasperation telling us what their supervisors/leadership wanted/demanded from them; and from those bosses themselves wanting to know what “standards” they should set for their grant writers.
Recently, I asked my wife, Joyce Braun Poderis, if she would write an article about the grant writing “metrics” issue.
Mainly, we wanted to help in some way the persons in institutions charged with seeking grants---those having their bosses holding them (mostly unfairly) accountable to one, two, or all three of the above “standards.”
We wanted them to better respond when their leadership issued metrics as “you-must” requirements with its accompanying number. So much depends on the number, strength and insistence of the “must.” Is the number a target, a goal or an edict? Is it based on the institution’s true potential or developed from using some faulty “industry benchmark?”
Such demands, more often than not, lack a footing in reality. They are unlikely to show even a rudimentary understanding of which grant-making organizations are awarding grants to what initiatives, projects, and organizations.
So how do you budget grant income? With great care, avoiding as best you can a goal setting process that demands income guarantees rather that sets targets.
I invite you to read Joyce’s article on this topic with the hope it will be of use with your own leadership if need be, or with the leadership of someone you know who is working under a hard and unfair metrics requirement.
--- Metrics Can Be a Grant Writer’s Nightmare http://www.raise-funds.com/2011/metrics-can-be-a-grant-writers-nightmare/
Tony Poderis http://www.raise-funds.com
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