What’s the #1 Biggest Timewaster for Learning to Write Grants?

How to go straight to the winning column instead!

What is the #1 Time Waster for Learning to Write Grants?

What is the #1 Time Waster for Learning to Write Grants?

The first and second times I wrote a grant were hard (see my #1 best-selling on Amazon book Funded! Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit for the full story).  Plus they were unsuccessful, so it wasted my time and the tie of the people who reviewed them.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but since I was a brand-new intern, as well as a neophyte grantwriter, it shouldn’t be too surprising. But those three words haunt me to this day, and led me to want to assist aspiring grantwriters in the future, if I ever got good at the task.

The three words I’m referring to are…

Trial and Error.

Some things are good for trial and error.  Learning to walk, for example.  Learning to write a bicycle, or skateboard.  It’s an ok approach with magic tricks (except the one with sawing the person in half—that’s not so good for trial and error!).

But grantwriting?

Not so much.

Writing grants is much more of a high wire, no-net sort of activity.  If the funds don’t come in, programs can be cut, jobs lost, and clients left without services.  So, if the bet you can do to learn is trial and error, you’re endangering a lot of important elements of a nonprofit.

Can you learn a lot by trial and error?  Of course!  But it is a slow and inefficient approach to learning.

What can you do instead?

I’ve got a solution to the problem of losing a lot of grant proposals by depending on trial and error.

It’s called the Funded! Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit online grantwriting course.  It’s based on my #1 book of the same name, and is the exact same material that students in my graduate level grantwriting course get.

This is not some one or two day workshop—leaving you on your own to continue the time and money-wasting “trial and error” mistake.  This is the same as a three hour graduate course that leads you from never having written a grant to being able to submit it successfully.

Stop wasting time—get Funded! By checking out the material here.

Stop wasting time!  Go get Funded!



How to be an Early Bird, a Time Traveler, and a Better Grantwriter

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started." Mark Twain

When I was a kid, I was very, VERY literal.  I decided that if the early bird got the worm, I had no desire to be THAT bird!

But now I know better and can apply this lesson to something as far afield as grantwriting.

This is Dr. Richard Hoefer, author of the #1 book, Funded!  Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit.  Today’s video shows you how you can burst through the time dimension to write more successful grants.

The idea for this post is simple but  I think it has a lot more to do with success than a quick glance might suggest.

Before presenting the idea, let’s hear a quote from Mark Twain:

The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

So, here’s my advice on how to be successful as a grantwriter:  “Start as soon as you can.”

Easy, right? But there are a number of levels to consider. I’ll discuss one that I bet you haven’t considered yet.

You’ve got to “start as soon as you can” to know what requests for proposals are going to be released.

This means you can’t just be logging on to grants.gov or your favorite foundation site every day.  “Starting as soon as you can” means you look into the history of the organization whose funds you’d like to tap into.

Federal grants, for example, are often released about the same time every year (not always, but often).  This means “starting as soon as you can” is actually two or three years ago.  Find one you’re interested in now and see if it was released in substantially the same form earlier.

Foundation grants also are often released in the same time periods each year.  Get to know their schedule.

If you’re able to see that a request for proposals is released about the same time every year, and that the types of proposals being requested are substantially similar, and that the agency or foundation has not announced a change in priorities in the past year, you’re very far ahead of the game.

In fact, you’ve become a time traveler, an early bird and a futurist all at the same time.  You’ve gone into the past in order to know what the future holds.

“Starting as soon as you can” means you go back in time to see the future.

If you find this idea intriguing, be sure to read what’s on www.richardhoefer.com frequently.  And be sure to share this with your nonprofit colleagues–that is, unless you want to keep this all to yourself!

Dr. Richard Hoefer, Author #1 Bestseller, Funded!  Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit

If I Were Starting My Grantwriting Career Over…?

Here's what I would do differently!

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Do you ever get asked “If you were starting over, what would you do differently in your career?”

As a professor teaching grantwriting, my students ask me this question every semester.  This is what I say.

“Get training!”

You may know my story—I was an intern. On my first day, a Monday, I was given an envelope full of material.  My supervisor told me that there was information on a request for proposals in that envelope.  AND that the proposal had to be ready to be overnight mailed by noon on Thursday!

Since I had no idea what to do, having never taken a class on writing grants, I panicked and asked who was going to guide me.  “No one.  It’s up to you!  So, you better get started!”

You can bet that I wished I had some training, any training, at that point.

My experiences of “trial-by-fire” and “brutal reviews” eventually led me to becoming good at writing grants.  In fact, by the time my internship was over, we’d received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, and I was hired as full time grantwriter for that organization.  Before I moved on, half a year later,I’d raised over a million dollars, which wasn’t too shabby for a self-taught 24-year old!

Because of my experience, I vowed that, someday, I’d create a better way for new grantwriters to learn the skills.

And I’ve accomplished my vow:  Oxford University Press has just released my new book, Funded! Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit, which is available from them directly or from Amazon.com.

In addition, I’ve taken all the information that I teach in a graduate level course on grantwriting, and put it in an online course that anyone can take.  You can learn more about it by going to the link in the comments below.

Get training!  That’s how I would change the start of my grantwriting career—thorough, comprehensive, and detailed training.  And that’s how YOU should start off your grantwriting career!