Kathy---Good and solid back up, bolstering, and encouraging information for Sona, especially when you have your own personal and painful experience to have her match to the position she is in, or going to be in.
And, of course you are correct in citing the one who most, or all, of the time, gets the blame. I did intend my statement to be understood in that way. I should have further clarified that intent by saying ... "once the goal is not met you can be sure it will be thought to be the fault of the one who provided the budget number---You!
My article warns of that inevitable consequence besetting the grant writer, regardless the one initially providing any hard and fast, but arbitary, set of evaluation goals.
Never would I impose such unfair and unrealistic burdens on my gran writers. When it comes to measuring performance, I believe grant writers should be evaluated on the quality of their work. What I expect of a grant writer as written into a job description might read something like the following.
The grant writer will:
1. Through interviews and other means, gather information that will easily allow him/her to grasp the concept of a project or program for which funding is sought as defined by the person responsible for carrying it out.
2. Acquire and maintain sound knowledge and understanding of the organization, and use that knowledge and understanding to better comprehend all projects and programs for which grants will be sought and to recommend the seeking of grants.
3. Research grant-making organizations and analyze them to identify likely funding sources for specific projects and programs.
4. Compile, write, and edit all grant applications exhibiting strong expository writing skills and a high-level command of grammar and spelling.
5. Review the budget of a project or program for which funding is sought and make recommendations to better present it to grant-making organizations.
6. Develop individual grant proposals in accordance with each grant-making organizations preferences and follow exactly each grant-making organization's guidelines.
7. Keep in contact with grant-making organizations during their review of a submitted grant application in order to be able to supply additional supportive material.
8. Manage the process of supplying progress reports when required by a grant-making organization that has funded a project or program.
Any grant writer I hired was expected to carry out the above duties well. Doing so left me satisfied with his or her performance. Grant award or no grant award, the grant writer was successful. It was never my grant writer's job to get the grant, rather the job was to make the best case possible to appropriate funding organizations.
Unfortunately, grant writers are all too often thought to be paid to see it that the money is raised---not to dare to explain why it can't be raised.