“May the Force be with you.” Yoda
This may be the most famous line from the entire Star Wars universe. The Force is a mysterious power. As expressed by Obi Wan Kenobi, the Force is “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
There are two sides to the Force, and two groups of believers. The Jedi used the Force for good and protection. The Sith turned to the dark side of the Force, using emotion and violence to control others. Which part of the Force do you work for?
When I think of grantwriters, most of them would be Jedi Knights, wise in the ways of using their powers for good. They are doing their best to craft proposals that are actually in the public interest, not just for the good of their organization. Their research is thorough, their facts are verifiable, and their program designs are logical ways to achieve beneficial outcomes.
A few grantwriters I’ve known are less Jedi-like. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they are practitioners of “the Dark side”, but they at least now and then want to put their own interests above anyone, or anything, else.
These are the grantwriters who fail to do proper research into who appropriate funders might be for any particular organization or concept. They throw together grant proposals using the mindset of “quick and dirty”—a fact here, a conjecture there, a doubtful chain of logic throughout.
These grantwriters are more interested in collecting their fee for sending out a proposal than in having an organization be funded. These are the fundraisers who “mentor” inexperienced students into writing grants but never share the financial benefit of turning in the proposal with the mentee.
Professional fundraisers (including those who write grants) have a Code of Ethics. Jedi Knight grantwriters are sticklers for these principles. Sith grantwriters are not above negotiating for a percentage of successful grants on the one hand, or cheating employers by turning in shoddy proposals over and over.
To all aspiring grantwriters who read these words, I want to encourage you to be on the light side of the Force. Get a master grantwriter to help lead you and train you in the ways of the Force that lead you to be beneficial for your community.
If you wish to find yourself a mentor who can help you in this path, then I know you’ll be interested in “Funded! Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit,” an online course designed for grantwriters with all levels of experience.
It covers everything you need to know about grantwriting, from finding the right funder to turning in the proposal. You’ll learn the secrets of master grantwriters for describing the need for your program, the solutions that funders want to support, how to talk about your capacity to excel, putting together an evaluation plan, showing how to become sustainable, and so much more.
This course will bring new grantwriters up to speed in just a few weeks. It also energizes and brings fresh ideas to experienced grantwriters, helping their Jedi spirit blossom anew.
To get on the EARLY BIRD notification list, sign up here.
Enrollment will be limited so that each can have the attention they deserve. If you’re not on the EARLY BIRD list you may not be able to enroll. So don’t take a chance on missing out and let your competition go first. They may be “dark side” grantwriters!
Enjoy the new film, and “May the Force be With You!”