Monday, June 12, 2006

Money,Money, Money

I spent most of today at a grantwriting workshop sponsored by NELLCO. We sponsored this speaker on grantwriting with the idea that a lot of our members would be interested in learning more about this task. The surprising thing was that only a few librarians or affiliated folks came to the workshop. Lots of other people came: university and college people, firefighters, K-12 administrators, town administrators and people looking to change careers or upgrade their skills for the job market.

Here are several things I learned:

There is no such thing as free money;

Grant money doesn't bring more money into your organization, it brings more work.

That being so, why would you write a grant? You know you have some problem that needs work; you are writing the grant to help get the resources to solve the problem.

I am not going to post all the other things I learned; it's a good workshop and I'm only half-way through. And this is the company and speaker's intellectual property. But it did make me think about what a black pit of money-need libraries are these days. But one thing the trainer said about writing the grant was immediately applicable to writing a budget justification as well. Don't write about what you don't have; don't write about what you need to do. Write about the problem or the goal; then say what you are going to do to fix the problem or reach the goal; and lastly how you will know it's fixed or reached. Then say how their money is going to do that. How can they be part of this glorious future? shazam!

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